How to Rotate, Modify, and Add Text to a Shape in Word 2013

By Lois Lowe

In Word 2013, each shape, when selected, has a small green selection handle at its top. This is a rotation handle; you can drag it to rotate the shape. You can also rotate a shape by exactly 90 degrees with the Rotate button (on the Drawing Tools Format tab), or rotate it by a precise amount in the Format Shape dialog box.

Some shapes also have one or more yellow squares on them when selected. They look like extra selection handles. These squares are for modifying the shape’s dimensions; you can drag one of the yellow squares to change a certain part of the shape. For example, on a block arrow, separate squares change the size of the arrow head and the arrow shaft.

To add text to a shape, just select the shape and begin typing. The text is placed in the center of the shape. The shape is a type of text box, and can be formatted in much the same way as any other text box.

  1. In a Word 2013 document with a shape, select a shape, in this example a triangle, and then choose Drawing Tools Format→Rotate Objects→Rotate Right 90°.


  2. Choose Drawing Tools Format→Rotate Objects→Rotate Right 90° again to rotate the triangle another 90 degrees.

  3. Choose Drawing Tools Format→Rotate Objects→Flip Vertical.

    The triangle returns to its original appearance.

    Flipping is not the same as rotating for some shapes. It happens to have the same effect for this triangle, but if you try it on an irregular shape, such as Explosion 2, you will see the difference.

  4. Drag the rotation handle on the triangle to rotate it so that the tip of the triangle (the point closest to the rotation handle) points to the right.

  5. Right-click the triangle and choose Format Shape.

    The Format Shape task pane opens.

  6. Click the Effects icon (the pentagon) at the top of the task pane.

  7. Click 3-D Rotation to expand those options.

  8. In the Z Rotation text box, type 270 so that the shape is rotated for the tip to point downward. Close the task pane when finished.


  9. Click the banner shape and then drag the leftmost yellow square on its border to the left as far as possible, increasing the middle section of the banner.

  10. Drag the yellow square on the bottom middle of the shape upward as far as possible, shrinking the height of the middle section of the banner.

  11. Double-click in the banner and type some text, for example ACME Corporation.

  12. Select the text you just typed; choose Home→Font Color and choose black for the text color. Then click away from the banner to view it.

    The banner looks like this.


  13. Save the changes to the document.