How to Rotate a Table in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is one of the best productivity apps available. Word allows you to do a lot of things. But, when it comes to rotating tables, it isn’t a walk in the park.

In this article, you will learn how to rotate any table within Microsoft Word. Read on to find out.

How to Create a Table in Microsoft Word

Before we go ahead to rotate a table, we’ll show you how to create one in Word if you haven’t already. To create a table in Word:

  1. Open Microsoft Word on your PC, and select Blank document to create a new document.
  2. Select Insert menu from the menu toolbar > Insert Table.
  3. Enter the number of rows and columns your table should have and tap OK.
  4. Alternatively, move the cursor over the table structure provided to select the table rows and columns, and left-click to insert the table.

Related: Formatting Tips for Perfect Tables in Microsoft Word

How to Rotate a Table in Microsoft Word

Once you have your table ready, there are three ways to rotate the table in Word. But none of these methods are official ways of changing table orientation in Word.

1. By Changing the Text Direction

One easy way to rotate your table in Word is by using the built-in Text Direction feature. It’s not an official way of changing table orientation, but it can be an easy way if you want to flip your table.

  1. Select the entire table by moving the cursor over it and hitting the four-fold arrow that shows up on the top.

    How to select an entire table in MS word

  2. Choose the Layout tab from the top menu bar.

    A selected table in MS Word

  3. Tap Text Direction from the tools bar. Word will rotate all the table text 90 degrees clockwise. Another tap on Text Direction will flip the text by 90 degrees to 180 degrees, and so on.

    Table with text rotated 90 degrees

As you may have noticed, Text Direction doesn’t give you full autonomy on which angles your table should be rotated. Additionally, it doesn’t rotate the table itself, but only the text within it.

To get full autonomy, we’ll have to use a workaround. That brings us to method number two.

2. Converting a Table to an Image

Unlike the text direction method, the image method will give you a lot more freedom to rotate your table. The major problem with this method is that you cannot edit the table once you convert it to an image.

  1. Open your Word document with a table.
  2. Select the entire table by moving the cursor on top of it and tapping the four-fold arrow button.
  3. Right-click anywhere on the table and select copy. Alternatively, you can use Ctrl+C for Windows or Cmd+C for Mac to copy the table.
  4. Delete the original table.
  5. Tap the same spot on the document where the original table was located.
  6. Right-click and select Picture (shown as a clipboard with an image) under Paste Options.

    Different paste options in Microsoft Word

    The table will now be pasted as an image. With an image table, it’s pretty easy to rotate the way you want.

  7. Tap the image to select, and place your cursor above the rotate icon on top of the table.

    A slanted table in Microsoft Word

  8. Hold the left-click button on the mouse, then move your table around to rotate it to your preferred orientation.

Related: Microsoft Word Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows

3. Using Microsoft Excel

If you use Word, high chances are you also use Excel. So, in the third and final method, we use Excel to help rotate your table in Word.

  1. Copy your table in Microsoft Word.
  2. Open Microsoft Excel, create a new document by selecting Blank Workbook.
  3. Paste your table by using Ctrl+V or Cmd+V.

    Table in Microsoft Excel

  4. Copy your pasted table in Excel.
  5. Click in an empty cell and right-click. A pop-up menu will appear.
  6. Select Transpose under Paste Options. If you can’t find the transpose option under Paste Options, go to Paste Special > Transpose.

    Microsoft Excel paste options

    The transpose option will rotate the table from portrait to landscape mode.

    Transposed table and normal table in Microsoft Excel

  7. Next, copy the transposed table and paste it inside your Word document.

Transform Your Tables in Word

If you want to rotate your tables in Microsoft Word, this tutorial has you covered. Depending on what you want to do, you can choose one of the three methods. The Excel trick turns your tables into landscape orientation.

Author: Alvin Wanjala

Source: Alvin Wanjala.” How to Rotate a Table in Microsoft Word”. Retrieved From

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