How to Rotate Text in Microsoft Word

msword textbox menu

Updated: 11/18/2022 by Computer Hope

Horizontal, angled, and vertical text in Microsoft Word

By default, text is displayed horizontally in Microsoft Word. There may be cases where you want to rotate text to display at an angle or vertically instead. Rotating words, sentences, pictures, and other information can improve the document’s visual appeal and direct extra attention to important details on a page.

How to rotate text in a Word document

To rotate text in Word, you must first create a text box. Then, this object is turned to achieve the desired effect.

  1. Open an existing Microsoft Word file or create a new one, and click to place the text cursor where you want to add rotated text.
  2. In the Ribbon at the top, click the Insert tab.
  3. In the Text section of the Insert tab, click the Text Box option.

Text Box option in Text section of the Insert tab in Microsoft Word.

  1. In the drop-down menu, select a Built-in type of text box (A) to add to the document or select Draw Text Box (B) to create a plain text box.

Text Box selection menu in Microsoft Word

  1. If you selected a built-in text box, it is inserted in the document at the location of the text cursor. If you selected the Draw Text Box option, press and hold the left mouse button, then drag the mouse down and to the right. Release the left mouse button after “drawing” a square or rectangle text box.
  2. In the newly-added text box, delete any sample text added by Microsoft Word, then type the text you want to rotate.
  3. To rotate the text box and text in it, click the Rotate text box icon in Microsoft Word icon above the text box. While pressing the left mouse button on that rotate icon, drag the mouse clockwise or counterclockwise to rotate the text box.

Rotating a text box clockwise and counterclockwise in Microsoft Word.


If you want to format the text box to change the fill color, border, or other attributes, right-click the text box and select Format Picture in the pop-up menu. A Format Picture pane opens on the right side of the program window, providing multiple options for formatting the text box.


To precisely set the rotation value, click the text box, and then, in the Ribbon at the top, click the Shape Format tab, and then Arrange and then Rotate. Choose the desired option.

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