How To Rotate a Text Box in Microsoft Word (5 Methods)

Updated December 12, 2022

Microsoft Word is a powerful word processing program that people use in a variety of fields. One feature it offers is the ability to rotate text within documents. If you use Microsoft Word frequently, it may be helpful to learn how to use this feature.

In this article, we explain how to rotate a text box in Microsoft Word, provide steps for inserting and mirroring a text box, and discuss why you might want to rotate text in a Word document. 

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How to rotate a text box in Word using 5 methods

These are several methods that you can use to change the orientation of text in Microsoft Word:

1. Rotate a text box in Microsoft Word for Windows using the rotation arrow

You can use the following steps to rotate text in Microsoft Word for Windows. If you're using Microsoft Word online, you can switch to the desktop version of Word to gain this feature:

  1. Select the text box by clicking anywhere inside the shape. When you do so, a circular arrow appears at the top-middle of the box. 

  2. Click on that arrow and drag it either to the left or to the right. The box rotates in the direction you drag your cursor. 

  3. If you want to limit the rotation of the box by 15 degrees, you can press shift while dragging the handle. 

  4. Click anywhere in the document outside the text box to deselect it and view the rotated text. 

Related: How To Use a CV Template in Microsoft Word (With Examples)

2. Rotate a text box in Microsoft Word for Windows using the toolbar

After inserting your text box, you can use the following steps to rotate it:

  1. Double-click on one of the edges of the text box to change the tool banner at the top of the page to change to a text box-specific set of tools. You can also do this by selecting the "Shape Format" tab at the top of the page. 

  2. Once the menu appears, click the "Rotate Objects" button in the "Arrange" section of the toolbar. The icon for this button shows a triangle flipping onto its side.

  3. Select either "Rotate Right 90°," "Rotate Left 90°," "Flip Vertical," "Flip Horizontal" or "More Rotation Options" according to your desires.

  4. Selecting "More Rotation Options" opens the "Layout" panel within Word. Find the "Rotate" section and input the number of degrees you'd like to rotate the text box, then click "Ok."

Related: How To Make Business Cards in Microsoft Word (With Template)

3. Rotate a text box in Microsoft Word for Mac

You may rotate a text box in Microsoft Word on Mac computer by following the same steps above for rotating a text box in Microsoft Word on a Windows computer using the rotation arrow. You may also do the following:

  1. Select the text box. 

  2. Hold "Option" on your keyboard and press the right or left arrow keys to rotate your text box. 

  3. Click anywhere in the document outside the text box to finalize your change when you finish the rotation. 

Related: How To Create a Resume Using a Template in Word (With Tips)

4. Rotate text as a picture in Microsoft Word

You can use these steps to convert text into a picture and rotate it in 3D in Microsoft Word:

  1. Write the section of text you want to rotate, then highlight it to select the text. 

  2. Right-click on the selected text, then click "Copy."

  3. Go to the toolbar at the top of the page and select "Home."

  4. In the "Home" menu, click on the arrow underneath "Paste" and select "Paste Special" in the menu.

  5. When the "Paste Special" window appears, click on "Picture (Enhanced Metafile)" to convert the text to a picture. 

  6. Right-click on the picture and select "Format Picture" at the bottom of the menu.

  7. Locate "3D Rotation" on the left side of the "Format Picture" window.

  8. Click the up or down arrows to rotate the text on an x,- y- or z-axis.

  9. When you're finished, click on the "Close" button to leave the "Format Picture" window.

Related: How To Include Microsoft Office Skills on a Resume

5. Rotate word art in Microsoft Word

If you want to rotate word art in Microsoft Word, consider these steps:

  1. Click the "Insert" option in the toolbar at the top of the page, then select "Word Art."

  2. Review the menu with different styles and select the style you prefer. 

  3. Type your text in the box that appears, then click on the text box to select it.

  4. Once the ribbon appears, click on either "Shape Format" or "Drawing Tools Format," then choose "Rotate."

  5. Use any of the items on the list to rotate the text box.

Related: Guide to Free Templates for Cover Letters in Microsoft Word and Google Docs

How to insert a text box in Word

Before you're ready to rotate your text box, it's helpful to understand how to insert one. You may do so by following these steps:

  1. Click "Insert," located third from the left on the Microsoft Word toolbar

  2. Select "Text Box" 

  3. Click on one of the text box templates or select "Draw Text Box" to create your own by clicking on the document where you want to insert the text box and dragging it to create the size and shape you want.

  4. Release the cursor and click elsewhere on the document to finalize your text box position.

Related: How To Create a Cover Letter Template In Word

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How to mirror text in a text box

Reversing the text in a text box in Microsoft Word can also be a useful skill. Follow these steps to mirror text in Microsoft Word for Windows or Mac:

  1. Select your text box, then click on "Shape Format" or "Drawing Tools Format" to open a menu of options.

  2. Select "Text Effects" in the window, then click on "3D Rotation."

  3. Select "3D Rotation Options" then set the x-axis rotation to 180 by typing it into the x-axis box or by clicking the up arrows.

  4. When you finish, you can click the exit button to leave the window and view the mirrored text.

Related: What Is Compatibility Mode in Word? (With How-To Steps)

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