How to Rotate a Table in Word - OfficeBeginner (2024)

Using tables help make your document look more professional and visually appealing. It makes your text and numbers look neat and well-organized within the main content. Some tables are best presented in a different orientation, especially when it contains a lot of columns.

However, MS Word doesn’t give you a straightforward way to accomplish the task.

Fortunately, we found more than one clever way to get the job done!

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Now, there are about three ways to rotate a table in Word.

3 Ways to Rotate a Table in Word

  • Using the Text Direction button
  • Using a textbox
  • By converting your table into an image

Without any delay, let’s get right to it!

Method 1: Using the Text Direction Button

This method utilizes the text direction feature of MS Word. While it doesn’t literally rotate the table, this method allows you to view it in a different orientation as the words rotate. You’ll have to redo any formatting you’ve done on the table itself to make it look the way it needs to.

Here’s how you can access the Text Direction button.

Step 1: Open up a Word document.

Before we get started, we’ll need to open up an MS Word file with a table in it. Feel free to open a fresh new one. If you’re already working on a document, feel free to use that. Don’t worry about messing up your file, as you can easily revert any unwanted changes.

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Step 2: Select the table.

Once your document is ready, select the table by clicking the Move icon at the top right corner of the table.

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Step 3: Click the Text Direction button.

Go to the Layout tab under the Table Tools category. Note that this category will only be visible once a table is selected. Now, under the Alignment group, click the Text Direction button. You can click on the button several times to cycle through the available directions.

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Voila! You’ve just used the Text Direction button to rotate a table in MS Word.

Method 2: Using a Text Box

In this method, we’ll show you the steps on how to insert a table into a text box. This will easily rotate the table at any angle. You’ll also find this method helpful, especially when you’re handling multiple tables in a document.

Here’s how you can do that!

Step 1: Open up a Word document.

To get started, let’s open up a Word document first. If you already have one open, feel free to use that. Otherwise, you can always create a new one to follow us along the way. Just make sure to insert a table in it.

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Step 2: Insert a text box.

Go to the Insert tab and click the Text Box drop-down menu at the top right of your window. Next, select Simple Text Box from the choices. Now, delete the default text in the text box by hitting the Delete key on your keyboard.

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Step 3: Move your table into the text box.

Once we have the text box ready, drag and drop your table in it. Alternatively, you can select the entire table and press CTRL + X keys to cut the table. Then, click inside the text box and press CTRL + V to paste the table.

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At this point, you may have noticed that your table gets cut, don’t fret. You’ll have to resize the text box to fit the entire table in. Simply drag the bottom right circle of the text box toward the bottom right corner of your document until the whole table becomes visible.

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Step 4: Rotate the text box.

After moving the table into the text box, you’re now ready to rotate it.

Click and hold the Rotate icon at the top center of the text box. Rotate it clockwise or counterclockwise according to your preference.

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Voila! You’ve just used a text box to rotate a table in Word.

Method 3: By Converting Your Table into an Image

Images are relatively easy to move around in Word documents. It’s for this reason that you’ll want to convert your table into an image. However, once converted, you won’t be able to edit the contents of your table anymore.

So, if you have no further changes to your table, then let’s dive right in.

Step 1: Open up an MS Word file.

Before anything else, we’ll need to open an MS Word document with a table in it first. Feel free to use your own personal file to follow the steps laid out here. Otherwise, you can always create a new one. Remember to simply press the CTRL + Z keys to easily revert any unwanted changes.

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Step 2: Take a snapshot of the table.

To take a screenshot of your table, press the Windows Logo + Shift + S keys on your keyboard. This will launch the Windows 10 Snip & Sketch Tool. Click and drag your mouse from the top left corner of the table to its bottom right. This will highlight your table in a rectangular shape.

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Finish the snapshot by letting go of the mouse cursor. A notification will appear at the lower right corner of your window. Click this notification to launch the Snip & Sketch work window and click CTRL + C to copy the snapshot. If you don’t want to recheck anymore, you can simply click CTRL + C without opening the work window.

