How to Turn Text Sideways in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Turning text sideways in Excel is a handy trick to know, especially if you’re dealing with long headers or want to save some space on your spreadsheet. It’s a quick and simple process that can make your data look more organized and easier to read. All it takes is a few clicks, and you’ll have your text rotated just the way you want it.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Turn Text Sideways in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to note that turning text sideways in Excel can help you fit more information into a single cell without making it wider. This is particularly helpful when you have long headings for narrow columns.

Step 1: Select the Cell or Cells

Click on the cell or cells where you want to turn the text sideways.

Selecting the cell or cells is the first step because it tells Excel exactly where you want to make the change. You can click on a single cell or drag your mouse to highlight multiple cells if you want to rotate text in more than one place.

Step 2: Open the Format Cells Dialogue Box

Right-click and select ‘Format Cells’, or press ‘Ctrl + 1’ on your keyboard to open the dialogue box.

The Format Cells dialogue box is where all the magic happens. It’s the control center for changing the appearance of your cells, including the orientation of the text within them.

Step 3: Adjust the Text Orientation

Go to the ‘Alignment’ tab and adjust the ‘Orientation’ of the text by moving the degree slider or typing in a number.

You’ll see a small graphic showing a cell with text and a red dot that you can drag to rotate the text. You can also type in a specific degree in the box next to the slider to get the exact angle you want.

Step 4: Click ‘OK’

Once you’ve set your desired text orientation, click ‘OK’ to apply the changes to the selected cells.

And just like that, your text will now be rotated to the angle you selected. It’s a quick and simple process that can make a big difference in the appearance of your spreadsheet.

After completing these steps, the text in your selected cells will be rotated to the specified angle. You’ll notice that the cell adjusts to accommodate the rotated text, and it may look quite different from the other cells in your spreadsheet. But don’t worry, this is exactly what’s supposed to happen.

Tips: Turning Text Sideways in Excel

  • If you want to rotate the text to a common angle like 90 degrees, you can also use the ‘Orientation’ button in the ‘Home’ tab under the ‘Alignment’ group.
  • Keep in mind that when you turn text sideways, it can affect the row height. You may need to adjust the height manually to make sure all the text is visible.
  • If you’re rotating text in a header row, you might want to apply ‘Center Across Selection’ under the ‘Horizontal’ alignment options to make it look more balanced.
  • Consider the readability of your text when choosing the angle. Extremely angled text can be difficult to read, so find a balance between aesthetics and function.
  • Remember that you can always undo the rotation by going back to the ‘Format Cells’ dialogue box and setting the orientation back to 0 degrees.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I rotate text to a specific angle that’s not listed in the orientation options?

You can type any angle you want in the ‘Degrees’ box in the Format Cells dialogue box to rotate the text to that specific angle.

Can I rotate text in merged cells?

Yes, you can rotate text in merged cells just like you would in a single cell.

Will rotating text affect how my data is sorted or filtered?

No, rotating text is purely a visual change and won’t affect how your data is sorted or filtered.

Is there a limit to how much I can rotate my text?

You can rotate text up to 90 degrees in either direction, which means you can have it completely vertical if you wish.

Can I apply text rotation to an entire row or column at once?

Yes, you can select an entire row or column by clicking on the row number or column letter, and then follow the same steps to rotate the text.


  1. Select the cell or cells.
  2. Open the Format Cells dialogue box.
  3. Adjust the text orientation.
  4. Click ‘OK’.


Turning text sideways in Excel is a simple yet effective way to make your spreadsheets more readable and organized. Whether you’re dealing with long headers, trying to save space, or just looking to add a touch of visual flair, knowing how to rotate text is a valuable skill. It’s important to remember that while the orientation of text can enhance the presentation of data, readability should always be a priority. Therefore, always consider the legibility of your text when deciding on the angle of rotation. With a little practice, you’ll be rotating text like a pro, making your spreadsheets look polished and professional. So why not give it a try? Your Excel skills will thank you for it.

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