How to Write Sideways in Excel

Updated April 17, 2017

If your spreadsheet has a lot of data that results in narrow columns, such as two-digit numbers that take up very little space, adding long column headings can make your columns much wider than your data. Row headings that are long can also create a spreadsheet with unnecessarily wide columns that significantly expand your spreadsheet and create too many printed pages. One solution is to turn select text sideways to create a more streamlined look.

Open Excel to a blank spreadsheet or open an existing spreadsheet.

Click a cell you want to add text to. Click the "Home" tab on the ribbon if it is not already open. Click the "Text Orientation" button in the Alignment group. The button has no name but shows the letters "ab" with an arrow underneath pointing diagonally.

Select the type of rotation you want. You can select "Vertical text" to have letters appear vertically one at a time in your cell or select "Rotate up" or "Rotate down" to face your text left or right.

Type the text as you would normally. Press "Enter" to see your text align sideways.


Align your text left, right or centre after you have turned it sideways by clicking one of the alignment icons in the Alignment group.

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About the Author

Danielle Cort has been a freelance writer since 2008, specializing in psychology, health, education and parenting. She has published articles in "Family" magazine. Before becoming a freelance writer, Cort worked in the public policy research sector, conducting research, creating surveys and budgets. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in social psychology from the University of Massachusetts.