Update 2/22/17: Google has now added a built-in Rotated text feature in Google Sheets. Just go to Format > Text rotation. For more information, check out this post.  

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Fitting your text in your cells is a common challenge in a spreadsheet. There are easy fixes like adjusting the size of your columns or rows, but sometimes those adjustments can alter your spreadsheet view and the best option to make your text fit is to rotate it.

Have you ever tried searching for a rotate button in Google Sheets? You won’t have much luck finding an exact button, but there are workarounds you can use to rotate your text vertically and customize the degree you want to rotate your text. If you are working with a spreadsheet that stores a lot of data and requires filtering, then you may want to insert an image instead. Check out the video above and read the text below to learn these workarounds for rotating text.

To rotate your text vertically:

  • Find the text you want to rotate vertically.
  • Replace the text in the cell with this formula: =ARRAYFORMULA(CONCATENATE((MID( “Text to become vertical”, ROW(INDIRECT(“YY1:YY”&LEN( “Text to become vertical” ))), 1)&CHAR(10))))
  • In the text between the quotation marks (Text to become vertical), replace the text you want to rotate inside those quotation marks. There are two instances in the formula.
  • Hit Enter once you’ve typed out the text.
  • Your text will display vertically.

To customize the degree in which you want to rotate your text:

  • Find and copy the text you want to rotate.
  • Select Insert.
  • Click Drawing.
  • An “Insert Drawing“ window will appear.
  • Select the text box icon and draw your text box.
  • Paste the text you want to rotate into the text box.
  • Adjust the sizing of the text box as needed.
  • Hover your mouse over the top of the text box and wait until you see a plus sign “+.” This symbol means that you are ready to rotate.
  • Rotate the drawing to the degree that works for you.
  • When you are done rotating, click Save and Close.
  • Your drawing is now in your spreadsheet and you can move it around to where you need it to be.
  • To make any adjustments to the text, rotation, color, or other features, select the drawing and find the drop down menu that appears once the drawing is selected.

Click here to watch this video on YouTube.


UP NEXT: How to Insert a Screenshot or Screen Clipping in Word

10 thoughts on “How to Rotate Text in Google Sheets

  1. Jeanna Wagner Reply

    This is a terrible “solution.” Sheets should incorporate a dial that allows the user to select the degree of rotation like Microsoft Excel does. I can’t believe that this is a gooru “tip.” Do better Google.

    • Dylan Press Reply

      I wish there was a better solution too. This is a workaround because Google doesn’t offer a better solution at this time.

  2. Michael Wallace Reply

    Is there a way to rotate text in Google Docs? I want to rotate text 90 degrees to use in a table row header.

    • Dylan Press Reply

      You would have to insert a drawing and rotate the text in the drawing. It is a bit of a workaround but the closest you can get right now.

  3. Arlene Reply

    I copied and pasted the formula above to rotate text. I replaced the text in both areas, hit enter and got a “Parse Error.

    • Dylan Press Reply

      Try this, =ARRAYFORMULA(CONCATENATE((MID( “My Data”; ROW(INDIRECT(“YY1:YY”&LEN( “My Data” ))); 1)&CHAR(10))))

      • Jerakin Reply

        The citation marks are wrong, change them and it should work.

    • Judith Tucker Reply

      Same thing happened to me. I even tried Dylan Press’ suggested reply code below from 4/27/16 and still got Parse Error. What am I doing wrong? I didn’t even substitute anything for “My Data.”

  4. Arlene Reply

    How do you change the formula so the text starts from the bottom up instead of top down?

    • Dylan Press Reply

      Looking at the formula it seems the best way would be to just write your phrase backwards

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