Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Rotating Fractions in a Text Box.

Rotating Fractions in a Text Box

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 3, 2015)

Joan is a math teacher and wants to create triangles with different fractions labeled on each side. She needs to rotate each fraction so the numerator is touching each side of the triangle and wonders how to accomplish this.

Word is a wonderful program for creating documents that primarily contain text. There are times when graphics are needed, however. (A picture is worth a thousand words, after all.) Placing graphics in Word is possible, but if you need to modify the graphics, the existing editing options may limit what you can do. For these tasks you might want to consider using a graphics program. Microsoft PowerPoint and Publisher, as well as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, are examples of programs that are designed to create and manipulate graphics much better than Word can.

However, if Word is the only resource available to you, there are a couple of options that will allow you to accomplish the task at hand. Creating the fractions in WordArt will provide the flexibility needed to freely rotate them to align with the sides of the triangle.

  1. Make sure the Insert tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  2. Select the desired WordArt form by clicking the WordArt tool in the Text section of the ribbon. (For this task, you will want to make the fraction look as close as possible to ordinary text.) Word displays the Edit WordArt Text dialog box.
  3. Enter the fraction in the text box section of the dialog box.
  4. Change the font and font size, as desired, using the Font and Size pull down lists.
  5. Click OK. The fraction appears, as a WordArt object, in your document as you specified.

Now that you have created the WordArt, rotating is easy.

  1. Click once on the WordArt object to select it. Small boxes called handles appear around the object.
  2. Make sure the Format tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  3. Select the Tight wrapping style from the Text Wrapping drop down menu. Small dots appear around the WordArt box with a small green circle above the center of the object.
  4. Using the green circle at the top of the WordArt box, you can freely rotate the box as desired so it aligns with the sides of the triangle. (Note that in Word 2013 the green circle appears as a rotating arrow.)

Another option involves the use of a graphics program. The following general steps will get the fractions into a format that can be rotated within Word.

  1. Create the fraction in the program of your choice and save it as a graphic file, such as a jpg.
  2. In Word, make sure the Insert tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  3. Click on the Picture tool in the Illustrations group. Word displays the Insert Picture dialog box.
  4. Select the file you created in the graphics program..
  5. Click OK. The picture appears in your document.
  6. Select the picture by clicking on it once.
  7. Adjust the size of the picture, as desired.
  8. Make sure the Format tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  9. Select the Tight wrapping style from the Text Wrapping drop down menu. Small dots appear around the WordArt box with a small green circle above the center of the picture.
  10. Using the green circle at the top, you can freely rotate the picture as desired.

If you are using a program that only has rudimentary text handling capabilities, such as Paint, you may want to create the fraction in Word, take a screen shot of the graphic, and then use the program to trim the image. You can then use the edited graphics file in the above steps (2 through 10). You can experiment to find the one that works best for you.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8055) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Rotating Fractions in a Text Box.

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. ...

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