# Using Text Rotation to Create Custom Table Headers in Google Sheets

The text rotation feature in Google Sheets rotates text in a cell, so it can be angled in any direction.

Find text rotation under the menu: Format > Rotation

It can also be accessed by a button on the far right side of the toolbar:

There are six preset modes as well as a custom angle option:

## Text Rotation Options

• None – no text rotation
• Tilt up – angle text upwards at 45°
• Tilt down – angle text downwards at 45°
• Stack vertically – stack the letters on top of each other vertically
• Rotate up – rotate the text 90° up
• Rotate down – rotate the text 90° down
• Custom angle – select an angle or type a custom angle

## Example 1: Text Rotation Headings

The most straightforward use case is to rotate headers upwards to save space and avoid wide columns:

## Example 2: Text Rotation Sidebar

This is achieved by merging cells, rotating text upwards inside the merged cell, adding a background color to column C, and then making B, C, and D narrow.

## Example 3: Text Rotation to Subdivide Cell

This example was prompted by a question from a reader:

How do I make a diagonal line to split a cell, so that I can enter text into two triangular subdivisions?

Although you can’t split a cell explicitly, you can use rotated text to achieve this effect.

Here’s an example showing a diagonal line to separate the row and column heading labels in a single cell:

To achieve this, use the CHAR function, the REPT function, and rotate the text.

The formula is:

`="Sales"&CHAR(10)&REPT(CHAR(8212),9)&CHAR(10)&"Regions"`

How does this work?

This function creates a line break:

`CHAR(10)`

And this one creates the em-dash character:

`CHAR(8212)`

Finally, the REPT function repeats the CHAR function 9 times, i.e. it creates 9 em-dash characters, which gives the appearance of the line:

`REPT(CHAR(8212),9)`

To finish, center align the cell and then rotate the text downwards using a custom angle around -40°.

### Caveat

You should only use this method for formatting and not for analysis.

Use it for presentation tables only, because it makes dataset column headings a mess for analysis work, like pivot tables or charts. Generally, labels in column A need their own column heading.

### Alternative Way To Subdivide A Cell

Here, the formula is:

`="Sales "&CHAR(8594)&CHAR(10)&"Regions "&CHAR(8595)`

This formula uses three different CHAR functions to add context and force a line break.

• CHAR(8594) produces the right arrow
• CHAR(10) produces a carriage return (new line)
• CHAR(8595) produces a down arrow

It makes the table much easier to interpret and reduces the chance of a user misreading the data.

This example is taken from the customer analysis section of my Data Analysis with Google Sheets course.

## More Table Formatting Tips

For more tips on formatting tables in Google Sheets, check out this post: How To Make a Table in Google Sheets, and Make It Look Great