Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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: Different Layout for a Portion of a Page.

Different Layout for a Portion of a Page

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 28, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Ian is creating a tri-fold document in Word. His page orientation (obviously) is landscape and he has no problem creating the first two columns on the page. Ian can't figure out how to handle the third column, however. That column needs to be rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise from the other two columns, and Ian wonders about the best way to do this.

There are a couple of ways you can approach this design issue. Each technique involves either the use of a table or a text box, as Word allows you to rotate the orientation of text in either a text cell or a text box, independent from the orientation in the rest of the document.

The first method involves the use of a table. Starting with a blank page, with a landscape orientation, you could place a three-cell table on the page. Each cell will represent a different panel in your tri-fold layout. In each cell type the information that you want to appear on that panel. (Don't worry about orientation on the third panel just yet.)

The text-box approach is similar; type information in the first two panels as you normally would, but then use a text box to create the third panel. Size the text box to whatever you require, and make sure that it contains the text to appear on the panel. Format the text box so that there is no border around it.

Now, regardless of whether you are using the table or text-box approach, you are ready to change the orientation of the third panel. Place the insertion point within either the third table cell or the text box. You should notice some additional ribbon tabs appear when you do so.

  • If you are working with a table cell, display the Layout tab of the ribbon. Click the Text Direction tool (in the Alignment group) until the text in the cell is rotated as you want it.
  • If you are working with a text box, display the Shape Format tab of the ribbon. Click the Text Direction tool (in the Text group). Word displays some orientation options; select the one that matches the rotation you want applied to the text.

You can now continue to adjust the layout of your page until it matches what you need for your tri-fold document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12900) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Different Layout for a Portion of a Page.

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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