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Rotate & Center Vertical Text



Rotating text is quite simple with the transform and rotate property.

.rotate90 {
    transform: rotate(90deg)

Once the text is rotated, then you might face the issue of positioning. Especially related to a containing element. In this example, I want to center, horizontally and vertically, the rotated text in its containing element. I also want the containing element to maintain its relative position alongside its sibling elements.

Let’s say we have two columns on each end of a container with some main content in the center, similar to how a ticket might look. I want the outer columns to display vertically rotated and centered text on each end.

Let's use the following HTML as an example.

<div class="container">
    <div class="col"><span class="rotate rotate-up">ABC</span></div>
    <div class="content"><article>Main Content</article></div>
    <div class="col"><span class="rotate rotate-down">ABC</span></div>

First, give the col relative positioning. Then you can absolute'ly positioning the inner content, which in this example are the span elements.

Next, center the column content. I’ve broken out the styles into two classes, rotate and rotate-up, rotate-down.

.rotate {
    position: absolute;
    top: 50%;
    left: 50%;

.rotate-up {
    transform: translateX(-50%) translateY(-50%) rotate(-90deg)

.rotate-down {
    transform: translateX(-50%) translateY(-50%) rotate(90deg)

Now we have rotated text that's centered both vertically and horizontally within its container. It's responsive to the container height and width and we can still reason about the layout of the outer elements in a horizontal way if necessary.