How to Rotate Text Vertically in Excel 2010

Last updated: January 10, 2017

You are able to write vertically in Excel, or make text vertical in Excel, if you have a project that requires your text to be displayed in that fashion. The method for performing either action is the same. The only variable is when you choose to click the Vertical Text option on the Orientation menu. We will discuss the steps required to write vertically in the article below.

Microsoft Excel 2010 has a pretty massive set of tools and utilities that you can use to modify or summarize your data. Many people will only ever barely scratch the surface of the options that they have at their disposal, usually because they have no need for the functions these tools provide, or because they did not even know that they existed. One such tool that you can use to your benefit in Excel is an option that will display your text vertically instead of horizontally. This can be particularly helpful in situations where you are creating a document or spreadsheet specifically for the purpose of printing it out, or if you have unusual layout requirements for a project.


How to Write Text Vertically in Excel 2010

The text rotation tool in Excel is actually more than just a two-option tool. You can choose from the following orientation settings for how you would like to display your text:

Angle counterclockwise – text is orientated from bottom-left corner of cell to upper-right

Angle clockwise – text is orientated from upper-left to bottom-right corner

Vertical text – each letter is underneath the letter that preceded it

Rotate text up – text runs from bottom of cell to top of cell

Rotate text down – text runs from top of cell to bottom of cell

Format cell alignment – the more advanced option, which will even let you specify the degree of orientation that you want to employ

how to rotate text vertically in Excel 2010


One thing to consider when you are rotating your text vertically is that it will drastically increase the row height, which will also affect the height of every other cell in that row. In my example image above, I have used the Merge cells option on the Format cells menu to combine multiple rows and keep my spreadsheet more aligned.

Step 1: To begin formatting the alignment of a cell, open the spreadsheet file that contains the cell value you want to rotate vertically.


Step 2: Click on the cell that you want to rotate. If you want to rotate multiple cells simultaneously, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and click on each cell. You can also select an entire row or column by clicking the row number or column letter at the left or top part of the spreadsheet.

select your cell


Step 3: Click the Home tab at the top of the window, then click the Orientation button in the Alignment section of the ribbon. The ribbon is the horizontal menu at the top of the window.

click the orientation button


Step 4: Click the orientation option that you want to apply to your selected cell(s) to modify their orientation. Remember to check the earlier image to see an example of which type of orientation you want to apply to your cell.

choose type of orientation


If you have a lot of data in your cell and want to split up your vertical text into two columns, then select your cell, click your mouse in the formula bar at the point where you want to insert the line break, then hold the Alt key and press Enter on your keyboard. The result will look something like the image below.

display excel text in multiple vertical columns


You can change your orientation at any time by clicking the cell then choosing a different option from the Orientation drop-down menu.


Summary – How to make text vertical in Excel

  1. Select the cell (or cells) that you wish to make vertical.
  2. Click the Home tab at the top of the window.
  3. Click the Orientation button in the Alignment section of the ribbon.
  4. Click the Vertical Text option.

As mentioned earlier, this will make the text vertical inside the cell if that text is already there, or it will set the cell to allow you to write vertically if the cell is currently blank.


If you have a cell with vertical text that you would like to change back to horizontal text, then you can select the cell, click the Orientation option, and click Vertical Text. There isn’t an option on that menu for horizontal text. However, clicking one of the other text orientation options will enable that orientation, while clicking it again will disable it.


Are you ready to print your spreadsheet, but you’re having trouble formatting it the right way? Check out our Excel printing guide for some options to adjust that will make your printed spreadsheet easier to read.

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