How to Make Text Vertical in Excel

By Aaron Parson

With Excel 2013, you can rotate almost any text vertically or at an angle. No need to [use text boxes, like in Word]( -- Excel can rotate text in cells, on tables or in charts. Text rotation won't affect how formulas work, but it can cause cells to take up more space on the screen, which might make your spreadsheet harder to read.

Step 1

Select a cell and pick a new option from the **Orientation** menu in the Alignment section of the Home tab. To choose a more specific angle, pick **Format Cell Alignment."

Step 2

Enter a number of degrees or click and drag on the diagram in the Orientation section of the dialog box to set the text angle, and then press **OK**.

Step 3

Change the orientation on the top row of a table to give it a stylish slant. Don't use too shallow an angle, however, or the text overlaps significantly between columns, making the table unclear. Stick to angles below **-45 degrees**, above **45 degrees** or use regular horizontal text.

Step 4

Double-click the column or row labels on a chart to set their orientation. On the sidebar, click **Text Options**, open the **Text Box** section and pick a new **Text Direction** or set the **Custom Angle**. As a shortcut, you can select the labels and use the **Orientation** button, as you would when editing cells to pick a common angle, such as **Vertical Text**. You can't open the cell alignment options when editing labels, however, so to set a custom angle, use the sidebar.

Step 5

Select a text box and drag the rotation handle in either direction to angle the box and its contents.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can't change the orientation of cells that have their horizontal alignment set to "Fill" or "Center Across Selection." Pick a different alignment setting, such as the default "Left," if you need to change the orientation.
  • Angled text can make it harder to tell which cell contains a line of text. Before making changes, check the Formula Bar to make sure you're editing the correct cell.