Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Changing Table Cell Text Direction.

Changing Table Cell Text Direction

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 21, 2022)

Word allows you to quickly change the direction in which the text in a cell faces. For instance, you may want the text to be vertical instead of horizontal. You can change text direction by following these steps:

  1. Right-click your mouse on the cell whose text direction you want to change. A Context menu appears.
  2. Choose Text Direction from the Context menu. The Text Direction dialog box appears. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Text Direction dialog box.

  4. Select the Orientation you want used for your text.
  5. When satisfied, click on OK.

You can also do the same task using the Layout tab of the ribbon. Follow these steps:

  1. Position the insertion point in the cell whose orientation you want to change.
  2. Make sure that the Layout tab of the ribbon is displayed. (Be careful—there are two layout tabs. You want the second Layout tab, the one for tables. It appears only when you perform step 1.)
  3. Click the Text Direction tool in the Alignment group on the ribbon. Word changes the orientation of the text in the cell.
  4. Continue clicking on the Text Direction tool until the orientation is exactly as you want it.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5978) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing Table Cell Text Direction.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Understanding Hard and Soft Returns

Did you know that there are different types of returns in Word? Here's the inside scoop.

Discover More

Creating Worksheets with a Macro

Using a macro to add worksheets to your workbook is easy. This tip provides two different methods you can use.

Discover More

Ordering Worksheets Based on a Cell Value

Need to sort your worksheets so that they appear in an order determined by the value of a cell on each worksheet? Using a ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Filling Table Cells with Sequential Numbers

Excel makes it very easy to add sequential numbers to a range of cells. Not so in Word's tables, where adding such ...

Discover More

Unwanted Numbering on Pasted Tables

When pasting text from another document or from the Web you can have unexpected characters sometimes show up. Many of ...

Discover More

Resizing Your Table

Need to make your table a different size? It's easy to do, using the same general technique you use when resizing a ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven less than 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.