About vertical text

To change the orientation of non-Asian text from horizontal to vertical, simply rotate the shape's text block using the Text tool Button image.

To change Asian text to vertical so that it reads from top to bottom, use the Change Text Direction button.

 Note   If you use a particular vertical shape often, save it on a stencil so that you can reuse it in other drawings.

When you format text as vertical text with the Change Text Direction button, the following changes occur:

  • The lines of text in the shape are oriented from the top right to the left, and, within each line, characters are positioned from top to bottom.
  • The font used in the shape's text changes to the vertical version of the font. If the vertical version is not installed, Visio uses the current font.

 Note   Some East Asian versions of Microsoft Windows include vertical fonts, which have correctly positioned and rotated punctuation marks. If you have a version of Windows that does not include vertical fonts, you can install them by using the appropriate language pack, available from the Microsoft Download Center.

  • When you click in the shape, the orientation of the insertion point changes from vertical to horizontal.
  • Vertical text is applied to the entire text block, not to selected characters or paragraphs.


You can format vertical text, but all of the alignment commands work as if rotated 90° clockwise. For example, if, on the Format menu, you click Text, and then, on the Paragraph tab, you click Left in the Horizontal alignment list, your vertical text is aligned to the top of the first line, which is where the text starts.

Some Visio shapes that expand to match the amount of text you enter do not adjust properly when the text is vertical.

When you apply a non-Asian font (any font that uses only the Latin or Cyrillic alphabet, for example) to East Asian text in a selection where it is mixed with Latin text, the Latin font is applied only to the Latin text. The font of any Asian text remains unchanged.

Applies to:
Visio 2003