How to Make Text Vertical in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Making text vertical in Excel is a simple process that involves accessing the “Format Cells” dialog box, navigating to the “Alignment” tab, and then selecting the orientation you prefer. This can be done for individual cells, a group of cells, or entire columns and rows depending on your needs.

After completing this action, your text will be displayed vertically, which can help create a more organized and visually appealing spreadsheet, especially when dealing with narrow columns or headers.


Excel is a powerful tool used by millions for data entry, analysis, and visualization. One of its many features includes the ability to manipulate the orientation of text within cells. Making text vertical in Excel is particularly useful when you are trying to fit more information into less space, such as when you have long headers for narrow columns. It can also add a stylistic touch to your spreadsheets, making them stand out and easier to read.

Whether you’re a student organizing data for a project, an employee preparing a report, or a data analyst compiling statistics, knowing how to make text vertical in Excel is an essential skill. It’s all about maximizing the space you have while maintaining readability. In this article, we’ll go through a step-by-step tutorial on how to accomplish this simple yet impactful task. So let’s dive in and make your spreadsheets more efficient and aesthetically pleasing!

Step by Step Tutorial: Making Text Vertical in Excel

Before we begin, it’s important to note that by following these steps, you can rotate your text up or down, or even turn it on an angle, depending on your preference and needs.

Step 1: Select the Cells

Start by selecting the cell or range of cells you want to format.

Selecting the right cells is crucial. If you only need a single header to be vertical, click on that specific cell. For multiple columns or rows, click and drag to select them all.

Step 2: Open Format Cells Dialog Box

Right-click and choose ‘Format Cells’, or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+1.

The Format Cells dialog box is the control center for cell appearance, including text orientation, font, border, and more.

Step 3: Navigate to Alignment Tab

Once the dialog box opens, click on the ‘Alignment’ tab.

This tab contains all the settings that control the positioning of your text within the cells.

Step 4: Adjust Text Orientation

Under ‘Orientation’, use the degree wheel or input a specific degree to set your vertical text angle.

A 90-degree angle will make the text read from the bottom up, while a 270-degree angle will make it read from top to bottom. You can also use the text direction options below the degree wheel for quick vertical or horizontal text.

Step 5: Click OK

After setting your desired text orientation, click ‘OK’ to apply the changes.

Your selected cells should now display vertical text. Remember, you can always go back and adjust if the orientation isn’t quite right.


Maximizes SpaceMaking text vertical significantly saves horizontal space, allowing for more columns or more room for data visualization.
Enhances ReadabilityVertical text can make headers more readable, especially when dealing with narrow columns that would otherwise cut off or compress horizontal text.
Adds Aesthetic AppealVertical text can add a touch of design to your spreadsheets, making them visually distinct and potentially easier to navigate.


Potentially ConfusingFor some, vertical text can be harder to read and may slow down data processing, especially if the text is lengthy.
Limited Use CasesVertical text is not always appropriate; in some cases, horizontal text may be more suitable, such as in detailed reports or text-heavy documents.
Formatting IssuesWhen printing or converting Excel files to PDF, sometimes the vertical text may not display correctly, requiring additional formatting.

Additional Information

While the steps above will get you vertical text in Excel, there are a few additional tips and tricks to keep in mind. Firstly, consider the readability of your text. Sometimes, even though vertical text is space-efficient, it might not be the most reader-friendly option. Play around with angles – perhaps a 45-degree tilt could be the perfect middle ground.

Another thing to consider is the width of your cells. Even though your text is vertical, it still may not fit perfectly. Adjusting the row height can give you more room to work with. Also, keep in mind the font size; larger text will be more legible when vertical but will require more space.

Lastly, remember that making text vertical in Excel is just one of many formatting options available to you. Don’t be afraid to combine it with other features such as text wrapping or merging cells for even more effective data presentation.


  1. Select the cells you want to format.
  2. Open the Format Cells dialog box.
  3. Navigate to the Alignment tab.
  4. Adjust the text orientation to your desired angle.
  5. Click OK to apply the changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make text vertical in Excel on a Mac?

Yes, the process is the same as on a PC. Use Command + 1 instead of Ctrl + 1 to open the Format Cells dialog box.

Is there a limit to how many cells I can make vertical at once?

No, you can select as large a range as you like, even an entire sheet if necessary.

Can I use this feature in Excel Online?

Yes, Excel Online also has the ability to orient text vertically through the Format Cells dialog box.

Will making my text vertical affect the sorting and filtering of my data?

No, it will not. The orientation of your text does not impact the functionality of sorting and filtering.

What if my text still doesn’t fit after making it vertical?

Consider reducing the font size, adjusting the row height, or abbreviating your text for better fit.


Making text vertical in Excel is a nifty trick that can not only save space but also add a professional touch to your spreadsheets. Whether you’re trying to make your headers fit into narrow columns or simply want to give your data presentation a unique flair, vertical text can be incredibly useful. Remember, while aesthetics are important, readability should be your top priority. Keep your audience in mind and choose the orientation that makes your data most accessible.

Experiment with different angles and don’t shy away from combining vertical text with other Excel features to create the perfect layout for your needs. With this guide, making text vertical in Excel should now be a breeze. Go ahead, give it a try and watch your spreadsheets transform!

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