Rotate or reposition data in a cell

In this article, you will rotate or reposition the text within a cell. You can display data at a different angle by rotating it. You can also change the alignment of the cell contents, and use indentation for better spacing.

  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 rotate or 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 of the range and then press F8 to extend the selection by using the arrow keys.

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.

 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

Callout 1 Row heading
Callout 2 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.
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.

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

  1. On the Format menu, click Cells.
  2. On the Alignment tab, do one of the following:
    • To change the horizontal alignment of the cell contents, click the alignment that you want in the Horizontal box.

 Note   If you choose the Fill or Center Across Selection horizontal alignment option, text rotation will be disabled for those cells.

  • To change the vertical alignment of the cell contents, click the alignment that you want in the Vertical box.
  • To indent the cell contents, click Left (Indent), Right (Indent), or Distributed (Indent) in the Horizontal box, and then type the amount of indentation that you want (in characters) in the Indent box.
  • To display the cell contents vertically from top to bottom, under Orientation, click the box that contains the vertical text.
  • To rotate the text in a cell, under Orientation, click or drag the indicator to the angle that you want, or type an angle in the Degrees box.

 Note   If you save the workbook in another file format, the rotated text may not be displayed at the correct angle. Most file formats do not support rotation within the full 180 degrees (+90 through –90 degrees) that is possible in Microsoft Office Excel 2003. For example, earlier versions of Excel can rotate text only at angles of +90, 0 (zero), or –90 degrees.

  • To restore the default alignment of selected cells, click General in the Horizontal box.

Tips

 Notes 

  • Excel cannot rotate indented cells or cells that are formatted with the Center Across Selection or Fill alignment option in the Horizontal box of the Alignment tab (Cells command, Format menu). If all 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 formatted with a conflicting alignment format are not rotated.
  • If you save the workbook in another file format, the rotated text may be lost or not displayed at the correct angle. Most file formats do not support rotation within the full 180 degrees (+90 through –90 degrees) that is possible in Microsoft Office Excel 2003. For example, earlier versions of Excel can rotate text only at angles of +90, 0 (zero), or –90 degrees. If the specified angle of rotation cannot be maintained in the other file format, the text is not rotated.
 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2003