How to Rotate Text in Word

Image of two words with the text of one word rotated

Rick Davy/EyeEm/Getty Images

When you want to change text direction in Word, you have several choices. But, before you can rotate text in Word, you’ll need to create a text box or a table and add text to it. With your text inside a text box or a table, you can point your words in different directions.

You cannot rotate text on Word Online and the Word mobile apps. This feature is only available on the Word desktop apps for PC and Mac.

How to Rotate a Text Box in Word

Text boxes make it easy to change the direction of text in word. All you do is create the text box, add some text, and decide how to rotate the text box.

To create a text box, select Insert > Text Box and choose one of the built-in designs. To add text, select the text box and begin typing.

A screenshot of the rotation handle for a text box in Word
Drag the rotation handle on a text box to rotate the text.

To rotate the text with the rotation handle, select the text box and drag the rotation handle to the right or to the left. Release it when the text is in the direction you want.

To rotate the text box by 15-degree increments, hold Shift while dragging the rotation handle.

To rotate the text box 90 degrees:

  • In Word for PC: Select the text box, select Layout > Rotate, and choose either Rotate Right 90° or Rotate Left 90°.
  • In Word for Mac: Click the text box, click Shape Format > Arrange > Rotate > Rotate, and choose either Rotate Right 90° or Rotate Left 90°.
A screenshot showing the Rotation settings to set a custom angle
Choose a custom rotation angle.

To set a custom rotation angle:

  • In Word for PC: Select the text box, select Layout > Rotate, and select More Rotation Options. From the Size tab, change the rotation angle to the angle you need.
  • In Word for Mac: Click the text box, click Shape Format > Arrange > Rotate > Rotate, and click More Rotation Options. From the Size tab, change the rotation angle so the text points in the direction you need.

How to Rotate Text in a Text Box

Instead of rotating the text box, you can opt to rotate the text inside the box instead.

You can also rotate text inside a shape.

A screenshot showing the options to rotate text direction in a text box
Choose how to rotate text inside a text box.

To rotate text in a text box, select Drawing Tools Format > Text Direction and choose either Rotate all text 90° or Rotate all text 270°. The text will appear vertically on the page.

To align the text inside a text box, select Drawing Tools Format > Align Text, and align the text with the right side of the text box, the left side, or the center.

How to Change Text Direction in a Table

You can also rotate text inside a table. Rotating text makes it possible to have narrow rows in a table.

To create a table, select Insert > Table and choose a table size.

A screenshot showing the options to change text direction in a table
Change text direction in a Word table.

To change text direction in a table:

  1. Select the cell containing the text you want to change direction.

  2. To change the text direction, select Table Tools Layout > Text Direction. The text will rotate to the right. Select Text Direction again to rotate the text another 90 degrees.

  3. To change the text alignment, choose an Alignment option to change how the text appears in the cell. You can align the text to the center, to the left, to the right, to the bottom, or to the top.