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Rotating Text in Table Cells

Doug wrote:

I created a table and want to rotate my text so that is rotated -90 degrees (So that the text is written from bottom to top with the base of the text on the right hand side of the cell). But I only see an option to rotate text in positive increments!

For those folks who haven’t discovered this yet, you can rotate text inside a table cell by placing the text cursor inside the cell (or selecting one or more cells with the Type tool) and choosing Table > Cell Options > Text. (Alternatively, you can type Command-Option-B or Ctrl+Alt+B.) The Text Rotation pop-up menu offers four options: 0, 90, 180, and 270 degrees.

I can see your confusion, because most places you can specify a rotation allow you to type negative numbers to rotate counter-clockwise. However, remember that 270 degrees is actually the same as -90 (negative 90) degrees.

The second part of your requirement is to set the baseline of the text on the right side of the cell. That can be performed by choosing Align Bottom from the Vertical Justification popup menu:

Cell Options

If you prefer your text centered, choose Align Center from the pop-up menu instead, of course.

On a related subject, here’s a blog post on how to place your table headings on an angle.

David Blatner

David Blatner

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at
David Blatner

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7 Comments on “Rotating Text in Table Cells

  1. You can rotate text *frames* in any increment using the usual Rotation field or tool, but not text cells. For text in a table cell, you’d have to fake it with anchored text frames … that’s what the post that David links to is all about.

  2. @Richard: No, this is only in QuickBooks and Photoshop… just kidding. Not sure how you found this site, but this is about Adobe InDesign, not those other products.

  3. This is a shortcoming that still bothers me: There still seems to be no way of rotating text in InDesign table cells other than the 90°-steps. Hopefully this is going to be fixed soon. Ol’ Ventura Publisher was able to do that, so it should be possible.

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