How to write from right to left in Microsoft Office 2016 , 2019 / 365?


Last Updated: October 2019

Several languages such as Arabic, Persian, Urdu or Hebrew are usually written from right to left. Today we will learn how to shift the writing direction in Office 2016/2019/365 from the default Left To Right (LTR) into Right To Left direction (RTL). For convenience, we are providing detailed instructions for Word and Outlook; however process is similar for other Office apps such as Excel and PowerPoint.

Word right to left writing

In Customize Ribbon:

  • Open your word document, click on File and select Options.

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  • In the customize ribbon, click on the drop down box and select All commands.

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  • Then search for the Left to Right and Right to Left in the options.
  • Press on New Group at the bottom and rename it as you need.
  • Add both LTR and RTL in the created group and select OK to add it in the Ribbon.

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In Quick Access Toolbar:



  • Open your word document, click on File and select Options.
  • In the Quick Access Toolbar, click on the drop down box and select All commands.

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  • Then search for Left to Right and Right to Left in the options.
  • Click Add and select OK to add those options in Quick access toolbar.

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Right to left switching with Macros

Readers asked me whether there is a way to programmatically set Right to Left for specific pages / ranges and paragraphs in a Word document.

The VBA method .RtlPara allows you to set the paragraph direction for a specific selection using Macros.

RTL in Outlook

In customize Ribbon:

  • Open your Outlook 2016 and Click on New mail in the Home ribbon.

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  • Now in the opened compose mail dialog box, click on File and select Options.

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  • In the Customize Ribbon, click on the drop down box and select All commands.

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  • Search for Left to Right and Right to Left options.
  • Press on New Group at the bottom and rename it as you need.
  • Add both LTR and RTL in the created group and select OK to add it to the ribbon.

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In Quick Access Toolbar:

  • In your Outlook 2016, click on New mail in the Home ribbon.
  • In the dialog box of compose mail, click on File and select Options.
  • In the Quick Access Toolbar, click on the drop down box and select All commands.

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  • Search for Left to Right and Right to Left options.
  • Click Add and select OK to add it in Quick Access Toolbar.

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  • Hit either LTR to write from Left to Right and RTL to write from Right to Left in both Quick Access Toolbar and Customize ribbon.

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