Microsoft

Quick Tip: Flip text for a mirror image in Word

Use these simple techniques to get a mirror image of text in Microsoft Word.

Entering a mirror image of text isn't as simple as entering the text and clicking a button - I wish it were. There's no feature that lets you flip text entered as text. But there are ways to get the job done. First, let's define the term flip because there are many rotation options for text and graphics. I want to limit this discussion to flipping text 180 degrees to create what's called a mirror image.

Leave it to the printer

Before you spend any time trying to flip the actual text in your Word document, check your printer's properties. To see what's available, click the File tab (or Office button) and then choose Print. In Word 2003, choose Print from the File menu. Then, click the Printer Properties link. Look for a mirror image or rotation option. If you don't see one, look among your advanced options. There's no guarantee that your printer can do this, but look before you tackle a more complex method.

Use a text box

Word can't flip text directly, but it can flip text in a text box. First, insert a text box - it's on the Insert tab in the Text group. Then, enter the text you want to flip and format it accordingly. To flip it, do the following:

  1. Right-click the text box and choose Format Shape.
  2. Choose 3-D Rotation in the left pane.
  3. Change the X setting to 180.
  4. Click OK, and Word flips the text in the text box, producing a mirror image. You can create an upside-down mirror image by changing the Y setting to 180.

Use Paint

I don't know of any way to flip text horizontally in Word 2003. You might consider using Paint, as follows:

  1. Copy the formatted text to Windows Paint.
  2. Select the text in Paint.
  3. Choose Flip/Rotate from the Image menu.
  4. Select Flip Horizontal.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Copy the flipped text into your Word document.

This method is troublesome and requires a bit of patience. It's difficult to get the size and position precisely enough in Paint so that it fits into your Word document. You can work with it and eventually get it right, but it does take some effort. In addition, the copied text might be fuzzy. It'll do if you can't find another way, but use it as a last resort.

You can flip a WordArt object (in Word 2003) using the 180 degree setting discussed earlier, but you can't get a horizontal mirror image. To insert a WordArt object in Word 2003, choose Picture from the Insert menu and then choose WordArt. After entering the text, choose WordArt from the Format menu and click the Size tab. Enter 180 into the Rotation control and click OK.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

18 comments
sam
sam

Hi all, Or in Windows 7, create your text box, right click, select format shape, select reflection set transparency etc and click close...

jimdandy45
jimdandy45

Assuming it's more that a few words, create the document on the screen, using a word processing program. If everything fits on the screen, do a screen capture (using prnt scrn) and copy to a picture editing program, even Paint. Then flip the text as you wish and adjust the size as needed. Print.

dz@4thpres.org
dz@4thpres.org

FLIPTEXT.org it is fun sometimes to do it in emails, especially when using unsavory language. ( s¡doo?s), didn't work pasting here, but I have NEVER had it fail anywhere else.

wendyskains
wendyskains

Geez, folks. No one is trying to force you to create flippable text in Word 2003. BarcodeMan, I agree with you. If you feel like flipping text in Word, then do it. Is it the most advantageous way of accomplishing this task? No. But Word may be the only piece of software someone has on their computer. As far as old software, yep... I have Word 2003 on my computer at work. When a business has over 40,000 employees, it gets expensive updating software. And, here's the link sans the colon at the end: http://pne.livejournal.com/398399.html

kaspencer
kaspencer

I would want to do this because I print overlays onto acetate/polyester film which are better with the print on the reverse side. KAS

jtollack
jtollack

The author should have used Grammer check, as "text" is spelled "test" in the Takeaway section. Darn MS Word! it will catch spelling mistakes but not miss-use of meanings..:)

BarcodeMan
BarcodeMan

Reasons: 1. Because technology allows you to so why not just do it. 2. You need to create a decal for the front of your emergency vehicle, like "Police" or "Ambulance" for people to read in their rear view mirror. 3. It's fun to include in blogs, signature files 4. Graphic design or logos 5. Re: http://pne.livejournal.com/398399.html:

ggarland
ggarland

Why would I want to go to all that trouble? If I want to invert a Word Art just grab it and drag it upside down, or backwards for that matter. But an even greater question is why a "reporter" would waste time writing an article of how to perform such an obscure thing in an obsolete program? Office 2003? Come on!

diane.dudek
diane.dudek

I agree with naberps, please give me an example of why you would need to do this.

naberps
naberps

this article has hit my curiosity... Why would you want an mirrored text?

Ron_007
Ron_007

WordArt can be rotated to create mirrors Word 2010 has the "refection" attribute. Right click in the WordArt and select Format Shape. In the dialog there is the Reflection option. Set Transparency to 0, size to 100%. Format Shape dialog > 3-D Rotation. Rotate in "X" axis 180 degree or "Y" axis and even "Z" axis You can use Copy > Paste Special > Picture. Then you can rotate the picture. The picture also a Format Picture dialog with Reflection and 3-D rotation.

pfdsotm
pfdsotm

Text effects can do this and more right within office 2010/13 You may be correct with office 2003, but that is 10 year old software.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

You might take your own advice. The word is 'grammar', and it isn't capitalized since it isn't a proper noun. Oh, and the word is 'misuse', not 'miss-use'.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

When you create reverse words for the front of motor vehicles wouldn't you want to flip the text left to right or right to left not top to bottom? The printers that I have seen that make Vinyl Signs for Motor Vehicles have much better software than word though. Col

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

and are the same reasons often offered by those who jam every single trick into their PowerPoint presentations. Just because it can be done doesn't mean it's worth doing. 2 is a pretty specialized application. It and 4 are probably better suited to a dedicated graphics tool than a word processor. 5 is a broken link.

naberps
naberps

Although I don't believe it is relevant to a word processor... has far as I know... I think you would be surprised on just how many users still have MS Word 2003. It is still very functional for a basic use. Not everyone needs to upgrade just because they can. It does what most people do... no more, no less! ***I'm a 2013 user... but this is because I have to do so... I'm at a helpdesk.

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

Remove the : from the end, then it works.

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