There may be times when you want to change the direction of text in Word. This is easily done using text boxes or shapes or using cells in a table. We will show you both methods for changing the direction of text.

Change the Direction of Text in a Text Box or Shape

To change the direction of text using a text box or shape, insert a text box using the Text Box tool in the Text section of the Insert tab or a shape using the Shapes tool in the Illustrations section of the Insert tab. Enter text into the text box or shape. Make sure the text box or shape is selected and click the Format tab under Drawing Tools.

In the Text section of the Format tab, click Text Direction and select an option to rotate the text. Symbols next to the options show you how the text will display after applying each option.

The text is rotated and the text box is reshaped accordingly.

You can also select Text Direction Options from the Text Direction drop-down menu to rotate text.


Select an Orientation on the Text Direction dialog box. A Preview displays on the right side of the dialog box. Click OK to accept your selection.

Change the Direction of Text in Table Cells

You can also change the direction of text in one or more table cells. To do so, select the cells for which you want to change the text direction and click the Layout tab under Table Tools.

Click Text Direction in the Alignment section of the Layout tab.

Each time you click Text Direction, a different direction is applied. Keep clicking the button until the desired direction is applied.

You can also right click on the selected text in the table cells and select Text Direction from the popup menu to change text direction in a table.

Lori Kaufman Lori Kaufman
Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She's been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
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