How to Make Text Vertical in Excel

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Borders use the same orientation as cell text.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

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

Vertical text causes the row to expand in size significantly.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

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

The Text button next to the diagram turns on vertical, stacked text.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

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

Double-click the bars between columns to adjust them to fit the new orientation.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

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

The Custom Angle option is disabled if you pick a text direction other than Horizontal.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

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

You can also use the Orientation button to angle text inside a box.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

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


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.


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