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Best Practice

Side Headings – How to Set Them Up

While we don't typically advocate for using rotated text in presentations, there are always exceptions. Please, please, please avoid rotating strings of text. They are too difficult for your audience to read. As you stand up there presenting your brilliant ideas, you'll see your audience tilting their heads trying to read your on-screen message. Not good.

However, if you use one word in large, easily distinguishable font, you won't be creating an issue for your audience. Take a look at the example so see what we mean. Then download the example to see and understand the best practice for formatting this layout.

You can create the rotated text in two ways:

  1. Type what you want and then rotate using the Rotate option in the Arrange section on the Format tab and place it where you want it on the slide
  2. Type what you want, left align the text, and then click on Text Direction in the Paragraph section on the Home tab. Select the rotation that you wish.

We like the second formatting option for one simple reason: if you just type the text and then rotate it using the first method, you won't be able to left or right align the text. You'll need to align the text fields. This might be okay unless you edit the side headings. Then your alignments will be off again. If you use the second method, the alignments will be perfect, regardless of how long the word is or whether it is edited in the future.

Enjoy using this technique.