"How To Excel" Mini-Tutorials
by TheExcelAddict.com
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Rotate Your Column Headings


Sometimes you may find that you are working with data that requires narrow columns but your headings are wider than will fit in the column? You could try Word Wrap (Format, Cells, Alignment, and put a checkmark in Word Wrap). However, sometimes that may not be what you need.

For example, I have a worksheet to keep track of attendance for my all-star soccer team. I have all the players names listed down the left column and I have the dates of the practices across the top. Because I enter an 'o' to denote each players attendance for each practice, my worksheet requires only narrow columns. However my dates don't fit to the column width.

So, in order to display my dates without having to make my columns too wide, I change the orientation of my headings so that they are on an a 45 degree angle.

Just try it.

  1. On a new sheet, adjust the width of columns C to H to 5.
  2. Enter todays date in cell C2 (CTRL+;).
  3. Drag the fill handle (the small black square on the bottom-right corner of the selection) and drag it across to cell H2.
  4. Now select Format, Cells, Number, Date, and select the format that matches DD-MMM-YY (or something similar).
  5. Select Format, Cells, Alignment, enter 45 in the Degrees box and click OK.
  6. With your heading cells still highlighted, select Format, Cells, and click the Border tab.
  7. Click on the Outline button, the Inside Button, and click OK.
As you can see, this gives you very nice looking column headings. I bet you'll find lots of uses for that.


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