Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Setting Orientation of Cell Values.

Setting Orientation of Cell Values

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 12, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Excel allows you to easily adjust how you want information to appear within a cell. The Alignment tab within the Format Cells dialog box allows you to specify how information should be oriented (in which direction the text should be printed). You can set orientation in the following manner:

  1. Select the cells whose orientation you want to change.
  2. Choose Cells from the Format menu. Excel displays the Format Cells dialog box.
  3. Click on the Alignment tab. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Alignment tab of the Format Cells dialog box.

  5. Use the Orientation section to specify the angle (in degrees) at which the headings should be turned. You can set any value between 90 degrees and –90 degrees.
  6. Click on OK. Your headings are turned as you directed.
  7. Format your columns to so their width is better suited to the new text orientation.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2758) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Setting Orientation of Cell Values.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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