I was, um….Googling myself….and found an old post I made to comp.lang.java.programmer in 1999, answering someone’s question about how to draw rotated text in Swing.

I looked around, and ten years later, there still doesn’t seem to be much easily-found information on this. So, here it is again….

I just worked this one out, and thought I'd respond, since the faq wasn't
very helpful in my situation, and probably isn't for the situation that
David described.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but:

The method described in the faq works great if you want to apply a transform
to the entire graphics context. If all you want is some rotated text on top
of something that you've already drawn, this doesn't seem to be the way to do it.

What I did instead was to derive a font with the desired transform, and then use
that font in a drawText call, thusly:
private void label_line(Graphics g, double x, double y, double theta, String label) {

     Graphics2D g2D = (Graphics2D)g;

    // Create a rotation transformation for the font.
    AffineTransform fontAT = new AffineTransform();

    // get the current font
    Font theFont = g2D.getFont();

    // Derive a new font using a rotatation transform
    Font theDerivedFont = theFont.deriveFont(fontAT);

    // set the derived font in the Graphics2D context

    // Render a string using the derived font
    g2D.drawString(label, (int)x, (int)y);

    // put the original font back
 theta (the rotation angle) is in radians.

 For vertical text, use 90 * java.lang.Math.PI/180
 or  270 * java.lang.Math.PI/180

 depending on whether you want the text top-top-bottom or bottom-to-top

 I hope that this will save you hours of aggravation.

Thanks to Google Groups for saving all of this old stuff!