You can easily increase the column width to fit more contents into a smaller area. However, increasing the column width means that you're going to be able to use fewer columns. Changing the alignment of the text can help overcome these limitations and allow you to display more information in a smaller space. In this guide, we are going to show you how to change text orientation in Excel and use angled headers.

The tilted headers, also known as angled headers, are diagonally oriented cell contents in Excel. You can adjust the orientation of a cell or range of cells in two ways:

  1. Via the Ribbon icon
  2. Via the Format Cells dialog

Change Text Orientation in Excel from the Ribbon

The Ribbon contains orientation options under the Alignment section of the Home tab. The options are listed in a dropdown under the icon labeled Orientation.

change text orientation in excel

The first two options rotate the contents of the selected cells by 45 degrees in the desired alignment. The example below shows both of these options.

change text orientation in excel

Alternatively, you can click on the last item to open the Format Cells dialog, and give a specific value for the angle. Let's see what you can find in the dialog.

Rotate headers by Format Cells dialog

The Format Cells dialog is where you can apply all formatting effects to your cell. You can open this dialog in several ways. The most popular ones are

  • Right-clicking on cell or range and click on Format Cells option
  • Or Ctrl + 1 key combination


After opening the dialog, you need to activate Alignment tab to see Orientation options. An alternative way to end up in the Alignment tab is to use the Format Cell Alignment command in the Ribbon as it is stated previously.

Once the Alignment tab is open, you can set an orientation angle by using the tool at the right side of the dialog.



Tip 1: A positive angle between 30 and 60 degrees usually works well.

Tip 2: After tilting the headers, use AutoFit feature to reduce columns to their smallest possible widths. You can adjust the column widths automatically by pressing this key sequence for windows: Alt, H, O, I

Press and release each key in order, you don’t need to hold any of them while pressing another. You can check our 10 Most Useful Shortcuts in Excel article for more shortcuts.