Several years ago when I played this game on Windows XP there was a simple way to do this, but I don't recall exactly how. I think just double-left-click on the desired center-point did the trick. (That works during in strategic mode.) I'm now playing this great classic on Windows 7. Everything seems to work fine, except for this one thing, and I wondering if maybe I'm overlooking something.
The problem is that in tactical mode the center-point defaults to the first ship in the formation. This would be fine, but unfortunately this is also the first ship that usually gets destroyed. So, it becomes a real pain to change the view around and direct combat actions.