This tutorial shows how to change page orientation in Adobe Acrobat using the Page Thumbnails pane and the Organize Pages tool. We will also look at how to view pages in a different orientation without changing the PDF.
Page orientation is typically portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal). In Adobe Acrobat, you can rotate pages to portrait and landscape, but you can also rotate pages until they are upside down.
- How to Change Page Orientation from the Page Thumbnails Pane
- How to Change Page Orientation with the Organize Pages Tool
- How to View Pages in a Different Orientation without Changing the PDF
This tutorial is available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 100 other writing-related software tutorials on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from Adobe Acrobat DC. These steps will also work in Adobe Acrobat 2020 and Adobe Acrobat 2017. In addition, the steps are the same for PC and Mac.
Adobe’s free PDF display software, Acrobat Reader, doesn’t provide a way to change page orientation (although you can view pages in different orientations).
An Important Note about Content Orientation
When you change page orientation in Adobe Acrobat, the content also changes to the new orientation.
Therefore, consider changing the orientation of the page before adding text and images if you want your content presented vertically, as it normally would be. (While it is possible to change the orientation of individual text boxes and images, that process can be difficult in longer PDFs.)
Please see “How to Create a Blank PDF in Adobe Acrobat” for information about adding content to a new PDF.
How to Change Page Orientation from the Page Thumbnails Pane
The Page Thumbnails pane offers the quickest way to rotate pages. However, if you need to rotate many pages at once, you may want to use the Organize Pages tool shown in the next section.
- Select the Page Thumbnails button. (Select the small triangle on the left side of the screen if you don’t see the Page Thumbnails button.)
- Select the page you want to rotate in the Page Thumbnails pane.
Pro Tip: How to Select Multiple Pages
- To select multiple pages, select the first one you want to change and then press and hold the Shift key as you select the last one you want to change.
- To select nonconsecutive pages, select the first page you want to change and then press and hold the Ctrl key on a PC or Command key on a Mac as you select additional pages.
- Click and drag your mouse to select multiple pages at once.
- Right-click the selected page or pages and then select Rotate Pages from the shortcut menu.
- Select an option from the Direction menu in the Rotate Pages dialog box:
- Counterclockwise 90 degrees
- Clockwise 90 degrees
- 180 degrees
- (Optional) The default page range will normally be Selection, which is the page(s) selected in step 2, above. However, you can make different choices, including rotating only even or odd pages within a specific page range.
- Select the OK button.
Your pages should rotate to their new orientation in the work area and in the Page Thumbnails pane. Repeat the process as necessary to achieve the desired results.
How to Change Page Orientation with the Organize Pages Tool
The Organize Pages tool offers a broader view of your PDF than does the Page Thumbnails pane. This view is helpful if you are rotating many pages at once.
- Select the Tools tab.
- Select Organize Pages from the Tools Center.
- Select the page or pages you want to rotate. (See the Pro Tip, above, for information about selecting multiple pages at once.)
- Use the arrows in the Organize Pages toolbar to rotate the pages counterclockwise or clockwise.
- Select the Close button to return to the normal view.
Your changes should be reflected in the work area and the Page Thumbnails pane.
How to View Pages in a Different Orientation without Changing the PDF
You can change how you view pages without changing the PDF. These steps apply to Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat Reader.
- Select the View menu.
- Select Rotate View from the drop-down menu.
- Select Clockwise or Counterclockwise from the submenu.
Your page view should rotate in the work area and in the Page Thumbnails pane.
Updated February 18, 2022