# Horizontal vs. Vertical — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Fiza Rafique — Published on September 18, 2023
Horizontal refers to the orientation parallel to the Earth's surface or the x-axis, while vertical pertains to the orientation perpendicular to the Earth's surface or along the y-axis.

## Key Differences

Horizontal and vertical are terms often used to describe orientation or direction. In geometry, a horizontal line runs left to right and is parallel to the x-axis, whereas a vertical line runs up and down and is parallel to the y-axis. In everyday language, horizontal could refer to something like the horizon, which appears "flat" to our perspective. Vertical, on the other hand, is like a tree standing upright.
In business, the terms horizontal and vertical are used to describe types of market integration. A horizontal integration involves merging companies that are at the same stage of production, whereas vertical integration involves companies at different stages of production, like a car manufacturer acquiring a tire company. The former aims to expand reach, while the latter aims to streamline the production process.
In computing, the orientation of data or display can also be described as horizontal or vertical. Data arrays can be organized horizontally (in rows) or vertically (in columns). When you change your phone's orientation from portrait to landscape, you're switching from a vertical display to a horizontal one.
Finally, in photography, the terms horizontal and vertical are used to describe the layout of images. A horizontal photograph is wider than it is tall, and it captures more of the surroundings. A vertical photograph is taller than it is wide and often captures subjects that are standing or elongated objects like skyscrapers.

## Comparison Chart

### Orientation in Geometry

Parallel to the x-axis
Parallel to the y-axis

### Direction in Landscape

Left-to-right or East-to-West
Up-and-down or North-to-South

Companies at the same stage
Companies at different stages

### In Computing

Data organized in rows
Data organized in columns

### In Photography

Wider than it is tall
Taller than it is wide

## Compare with Definitions

#### Horizontal

Business: "Horizontal integration involves companies at the same stage of production."
The two software companies engaged in a horizontal merger.

#### Vertical

Geometry: "In geometry, vertical lines are parallel to the y-axis."
The vertical axis on the graph shows the amount.

#### Horizontal

Geometry: "In geometry, horizontal lines are parallel to the x-axis."
The horizontal axis on the graph shows time.

#### Vertical

Business: "Vertical integration involves companies at different stages of production."
The car company achieved vertical integration by acquiring a tire manufacturer.

#### Horizontal

Computing: "Horizontal data arrays are organized in rows."
The Excel sheet displayed the data in a horizontal manner.

#### Vertical

Photography: "A vertical photograph is taller than it is wide."
The skyscraper was captured perfectly in a vertical shot.

#### Horizontal

Photography: "A horizontal photograph is wider than it is tall."
The landscape looked stunning in the horizontal frame.

#### Vertical

Standing, pointing, or moving straight up or down; parallel to the local direction of gravity; along the direction of a plumb line; perpendicular to something horizontal.
Vertical lines

#### Horizontal

Of, relating to, or near the horizon.

#### Vertical

In a two-dimensional Cartesian co-ordinate system, describing the axis y oriented normal (perpendicular, at right angles) to the horizontal axis x.

#### Horizontal

Parallel to or in the plane of the horizon.

#### Vertical

At right angles to the plane of the horizon or a base line;
A vertical camera angle
The monument consists of two vertical pillars supporting a horizontal slab
Measure the perpendicular height
An inclined plane

#### Horizontal

At right angles to a vertical line.

#### Vertical

Direction: "Vertical refers to an up-and-down orientation."
The tree grew in a vertical direction.

#### Horizontal

Occupying or restricted to the same level in a hierarchy
A horizontal study of verbal ability.
A horizontal transfer by an employee.

#### Vertical

Being or situated at right angles to the horizon; upright.

#### Horizontal

(Medicine) Of or relating to transmission of infection by contact with or physical proximity to an infected individual or fomite.

#### Vertical

Situated at the vertex or highest point; directly overhead.

#### Horizontal

Something, such as a line, plane, or object, that is horizontal.

#### Vertical

(Anatomy) Of or relating to the vertex of the head.

#### Horizontal

Perpendicular to the vertical; parallel to the plane of the horizon; level, flat.
Horizontal lines

#### Vertical

Relating to or involving all stages from production to sale
Vertical integration.

#### Horizontal

(marketing) Relating to horizontal markets

#### Vertical

Of or relating to a business model that offers a specific product or service to a specific customer base rather than offering a wide range of products or services in a wider market.

