How to rotate Excel charts or worksheets: quick tip

Certain worksheets or charts may look much better if you change their orientation. So in today's how-to article we'll have a look at how to rotate Excel table or chart. This mainly affects the layout of the printed page, then you will also have a chance to see how to select paper size before printing.

Rotating the Excel chart

Excel charts help to make sense of your data. You can create line, pie and bar charts by selecting columns of data or using Excel's built-in tools. If you see that they look better rotated from portrait to landscape, you can do this in a couple of clicks.

  1. Click on the chart to see Chart Tools on the Ribbon.
  2. Select the Format tab.
    Excel chart tools - Select the Format tab
  3. Go to the Chart Elements drop down list and pick Vertical (Value) Axis.
    Excel charts -  Vertical(value) Axis
  4. Click the Format Selection button to see the Format Axis window.
    Click the Format Selection button to see the Format Axis window
  5. On the Format Axis window tick the Values in reverse order checkbox.
    Tick the Values in reverse order checkbox on this window

Change the spreadsheet orientation

Some worksheets are wider than they are tall, so you may find that printouts look better if you switch the orientation from the portrait mode to the landscape one.

You can find the Orientation button on the Page Layout tab of the ribbon. Click the button to get a drop-down menu and select between the Portrait and Landscape options.
You can find the Orientation button on the Page Layout tab of the Ribbon

Note. For some Excel documents the total page count can decrease in portrait or landscape mode. So you can play with the settings to see which works better.

Want to know how to tell Excel which size paper you need? Just click the Size button on the Page Layout tab, and select the desired size from the resulting drop-down list.

Hope you'll find this tip helpful. Have a nice day!

See also

24 comments to "How to rotate Excel charts or worksheets: quick tip"

  1. a says:

    This does NOT tell you how to rotate a chart. It tells you how to reverse the value order on an axis. Not the same thing.

    Excel does not seem to have a way to flip a normal distribution curve to be vertical rather than horizontal.

  2. Experimental says:

    i rotated the labels, axes labels etc everything by 90 deg, adjusted the size of the graph, took a pic and then rotated the pic.

  3. Victoria says:

    Hi everyone,
    I did a pivot and then a chart about the pivot. It is the only thing that really worked.

  4. 123 says:

    If you are using a vertical bar graph and want to keep the vertical axis, then add the horizontal axis and then select "categories in reverse order" for the horizontal axis only. This will rotate the graph 180 degrees so it reads right to left instead or left to right.

  5. Vikas says:

    I have one parabola and one circle. they are separated. i want to translate and rotate one of them so that they touch each other. How can I do that?

  6. Dreama says:

    Not what I was looking for. I am also looking for how to rotate a spreadsheet already created in landscape to portrait in order to incorporate it into a Word document. I can copy it as an image, but the quality is not that good. I really would just like to be able to pull up the spreadsheet in Word and manipulate it the way I need to.

  7. Bill says:

    If you actually want to rotate an Excel chart, the only way I've found is to use the camera tool in Excel. You will have to dig it out of the hidden tools by customizing your ribbon or quick access toolbar, but you can use it to take a live picture of the chart, and rotate it and do other picture type things. The advantage of using the camera tool is that it will automatically update when you change the underlying chart.

    • Alexander says:

      Hi Bron,

      Thank you for the image. At the moment we are writing a new post that covers many possible ways of rotating a chart. I will post a comment here as soon as the new post is published.

      You can achieve the result you are looking for in this way:
      - Double click on the horizontal labels of your chart. The "Format axis" pane will appear at the right of your chart.
      - Tick the "Values in reverse order" checkbox.

      You can do the same for categories:
      - Double click on the vertical labels of your chart and then tick the "Categories in reverse order" checkbox in the "Format axis" -> Axis options pane.

  8. Dave says:

    Likewise, not what was wanted. Only partial solution was to copy as an image into Word and print it out....not a live solution though :(

  9. Jeeson says:

    It is more than a year since we have asked for a solution. No one in Microsoft has cared to respond to our friend's request.

  10. Louise Allen says:

    Not quite what I was expecting! I was hoping to find out if a chart could rotated in the same way an image can be. I can tweak the orientation and positioning of the text but I need my area/line chart to be orientated the same way as my bar chart for a direct comparison.

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