How to Rotate or Flip Image in MS Word

By James Ballou

Images available for use in Microsoft Word are not always formatted in the way that authors need them. In many cases images must be flipped or rotated to convey the proper meaning or to improve the overall layout of a document. Microsoft Word provides a number of simple yet useful tools that authors can use to make the desired changes.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Word 2007 for Windows XP or Vista
  • An open Word document with a graphic already inserted

Step 1

Select the image to be rotated or flipped by clicking on it. A binding box around the image as shown in Image 1 indicates that the image has been selected correctly.

Step 2

Locate the tab in the upper right corner of the screen called "Picture Tools." (See the highlighted tab in Image 2.)

Step 3

Click the "Format" tab located directly under the "Picture Tools" tab to reveal the formatting options and identify the rotate button. NOTE: Higher resolution screens will display the "Rotate" label to the right of the button. (See the rotate button in Image 3.)

Step 4

Click the rotate button as displayed in Image 4 to reveal the options available and select the desired flip or rotation.

Step 5

Click any text on the screen to deselect the image and the binding box will be removed as in Image 5.

Tips & Warnings

  • Images can be manually rotated by clicking on an "Image Handle." The image handle becomes visible when an image is clicked. It is identified by a small green circle that appears in the 12 o'clock position of an image. Clicking and holding the left mouse button down while moving the mouse right or left will allow you to rotate the image to the desired position.
  • MAC users with a two-button mouse and PC users can access rotation tools by clicking an image with the right mouse button and selecting the "Format Picture..." option from the menu list that appears.
  • Rotating images can result in quality reduction and pixilation.