#### Horizontal

(archaic) Pertaining to the horizon.

#### Vertical

Relating to or composed of elements at different levels, as of society.

#### Horizontal

(wine) Involving wines of the same vintages but from different wineries.

#### Vertical

(Medicine) Of or relating to transmission of a disease or condition from parent to offspring, either through genetic inheritance or through circumstances occurring between conception and birth.

#### Horizontal

Having the two notes sound successively.

#### Vertical

Something vertical, as a line, plane, or circle.

#### Horizontal

A horizontal component of a structure.

#### Vertical

A vertical position.

#### Horizontal

(geology) Horizon.

#### Vertical

In a three-dimensional co-ordinate system, describing the axis z oriented normal (perpendicular, orthogonal) to the basic plane xy.

#### Horizontal

A Tasmanian shrub or small tree whose main trunk tends to lean over and grow horizontally, Anodopetalum biglandulosum

#### Vertical

(marketing) Of or pertaining to vertical markets.

#### Horizontal

Pertaining to, or near, the horizon.

#### Vertical

(wine tasting) Involving different vintages of the same wine type from the same winery.

#### Horizontal

Parallel to the horizon; on a level; as, a horizontalline or surface.

#### Vertical

(music) Of an interval: having the two notes sound simultaneously.

#### Horizontal

Measured or contained in a plane of the horizon; as, horizontal distance.

#### Vertical

A vertex or zenith.

#### Horizontal

Something that is oriented horizontally

#### Vertical

A vertical geometrical figure; a perpendicular.

#### Horizontal

Parallel to or in the plane of the horizon or a base line;
A horizontal surface
A vertical camera angle
The monument consists of two vertical pillars supporting a horizontal slab
Measure the perpendicular height

#### Vertical

An individual slat in a set of vertical blinds.

#### Horizontal

Direction: "Horizontal refers to a left-to-right orientation."
The horizon appears horizontal to the observer.

#### Vertical

A vertical component of a structure.

#### Vertical

(marketing) A vertical market.
We offer specialised accounting software targeting various verticals.

#### Vertical

Of or pertaining to the vertex; situated at the vertex, or highest point; directly overhead, or in the zenith; perpendicularly above one.
Charity . . . is the vertical top of all religion.

#### Vertical

Perpendicular to the plane of the horizon; upright; plumb; as, a vertical line.

#### Vertical

Vertical position; zenith.

#### Vertical

A vertical line, plane, or circle.

#### Vertical

Something that is oriented vertically

#### Vertical

A vertical structural member as a post or stake;
The ball sailed between the uprights

#### Vertical

Upright in position or posture;
An erect stature
Erect flower stalks
For a dog, an erect tail indicates aggression
A column still vertical amid the ruins
He sat bolt upright

#### Vertical

Computing: "Vertical data arrays are organized in columns."
The database used a vertical storage format.

## Common Curiosities

#### What is Horizontal Integration in Business?

It involves merging companies at the same stage of production.

#### How is Horizontal different from Vertical?

Horizontal is parallel to the x-axis, while vertical is parallel to the y-axis.

#### What does Horizontal mean?

Horizontal refers to orientation parallel to the Earth's surface or x-axis.

#### Are Horizontal and Vertical Relative Terms?

Yes, their meaning can depend on the context or point of reference.

#### What does Vertical mean in Computing?

It refers to data or layouts organized in columns.

#### Can a Line be both Horizontal and Vertical?

No, a line cannot be both; it's either horizontal or vertical.

#### What does Vertical mean?

Vertical pertains to orientation perpendicular to the Earth's surface or y-axis.

#### How do Horizontal and Vertical differ in Photography?

Horizontal photographs are wider, while vertical photographs are taller.

#### What does Horizontal mean in Computing?

It refers to data or layouts organized in rows.

#### Is the Horizon Horizontal?

Yes, the horizon appears horizontal from most vantage points.

#### What is Vertical Integration in Business?

It involves merging companies at different stages of production.

#### Can Horizontal and Vertical be used metaphorically?

Yes, for example, "horizontal thinking" refers to creativity, while "vertical thinking" refers to analytical skills.

#### What does Horizontal mean in Mathematics?

It refers to lines or planes parallel to the x-axis.

#### What does Vertical mean in Mathematics?

It refers to lines or planes parallel to the y-axis.

#### Is a Tree Vertical?

Generally, a healthy tree grows in a vertical direction.

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