Rotating a Drawing Object

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 9, 2015)

Excel allows you to create drawing objects in your worksheets. These objects (such as an oval, rectangle, line, or AutoShape) are positioned on what is termed the "drawing layer," which is separate and distinct from the contents of the worksheet. You generally create such objects by using the tools on the Drawing toolbar.

You can rotate the drawing object to any degree you desire. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Select the drawing object.
  2. If you are using Excel 97 or Excel 2000, click on the Free Rotate tool on the Drawing toolbar. Green rotation handles appear at the corners of the drawing object. (In Excel 2002 and Excel 2003 there is no Free Rotate tool on the Drawing toolbar. Instead, a single green rotation handle appears by the object whenever you select it.) (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. Rotation handle.

  4. Click on a rotation handle and drag the object in the direction desired.
  5. Press Esc when you are done rotating the object.

If you know exactly how much you want to rotate the drawing object, you can also do the following:

  1. Right-click on the drawing object. This displays a Context menu.
  2. Choose the Format AutoShape option from the Context menu. This displays the Format AutoShape dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Size tab is selected. (See Figure 2.)
  4. Figure 2. The Size tab of the Format AutoShape dialog box.

  5. Change the value in the Rotation box as desired.
  6. Click on OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2822) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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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