Do you get the same results when you marque an area with the text tool to make area text?
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Preferences | General | Constrain Angle. Change from 90 to 0 degrees.
Just to be sure:
Horizontal text is the "Type Tool" (if you do not see it click and hold on the "T"), it should be listed under there.
If the above posts don't work...
Sounds like you keyboard or shortcuts may be messed up.
Are your arrow keys functioning correctly outside of AI?
If so, you may have to trash your AI preferences.
thank you everyone!
Harron K. Appleman you fixed both my problems! thank you.
Oh, good. My next suggestion was going to be 'turn your monitor on its side.'
What tilting your head just isn't good enough?
If I tilt my head things tend to fall out.