Set text direction and position in a shape or text box in Word 2007

Text boxes and most shapes (except for lines, connectors, and freeform shapes) can include text that attaches to the shape or text box and can be positioned horizontally or vertically or wrapped. You can also change the margins of text boxes and shapes for optimal spacing, or resize shapes for a better text fit, or change the direction of text inside a shape or text box.

What do you want to do?

Position text horizontally or vertically in a shape or text box

Wrap text in a shape or text box

Change the margins between text and the edge of a shape or text box

Resize a shape or text box to fit text

Change the direction of text in a shape or text box

Position text horizontally or vertically in a shape or text box

You can specify the horizontal or vertical alignment of text in a shape or text box.

Horizontal alignment

Horizonal text in shapes

  1. Select the text that you want to position horizontally.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click the alignment option that you want.

    Word Ribbon image

Vertical alignment

Shapes showing vertical alignment of text

  1. Right-click the border of the shape or text box.

  2. On the shortcut menu, do one of the following:

    • For a shape, click Format AutoShape, and then click the Text Box tab.

      Note   The Text Box tab is unavailable in a shape unless the shape contains text.

    • For a text box, click Format Text Box, and then click the Text Box tab.

  3. Under Vertical alignment, click the option that you want.

Top of Page

Wrap text in a shape or text box

When you wrap text, the text appears on multiple lines inside a shape or text box.

  1. Right-click the border of the shape or text box that contains the text that you want to wrap.

  2. On the shortcut menu, do one of the following:

    • For a shape, click Format AutoShape, and then click the Text Box tab.

      Note   The Text Box tab is unavailable in a shape unless the shape contains text.

    • For a text box, click Format Text Box, and then click the Text Box tab.

  3. Under Options, select the Word wrap text in AutoShape check box.

Top of Page

Change the margins between text and the edge of a shape or text box

The internal margin is the changeable distance between text and the outer border of a shape or text box.

  1. Right-click the border of the shape or text box that contains the margin that you want to adjust.

  2. On the shortcut menu, do one of the following:

    • For a shape, click Format AutoShape, and then click the Text Box tab.

      Note   The Text Box tab is unavailable in a shape unless the shape contains text.

    • For a text box, click Format Text Box, and then click the Text Box tab.

  3. Under Internal margin, do one or more of the following:

    • To specify the distance between the left border of a shape and the text, enter the new margin number in the Left box.

    • To specify the distance between the right border of a shape and the text, enter the new margin number in the Right box.

    • To specify the distance between the top border of a shape and the text, enter the new margin number in the Top box.

    • To specify the distance between the bottom border of a shape and the text, enter the new margin number in the Bottom box.

Top of Page

Resize a shape or text box to fit text

You can automatically increase the size of a shape or text box vertically so that text fits inside of it.

  1. Right-click the border of the shape or text box that you want to resize.

  2. On the shortcut menu, do one of the following:

    • For a shape, click Format AutoShape, and then click the Text Box tab.

      Note   The Text Box tab is unavailable in a shape unless the shape contains text.

    • For a text box, click Format Text Box, and then click the Text Box tab.

  3. Under Options, select the Resize AutoShape to fit text check box.

Top of Page

Change the direction of text in a shape or text box

You can change the direction of text in a shape or a text box between horizontal (left to right) and vertical (from the top to the bottom or from the bottom to the top).

  1. Double-click the shape or text box to select it and open the Format tab.

  2. On the Format tab, in the Text group, click Text Direction Text Direction. You can click Text Direction multiple times to cycle through the three options.

Text group on the Format tab

Top of Page

Applies To: Word 2007



Was this information helpful?

Yes No

How can we improve it?

255 characters remaining

To protect your privacy, please do not include contact information in your feedback. Review our privacy policy.

Thank you for your feedback!

Support resources

Change language