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What is the best practice to have a column header alignment, should it be left or center aligned? On click of the column header the columns can be also sorted. Numeric values will be right aligned by default.

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2 Answers 2

If it's a desktop application, go with what the operating system's UX guidelines tells. In Windows that would be to align the header in the same way as the data in that column. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa511485.aspx

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That link appears to state the exact opposite! The examples of Windows Explorer show the Size columns breaking this rule –  OrganicPanda Jan 14 '13 at 16:51
    
I am afraid your are right. Im fact the MS Windows UI development tools (such as .Net) don't even offer a way to align header with the data. The alignment is always on the left, for some reason... –  Bart Gijssens Jan 15 '13 at 7:09

Sun Microsystem's Java Guidelines recommend center aligned column headers unless the header is very short.

Center titles in the column headers of tables, except brief titles of wide text columns that are mostly blank. Center or left-justify brief titles.

It seems to be the way I usually see tables laid out in newspapers as well.

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Google Spreadsheets does it that way –  Assaf Lavie Oct 17 '11 at 18:32

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