How to Change the Direction of Text in Word 2013

Last updated: March 13, 2019

Microsoft Word has a lot of possible applications aside from simple document creation. For example, you might use it to create a newsletter or flyer, which will inspire you to modify your text in ways that typical document editing may not require.

One such modification is the option to change the direction in which your text is oriented. This is not possible in the main document body, but you can use text boxes to position and rotate text as needed. Our guide below will show you how to create and populate a text box, then use a couple of different options to rotate the text contained within the box.

Change Text Direction in Word – Quick Summary

  1. Click Insert at the top of the window.
  2. Click the Text Box button and choose a text box to insert.
  3. Add your text to the text box.
  4. Click the Drawing Tools Format tab.
  5. Select the Text Direction button, then choose the desired option.

For additional information, including pictures for these steps, continue to the section below.

Changing the Direction of Text in a Text Box in Word 2013

The steps below will show you how to create a text box, add text to it, then change the direction of that text. Your text can be either horizontal (default), it can be rotated by 90 degrees, or it can be rotated by 270 degrees.

  1. Open your document in Microsoft Word 2013.
  1. Click the Insert tab at the top of the window.
click the insert tab
  1. Click the Text Box button in the Text section of the ribbon, then either select one of the default text box options, or click the Draw Text Box button to insert a custom one.
choose the text box style
  1. Type the desired text into the text box.
enter the text to change the direction of
  1. Confirm that the Format tab under Drawing Tools is selected, then click the Text Direction button and choose the preferred direction of the text.
click the text direction button

If you would like the direction of your text to be different than one of the default options, you can also click the rotation handle on the text box and drag it until your text is situated correctly.

use the rotation handle to change text direction in word 2013

How to Add the Right-to-left Text Direction Button in Word

If you instead need to switch from a left-to-right to a right-to-left option when entering text into the document body, then there are some actions you need to take first.

Step 1: Click the File tab at the top-left of the window.

Step 2: Click the Options button in the left column.

Step 3: Choose the Language tab.

Step 4: Click the Add additional editing languages dropdown menu, choose a right-to-left language, then click the Add button.

Step 5: Click OK at the bottom of the window. Note that you will need to restart Word for this change to take effect.

Step 6: Click the Right-to-left Text Direction button in the Paragraph section of the Home tab.

how to change text direction in word

Is there text in your document that you do not want to be visible, but you aren’t ready to delete it? Learn how to hide text in Microsoft Word 2013 and give yourself a new option for formatting your text.

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