Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Changing Text Orientation.

Changing Text Orientation

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 22, 2015)


Word provides you with the capability of changing the orientation of your text, provided that the text is within an AutoShape, text box, or table cell. This means that you can rotate this type of text ninety degrees, in either direction, from its normal appearance. To change text orientation, follow these steps:

  1. Select the AutoShape, text box, or table cell that contains the text whose orientation you want to change.
  2. Choose the Text Direction option from the Format menu. Word displays the Text Direction dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Text Direction dialog box.

  4. Choose an orientation from those offered.
  5. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1707) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Changing Text Orientation.

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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What is four less than 8?

2016-06-01 06:35:06

Biplab Chandra

What are the uses of "Apply to:"

2015-01-31 10:28:44

pradyot karve

We are using 2 languages arabic and english. In a part of the word document i am unable to write in english. What ever i write comes as a mirror image, with the cursor remaining on right side like in arabic.
How do i make it accept english way of writing.

2013-12-19 07:53:55


this is a table data direction but with out table words type but no direction button active
please solve this

2012-11-22 02:14:20


I have changed the body text to be vertical in word 2002 (xp) and have the documents as proof. I just don't remember how I did it since it was done a while ago.

I someone can help me remember, I could send the document.


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