Rotate or reposition data in a cell

For the optimal display of the data on your worksheet (worksheet: The primary document that you use in Excel to store and work with data. Also called a spreadsheet. A worksheet consists of cells that are organized into columns and rows; a worksheet is always stored in a workbook.), you may want to reposition the data within a cell. You can change the alignment of the cell contents, use indentation for better spacing, or display the data at a different angle by rotating it.

  1. Select the cell or range (range: Two or more cells on a sheet. The cells in a range can be adjacent or nonadjacent.) of cells that contains the data that you want to reposition.

ShowHow to select a cell or a range

To select Do this
A single cell Click the cell, or press the arrow keys to move to the cell.
A range of cells

Click the first cell in the range, and then drag to the last cell, or hold down SHIFT while you press the arrow keys to extend the selection.

You can also select the first cell in the range, and then press F8 to extend the selection by using the arrow keys. To stop extending the selection, press F8 again.

A large range of cells Click the first cell in the range, and then hold down SHIFT while you click the last cell in the range. You can scroll to make the last cell visible.
All cells on a worksheet

Click the Select All button.

Select All button

To select the entire worksheet, you can also press CTRL+A.

 Note   If the worksheet contains data, CTRL+A selects the current region. Pressing CTRL+A a second time selects the entire worksheet.

Nonadjacent cells or cell ranges

Select the first cell or range of cells, and then hold down CTRL while you select the other cells or ranges.

You can also select the first cell or range of cells, and then press SHIFT+F8 to add another nonadjacent cell or range to the selection. To stop adding cells or ranges to the selection, press SHIFT+F8 again.

 Note   You cannot cancel the selection of a cell or range of cells in a nonadjacent selection without canceling the entire selection.

An entire row or column

Click the row or column heading.

Worksheet showing row heading and column heading

 Row heading
 Column heading

You can also select cells in a row or column by selecting the first cell and then pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW key (RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW for rows, UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW for columns).

 Note   If the row or column contains data, CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW key selects the row or column to the last used cell. Pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW key a second time selects the entire row or column.

Adjacent rows or columns Drag across the row or column headings. Or select the first row or column; then hold down SHIFT while you select the last row or column.
Nonadjacent rows or columns Click the column or row heading of the first row or column in your selection; then hold down CTRL while you click the column or row headings of other rows or columns that you want to add to the selection.
The first or last cell in a row or column Select a cell in the row or column, and then press CTRL+ARROW key (RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW for rows, UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW for columns).
The first or last cell on a worksheet or in a Microsoft Office Excel table

Press CTRL+HOME to select the first cell on the worksheet or in an Excel list.

Press CTRL+END to select the last cell on the worksheet or in an Excel list that contains data or formatting.

Cells to the last used cell on the worksheet (lower-right corner) Select the first cell, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+END to extend the selection of cells to the last used cell on the worksheet (lower-right corner).
Cells to the beginning of the worksheet Select the first cell, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+HOME to extend the selection of cells to the beginning of the worksheet.
More or fewer cells than the active selection Hold down SHIFT while you click the last cell that you want to include in the new selection. The rectangular range between the active cell (active cell: The selected cell in which data is entered when you begin typing. Only one cell is active at a time. The active cell is bounded by a heavy border.) and the cell that you click becomes the new selection.

 Tip   To cancel a selection of cells, click any cell on the worksheet.

 Note   To cancel a selection of cells, click any cell on the worksheet.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Alignment group, do one or more of the following:

Alignment group on Excel Ribbon

  • To change the vertical alignment of cell contents, click Top Align Button image, Middle Align Button image, or Bottom Align Button image.
  • To change the horizontal alignment of cell contents, click Align Text Left Button image, Center Button image, or Align Text Right Button image.
  • To change the indentation of cell contents, click Decrease Indent Button image or Increase Indent Button image.
  • To rotate the cell contents, click Orientation Button image, and then select the rotation option that you want.
  • To use additional text alignment options, click the Dialog Box Launcher Button image next to Alignment, and then on the Alignment tab of the Format Cells dialog box, select the options that you want.

 Tip   To center or align data that spans several columns or rows, such as column and row labels, first click Merge and Center Button image to merge (merged cell: A single cell that is created by combining two or more selected cells. The cell reference for a merged cell is the upper-left cell in the original selected range.) a selected range of cells. Then you can select the merged cell and reposition its cell contents as described earlier in this procedure.

 Note   Microsoft Office Excel cannot rotate indented cells or cells that are formatted with the Center Across Selection or Fill alignment option in the Horizontal box (Format Cells dialog box, Alignment tab). If all of the selected cells have these conflicting alignment formats, the text rotation options under Orientation are not available. If the selection includes cells that are formatted with other, nonconflicting alignment options, the rotation options are available. However, cells that are formatted with a conflicting alignment format are not rotated.

 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2007