Sometimes when I'm typing, text orientation changes from LTR to RTL, but I am not able to find any shortcut to change the text direction on Windows.

How can I change the text direction inside a text box or a text area?

  • 2
    After a lot of search, I was able to do this. Hold LeftCtrl then press LeftShift to make text LTR. Similarly, hold RightCtrl then press RightShift to make text RTL. Sep 8, 2012 at 14:04

2 Answers 2


To switch between RTL (Right-To-Left) and LTR (Left-To-Right) text directions, you need to click Ctrl+Shift:

  • Ctrl+Left Shift for LTR.

  • Ctrl+Right Shift for RTL.

To change the direction of the whole text, select all of it (Ctrl+A) before changing the text direction.

  • 9
    Is there a way to disable these? The only times I hit them is by accident.
    – n611x007
    Dec 21, 2012 at 6:55
  • 1
    Dear @amiregelz, unfortunately your link doesn't contain the solution. I've already disabled the Ctrl+Shift shortcut there, but the page is about keyboard layouts, not writing directions.
    – Gogowitsch
    Sep 28, 2014 at 8:43
  • 1
    Minor correction / addition to the answer (at least for Windows 10): Which Control key you press doesn't matter. The Shift does, though. I frequently find myself pressing Control on the left and Shift on the right and then cursing and swearing until I press the right combo to get it back (which led me here for some definite answers).
    – Mayyit
    Sep 18, 2016 at 3:03
  • 1
    this is a really poorly thought out key combo. CTRL&SHIFT is hardly a rare combination, I would imagine that the vast majority of uses of this key combination are accidental. (I tend to do it when I've been highlighting text by whole word for instance)
    – Some_Guy
    Jul 17, 2021 at 17:42

I struggled to fix a similar issue - it turned out to be limited to Office applications (inc. Outlook) and was caused by having Hebrew listed as an editing language (Options>Language>Choose Editing Languages).

Removing it and restarting all Office applications solved the problem.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.