Learn how to change page orientation in Microsoft Word, set the default orientation to landscape, change orientation for specific pages, and view section breaks.

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When preparing a document in Microsoft Word, have you ever noticed that a large table or picture is missing from the page layout fell out? Most of us resize the table or image to fit within the viewable area. However, you can easily change the page orientation in Microsoft Word to align the content.

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Word lets you create documents in either landscape or portrait orientation. By default, Word opens a document in portrait orientation and you change the orientation. The good thing is that you can even change the page orientation while working on your document.

  • If you are in a document, go to the “Layout” menu.
  • Click on the Alignment list box.
  • Select the “Landscape” option from the drop-down list (choose “Portrait” if your document has a different orientation).

Change the page orientation in Word

This will change the page orientation immediately. Now you can start preparing the document in landscape format, easily adding large tables or process diagrams.

Change default page orientation

As mentioned earlier, Word opens new documents in portrait orientation by default. Sometimes you always want to work in landscape mode. In this case, you can permanently change the default orientation to landscape.

  • Open Word and go to the “Layout” menu.
  • Click the small arrow in the Page Setup group

Open Page Setup in Word

  • This will open the Page Setup dialog
  • Choose the orientation as “Landscape” in the “Borders” tab.
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Set default alignment in Word

  • Click the Set as Default button
  • Word will prompt you for confirmation as the changes will be applied to the template.

Confirm changing the default layout

  • Click Yes to confirm the changes.

From now on, all new documents will be created in landscape format. You can follow the same process to reset the default orientation to portrait.

Note: You can adjust all other settings like margins or select a different paper size and set this as your default options. The changes will be applied to the current and new documents you create in the future. The alignment of existing old documents will NOT change.

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Change orientation for a specific page

This should be the option you’ll be looking for in most practical cases. Perhaps you are preparing a portrait-oriented document and want to insert a large landscape-oriented diagram in between on just one page.

  • Open your document and go to the “Layout” menu.
  • Click on the “Breaks” option to display the drop-down menu.
  • In the Section Break section, select New Page. This inserts a section break and starts a new section on a new page.

Apply section breaks in Word

  • Now click on the Orientation list box and choose Landscape.
  • This will change the page orientation to landscape from the next page.

Page layout changed

  • Click on the landscape page and insert a section break again to start a next page. Now change the orientation back to “portrait” to create more portrait pages.
  • This way you can have a single page of your document in landscape orientation while the entire document is in portrait orientation.
  • You can insert multiple section breaks and change the alignment if needed.
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Show the layout in the navigation pane

If you want to preview all pages of the document, go to the View menu. Check the “Navigation Pane” box. This will preview all pages of your documents with the orientation.

Different alignment for different pages in Word

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Show section breaks

The problem with section breaks is that if you add or delete content on the previous pages, the section break will move down. If you don’t know where you applied the section break, showing all section breaks can help you easily visualize the document.

  • Go to the “Home” menu and click the “Show/Hide Formatting Icons” icon.
  • Alternatively, you can press the “Ctrl + Shift + ” keys (or “Ctrl + *” if using the numeric keypad) to toggle the formatting symbols.
  • Now you can view the section breaks and adjust the position if needed.

Show section breaks

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