Upside-Down Text with PostScript

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 31, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


There may be times when you want information to be printed upside-down in your document. For instance, you might want answers to questions to appear upsdide-down. Word doesn't provide a way to print text upside down; it only allows you to rotate text 90 degrees left or right.

If you have a PostScript printer and are using a PostScript printer driver to send information to that printer, you can use commands that will be interpreted directly by the printer, bypassing Word entirely. These commands can be used to print information upside-down, exactly as you want. For instance, the following can be placed in a PRINT field. (To enter field braces, press Ctrl+F9.)

{ PRINT \p page "/MyText (These are my answers)
def /FromLeft 8 def /FromBottom .5 def /Helvetica
findfont 9 scalefont setfont FromLeft 72 mul
FromBottom 72 mul moveto 180 rotate MyText show" }

All this field does is cause the words "These are my answers" to be printed upside-down in the bottom-right corner of the page. You can change the definitions for what is printed by changing the text within parentheses. If you want to change where the text is printed, change the FromLeft and FromBottom values. The values shown (8 for FromLeft and .5 for FromBottom) represent the distances, in inches.

Another important thing to remember is that printing upside down information in this manner works best with very short lines of text. Why? Because you are printing directly to the printer, not through a processor, such as Word. The text you specify does not automatically wrap to new lines. You could, however, make the font size really small (change the value just before the "scalefont" keyword) so you could fit more information on a single line. You will want to play with the field to get the exact result you want.

You should also note that the information in the PRINT field should appear on a single, long line in Word. Don't press Enter at any time within the field. This is of particular importance if you choose to copy the field code from this tip and paste it directly into a Word field.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1592) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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