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Step 3: Paste the image.

On your Word document, click on the part of the page where you want the image to be placed. Then, hit the CTRL + V keys on your keyboard to paste the image.

For this example, we’ll paste the image right below our table.

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Step 4: Delete the table.

Now that you have your table as an image, you can already delete the original table.

If you think you’ll still need the original table in the future, then cut and paste it onto a new document. Otherwise, select the table by clicking the Move icon found at the top left corner of it. After that, right-click on the table and select Delete Table.

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Step 5: Rotate the image.

Finally, click the Rotate icon at the top center of the image. Then, rotate the image clockwise or counterclockwise to suit your needs.

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Congratulations! You’ve just rotated a table in Word.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve finally reached the end of this article. We hope we’ve helped figure out how to rotate a table in MS Word. Before you go, here’s a quick recap of what we covered.

In this guide, we’ve presented three different methods to rotate a table in MS Word. One technique employs preset text directions using the Text Direction button. Another makes use of the text box feature while the last one utilizes the image rotation function. Note that the first method can be more cumbersome than the others.

We hope you’ve found this article helpful!

How to Rotate a Table in Word - OfficeBeginner (2024)

FAQs

How do you rotate a whole table in Word? ›

In a Word document, select an entire table and then click on "Layout" tab. To rotate the table, click "Text Direction" in the Alignment group. You can always click again to further rotate it. Click and drag to adjust the cell borders where necessary.

Why can't I rotate the text box in Word? ›

Word for the web displays documents that contain rotated text boxes, but Inserting or rotating a text box isn't currently possible in Word for the web. You can, however, insert or rotate a text box in the Word desktop app. To open the desktop app, at the top of the ribbon, select Editing and choose Open in Desktop App.

How to flip table columns in Word? ›

Right-click anywhere on the table. Choose Table Properties from the menu. In the first tab ("Table"), click the "Right-to-left" button under "Table direction". Then click OK.

How do I change the table orientation to landscape in Word? ›

Go to the PAGE LAYOUT tab, click Orientation, and Landscape. And the content in the document turns 90 degrees. Now with more horizontal space, you can adjust the column widths to give your table more breathing room.

How do I manually adjust a table in Word? ›

Resize an entire table manually
  1. Rest the cursor on the table until the table resize handle. appears at the lower-right corner of the table.
  2. Rest the cursor on the table resize handle until it becomes a double-headed arrow. .
  3. Drag the table boundary until the table is the size you want.

How do I rotate freely in Word? ›

Select the object that you want to rotate. Go to Shape Format or Picture Format . To rotate the object 90 degrees to the right, select Rotate Right 90°. To rotate the object 90 degrees to the left, select Rotate Left 90°.

How do I rotate a Word in Word without text box? ›

Here's how:
  1. Select your text.
  2. Go to the 'Format' tab.
  3. Click 'Text Effects'
  4. Select 'Rotate' from the drop-down menu.

How do I rotate columns and rows in Word? ›

Click the "Layout" tab at the top of the Word window. Click the "Text Direction" button to cycle through having the text rotated to the table's left or right. Align the text to the left if you want to make the top row into the first column when you flip the table.

Can you switch columns in Word table? ›

You can move a single column or a contiguous group of columns. Select the column that you want to move. To select more than one column, drag the pointer until you have selected the columns that you want.

Can you transpose a table in Word? ›

Press Ctrl+C to copy the selected cells. Go back to your Word document, place the cursor where you want the table, and press Ctrl+V to paste the transposed table. The rows are now columns and the columns are rows. You may find that your text is not aligned or formatted the way you want.

How do I move an entire table to the right in Word? ›

Drag a table to a new location
  1. In Print Layout view, rest the pointer on the table until the table move handle. appears.
  2. Rest the pointer over the table move handle until the pointer becomes a four-headed arrow, and then click the table move handle.
  3. Drag the table to a new location.

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