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How to Type Vertically in Word

Microsoft Word doesn’t allow typing text vertically.

However, it does allow you to type vertically in tables, shapes or text boxes.

In this article, I am going to show you how to type vertically in Word using shapes and tables.

Without any further ado, let’s get started.

How to type vertically using Shapes

Shapes are containers that can contain text, allowing you to manipulate the text including changing the direction.

Thus, obey the following instructions to type vertically in Word using shapes:

Step 1: Insert a rectangular shape where you will type the text

Below steps will show you how to insert a shape in Microsoft Word:

  • Go to the Insert tab.
  • In the Illustrations group, click Shapes.
  • The Shapes library drop-down will appear. Select a rectangular shape from these shapes.
type text vertically using shapes
  • Now, draw the shape inside your document. As shown in the screenshot below, you’ll want to make the rectangle vertical since you want to type vertical text in it.
draw the shape that will contain the text you want to type vertically
  • The shape may contain color as shown above. You can remove the background color by right-clicking on it, then select the Fill button and apply No Fill.
remove the shape background color
  • Alternatively, to remove the background color of the shape, click to select the shape and go to the new Drawing Tools > Format tab, under the Shape Styles category, select Shape Fill > No Fill from the Shape Fill drop-down menu.

The above steps will only help you to add the shape.

To type vertically in the shape, keep reading.

Step 2: type the text in the Shape

Now that we’ve succeeded in adding the shape, let’s focus on how to type text into the shape which is very simple.

  • To type text in the shape, right click on it and select Add Text from the drop-down menu.
how to type text vertically inside a shape
  • Now type the text you want.
horizontally type the text you want

At this point, the text will appear normal. To make it appear vertically, obey the last step below.

Step 3: Change the Text Direction to Vertical

There are two ways you can change the text direction of the shape. One involves rotating the shape until the text is in the direction you want. The other method also involves using the Text Direction command on Ribbon.

Using the rotating Method

  • To make the text appear vertically, use the Rotate Icon to reposition shape. This will also change the direction of the text it contains.
rotating shape to change the text direction

Using the Text Direction command on the Ribbon

To change the text direction to vertical:

  • Click on the shape containing the text.
  • Now go to the Drawing Tools > Format tab, under the text group, select the Text Direction drop-down button and choose the direction you want. If you are not satisfied with the 90° or 270° option, click on the Text Direction Options for settings.

The size of the shape will automatically change to accommodate your text as you change the direction. To make the text more apparent, adjust the shape afterward.

NOTE: Use this same method discussed above to type text vertically in Word using text boxes.

Type Text Vertically using Tables

When working with tables in Microsoft Word, the text must not always flow from left to right. With some settings, you can type text that flows vertically in the table cells.

Without any further ado, below are the steps to type text and make it flow vertically in Word.

  • Make a table inside your Word document.
  • Select the cell or cells in the table and type your text.
type text vertically in Word tables
  • Click inside the cell with the text, then go to the new Table Tools > Layout tab, in the Alignment group, click on the Text Direction to align the text vertically.
text direction alignment

As you keep on clicking on the Text Direction button the text in the active cell will keep rotating by 90 degrees. Until you are satisfied with the text alignment, continue clicking this button.

When a cell is set to a particular text direction, say vertical text direction, the text you type will flow vertically in the cell.

Also, the cell will automatically adjust itself to accommodate the text it contains. You may have to, therefore, adjust the rows and columns to make the text in the table visible.

Using tables, shapes or text boxes are the only ways you can type text vertically in Word. Word doesn’t permit paragraphs to flow in different directions other than left to right.

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