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Changing Text Angles in OpenOffice Calc

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 by | Filed Under: Uncategorized

Let’s face it, we don’t use Calc just to manipulate and do calculations with our data – we also use it to present information in a useful yet pleasing-to-the-eye setup.

Often I find that when I’m setting up the presentation of my information, I need to find ways to organize it all within a limited amount of space.

It’s at these times, I find that turning the direction of the text can be a very useful tool in space management as well as enhancing the look of the final product.

If having cells with vertically stacked text or maybe diagonal text is something you’re thinking could help you, then you’ll want to see this… you’re just a couple of clicks away from just the look you were hoping to get for your data.

To begin, you’ll need to select the cell(s) in which the text direction needs to be changed.

With the cells selected, go to the Format menu, Cells choice (Ctrl + 1).

Once in the Format Cells dialog box, you need to navigate to the Alignment tab, Text Orientation section to find your options for these types of changes.

The most prominent feature is the 360 degree radial dial where you can choose to rotate text any which way you desire.


Simply grab the dot on the circle and drag it around the circle until you’ve got the look you need to make your project work.

Next to the radial dial, you will find a field where you can enter the actual degree of rotation, if you happen to know it. Dragging the example text around the dial also works very well.

Just below the field for the degree of rotation is a series of 3 buttons.


These allow you to select which side of the cell the text will extend from once it’s turned.

The first one will set the text to extend diagonally from the lower border.
The second button will set the text to extend diagonally from the upper cell border.
The last one will set the text to diagonally extend within the cell.

Even with that explanation (found when I hovered over each button with the mouse pointer) I still found it useful to test each one and see for myself what would happen… so give them a try to get the look you desire.

And finally, to the right of all that is this simple option:


If you check this option any settings for rotation will be deactivated and the letters of the text will be stacked one on top of the other in the cell like this:


When you’ve made all the changes necessary simply click OK.

Back in your worksheet you’ll find that the selected cell(s) now contain text aligned per your settings and hopefully it’s helping you to present your information with just the right look that you were seeking.

~ April

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