Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Alignment and Orientation
Finally, the Alignment tab lets you rotate content in a cell up to 180 degrees, as
shown in Figure 16-10. You can set the number of degrees in the Orientation box
on the right of the Alignment tab. Rotating cell content automatically changes the
size of the cell. Usually, you’ll see it become narrower and taller to accommodate the
Here’s a worksheet
that shows one of
Excel’s most commonly
used formatting tricks
(merged cells), along
with one of its most
exotic (rotated text).
(A1 to C1)
(B7 to D8)
Tip: You can use the Home➝Alignment section of the ribbon to quickly change alignment, indenting,
rotation, and wrapping, without opening the Format Cells dialog box.
FreqUently Asked qUestion
Shrinking Text and Merging Cells So You Can Fit More Text into a Cell
I’m frequently writing out big chunks of text that I’d love
to scrunch into a single cell. Do I have any options other
than text wrapping?
fit in a single cell (like a long title that you want to display
over every column). For example, if you merge cells A1,
B1, and C1, you end up with a single cell named A1 that
stretches over the full width of the A, B, and C columns, as
shown in Figure 16-11.
You betcha. When you need to store a large amount of
text in one cell, text wrapping is a good choice. But it’s not
your only option. You can also shrink the size of the text
or merge multiple cells, both from the Format Cells dialog
box’s Alignment tab.
To merge cells, select the cells you want to join, choose
Home➝Cells➝Format➝Format Cells, and then, on the
Alignment tab, turn on the “Merge cells” checkbox. There’s
no limit to how many cells you can merge. (In fact, you
can actually convert your entire worksheet into a single cell
if you want to go crazy.) And if you change your mind,
don’t worry—you simply need to select the single merged
cell, choose Home➝Cells➝Format➝Format Cells again,
and then turn off the “Merge cells” checkbox to redraw the
To shrink a cell’s contents, select the “Shrink to fit”
checkbox. Be warned, however, that if you have a small column
that doesn’t use wrapping, this option can quickly reduce
your text to vanishingly small proportions.
Joining multiple cells together removes the cells’ shared
borders and creates one mega-sized cell. Usually, you’ll do
this to accommodate a large amount of content that can’t