How to Rotate Objects in MS Word

By Lily Medina

After you insert an object, Word lets you rotate the object to customize its orientation and placement. Using a simple click-and-drag method, you can rotate an object on a 360-degree axis. This method works best for pictures, Clip Art, WordArt and shapes. You can rotate a text box, but you will have to change its shape first -- use the Change Shape function on the Ribbon -- and only the box, not the text in it, will rotate. You can't rotate an entire SmartArt object, but you can rotate the individual text boxes in it. You cannot rotate tables or charts.

Freehand Rotation

Step 1

Click the object to select it. The edges of the object will appear in dotted blue lines, punctuated by blue circles and squares. On one of the sides, the dotted line will jut outward from the object, ending in a green circle.

Step 2

Click the green circle and hold down the mouse button.

Step 3

Drag the cursor, which rotates the object, until the object reaches the rotation you prefer. Then release the mouse button.

Specific Rotation

Step 1

Click the object to select it. The "Format" tab will appear on the Ribbon.

Step 2

Click the "Format" tab on the Ribbon.

Step 3

Click the "Rotate" button on the Ribbon, near the right end. On the drop-down menu, click one of the options -- Rotate Right 90 degrees, Rotate Left 90 degrees, Flip Vertical or Flip Horizontal.

Step 4

Click one of the options the drop-down menu -- Rotate Right 90 degrees, Rotate Left 90 degrees, Flip Vertical or Flip Horizontal -- if you want one of those specific options.

Step 5

Click "More Rotation Options" at the bottom of the drop-down menu if you want to set a specific number of degrees to rotate the object. This will bring up the Format AutoShape menu.

Step 6

Use the arrows to select a new number in the "Rotation" field, under the Rotate heading on the Format AutoShape menu. Or, highlight the "90" in the field and then type your desired number.

Step 7

Click "OK" at the bottom of the menu.