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Changing the rotation of chart text

From: Excel 2007: Charts in Depth

Video: Changing the rotation of chart text

In certain charts, particularly those where you have a number of items within a series, you need to adjust the text by rotating it to accommodate either more explanatory information or simply to see all of the text labels. And the best way to make these changes usually is by way of the Orientation button on the Home tab. And you can do this to different parts of a chart, different text entries, although I think it's most commonly done along the bottom of the chart where the actual labels for the columns in this chart on left occur.

Changing the rotation of chart text

In certain charts, particularly those where you have a number of items within a series, you need to adjust the text by rotating it to accommodate either more explanatory information or simply to see all of the text labels. And the best way to make these changes usually is by way of the Orientation button on the Home tab. And you can do this to different parts of a chart, different text entries, although I think it's most commonly done along the bottom of the chart where the actual labels for the columns in this chart on left occur.

So let's just click on that section of the chart here, and on the Home tab the Orientation button is in the Alignment group. We could angle these at different direction, this way possibly. No real reason to do that here, probably because we can see the months anyway, but again we have some choices, and I wouldn't recommend Vertical Text, but some people try that, and that could be acceptable here and there, but I doubt it, and some other choices as well here too. Let's say that either angle counterclockwise or maybe just back to the way it had been from the beginning.

Strangely enough, you can do this with a title. It's going to look a little bit strange here, but you can here and there do that for a special effect. You can't do this with a legend, but you could do it with a text over on the left-hand side as well. Now you will notice in some charts the text is angled, even if you didn't make the selection. In the original data that this chart is based on in columns A through D, I am going to change the A5 entry for January and actually spell out the month. As I complete this entry, keep an eye on the chart. We see January here and if I fill in the others, we see what's happening.

Now we are seeing every other month, and so what happens sometimes when you create charts, you will see the angled text automatically, but if you have been altering them sometimes it's a little bit unpredictable. So I if click on the chart and just click one of those labels there and go back to the Home tab and use the Angle text button, choose this, we'll see that kind of an entry. And there it would be appropriate, if its important, to see the full spelling of the months. But you will sometimes see these when you create a chart after having, for example, gone to the Design tab if you made a chart layout choice, sometimes you will see these automatically appearing here.

So you do have some control over it, and it's easy to use. If you happen to right-click, as I have been suggesting with a lot of other formatting choices, if you then go to Format Axis, although you do have some control here on the Alignment tab, not only does it take longer to get here, but you are going to have to put in custom angles this way. If you choose these boxes, you get a very limited set. That's not to say these are not workable or usable, but it doesn't have the fluidity or the ease that the Orientation button on the Home tab has.

So here and there you might try this, but it's not nearly as good as using the Orientation button that we have on the Home tab. So once again we click here, back to the Home tab. The example currently probably is the way I would want it. Sometimes you'll see text angled this way as well. But again you can see why it's necessary here. If I do take this off-- remember, if we take off the angle clockwise, you are going to only see every other month. When these are values sometimes what you will do to accommodate this is make the chart wider, but we are going to make this one a lot wider for all the labels, and see, now they appear.

So sometimes you will experiment with that approach as well. So, for those many different times when you need to adjust the angle of the text, the fastest way is going to be on the Home tab and the Orientation button found in the Alignment group.

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This video is part of

Image for Excel 2007: Charts in Depth
Excel 2007: Charts in Depth

53 video lessons · 9233 viewers

Dennis Taylor
Author

 
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  1. 1m 49s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      46s
  2. 22m 7s
    1. Identifying chart elements like plot area, chart area, gridlines, and legends
      5m 3s
    2. Selecting the right chart type
      8m 2s
    3. Understanding chart terminology
      6m 31s
    4. Understanding the Ribbon and the Design, Layout, and Format tabs
      2m 31s
  3. 16m 24s
    1. Selecting data to display as a chart
      6m 17s
    2. Creating charts instantly with shortcuts
      4m 33s
    3. Creating charts with standard menu commands
      2m 24s
    4. Creating presentation-ready charts with just a few adjustments
      3m 10s
  4. 28m 8s
    1. Switching rows and columns for a different view of the data
      3m 9s
    2. Setting a default chart type and creating a template
      3m 47s
    3. Dealing with empty and hidden cells
      4m 18s
    4. Choosing a chart layout
      4m 33s
    5. Choosing a chart style from 48 colorful variations
      3m 34s
    6. Changing the location of a chart
      3m 33s
    7. Moving and resizing a chart
      5m 14s
  5. 11m 25s
    1. Using pictures as chart elements
      3m 55s
    2. Adding shapes and arrows
      3m 37s
    3. Adding floating text and text boxes
      3m 53s
  6. 33m 45s
    1. Adding, editing, and removing chart titles
      3m 15s
    2. Adding horizontal and vertical titles
      3m 56s
    3. Linking titles to content
      2m 32s
    4. Showing numbers of different scales
      4m 38s
    5. Specifying the position of tick marks and axis labels
      2m 41s
    6. Changing the numeric format on labels
      5m 34s
    7. Adding, editing, and removing legends
      3m 19s
    8. Adding and editing data labels
      4m 40s
    9. Showing the source of a chart's data
      3m 10s
  7. 8m 13s
    1. Modifying axis scaling
      3m 50s
    2. Working with gridlines
      4m 23s
  8. 12m 53s
    1. Analyzing existing and future data with trendlines
      4m 2s
    2. Adding drop lines
      3m 14s
    3. Adding high-low lines and up-down bars
      1m 39s
    4. Adding error bars
      3m 58s
  9. 9m 13s
    1. Selecting shape fill and outline
      3m 3s
    2. Adding shape effects
      3m 19s
    3. Applying WordArt styles
      2m 51s
  10. 16m 33s
    1. Formatting lines and borders
      4m 24s
    2. Filling an area with a color gradient
      2m 7s
    3. Specifying line style, color, and weight
      2m 46s
    4. Working with chart text
      3m 40s
    5. Changing the rotation of chart text
      3m 36s
  11. 38m 39s
    1. Using column and bar charts
      7m 24s
    2. Using line charts
      5m 46s
    3. Using pie charts
      8m 37s
    4. Using area, stock, and XY charts
      9m 3s
    5. Using doughnut, bubble, and radar charts
      7m 49s
  12. 10m 55s
    1. Pasting new data into a chart
      2m 58s
    2. Creating charts from multiple data sources
      3m 39s
    3. Adding new data using a table
      4m 18s
  13. 6m 19s
    1. Printing charts
      6m 19s
  14. 19s
    1. Next steps
      19s

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