How to Rotate a PDF Document


Knowing how to rotate a PDF is an important skill that can save you time and effort when organizing or creating documents. Changing the orientation of PDFs is advantageous when passing documents around since it makes sure that all included can look at it correctly.

With the help of editing applications, it's easy and straightforward to quickly turn any PDFs in a matter of moments. Read on to find out how to rotate PDF pages.

how we test products

Criteria for Selecting PDF Rotators

In order to provide you with really effective methods and instructions for PDF pages rotation, we have tested three freely available programs. All of them can be easily found on the Internet. We checked:

  • OS compatibility;
  • Page rotation;
  • Set of additional functions;
  • System requirements.

Based on this comparison, we have created a summary table. Here you can see all the details of each program.

Program OS Editing ability System requirements Rating
Icecream PDF Editor
2GB of RAM, 2.33Ghz, 1024x768, 200MB of disk space
Adobe Acrobat
2GB of RAM, 1.5GHz, 1024x768, 4.5GB of disk space
Preinstalled on all Mac devices

Below is a detailed description of these applications that will allow you to rotate your PDF files with ease.

According to a study conducted by Smallpdf, rotating PDF files is a common task performed by users. The study revealed that approximately 14% of users who upload PDF files to their platform choose to rotate them before downloading the modified file.

Rotate PDF with Icecream PDF Editor

Icecream PDF Editor is a great tool for viewing and editing PDF documents that also offers the feature of rotating the PDF's pages (single, multiple, or all) and specifying the rotation angle. Here is a step-by-step tutorial that shows you how to rotate pages in a PDF file using Icecream PDF Editor:

  1. Download the free program to rotate PDF on your computer.
  2. Launch the software to proceed to rotate the pages of the PDF.
  3. Click the "Open..." button to browse PDF files using Windows Explorer. Another way to open the document is the "Open..." option of the "File" menu's drop-down list. You can use the drag-and-drop mechanism to open the PDFs within the program.
  4. Select which pages to flip in PDF.
    • Find the page you want to rotate (scroll through the file). Or select the page in the navigation's right-hand panel in "Thumbnails".
    • To choose detached pages of a PDF to rotate, you will need to utilize the "Thumbnails" panel on the right-hand side. Hit the page's thumbnail from the list to select it.
    • Hold "Ctrl" and press the other pages' thumbnails. Add the pages to the selection one by one. Keep "Shift" and click another PDF page to pick a sequence of pages.
    • Right-click within the "Thumbnails" panel. Click the "Select all" feature from the menu to pick all the pages of the document. Alternatively, use the Ctrl+A hotkey combination.
  5. Rotate PDF pages and save the updated version of the file.
Icecream Apps.

PDF rotation options:

As soon as the required pages are selected, the last thing to do is to rotate them. There are two ways of turning PDF:

  1. Click the "Pages" button in the top menu of the window of the app and select "Rotate clockwise" or "Rotate counter-clockwise". There are hotkeys available for each of these operations: Ctrl+= and Ctrl+Shift+= respectively.
  2. Right-click a page's thumbnail or press within the "Thumbnails" area and select the rotation direction from the drop-down list. The above-listed hotkeys are also applicable.

Once you have finished using the rotate PDF tool and the task is complete, you can save the changes in a document from the "File" menu of the software. The "Save" button will apply the PDF rotation. Alternatively, you can use the hotkey combo Ctrl+S.

Icecream PDF Editor can be used as a regular PDF reader or as an application for adding notes, stamps, and managing PDF pages. It works on Windows 11/10 and earlier versions and does not require high performance from your computer.

Correctly rotating a PDF file enhances its accessibility and usability, making it easier to read and understand. This is particularly important for documents containing text, images, or diagrams.

Rotate PDF with Adobe Acrobat

Adobe is one of the most popular programs for viewing, creating, and editing PDF documents. One is able to be used to rotate a PDF file in just a few simple steps. Here's how:

  1. Open the PDF you want to rotate in Acrobat.
  2. Select "Rotate Pages" from the "View" menu.
  3. Choose whether you need to rotate all pages in PDF or just a selection of them.
  4. Select the direction - clockwise or counterclockwise.
  5. Close the window. The next time you open the file, all changes will be saved.
Adobe Acrobat.

Adobe is a widely used and powerful tool to rotate PDFs. It offers a range of options for users, giving them flexibility and control over the process.

But a subscription to Acrobat can be costly, especially if you're only using the tool occasionally. And it can take a while to turn large PDFs with Adobe due to its robust features and tools.

There are scenarios where PDF files may need to be rotated by 90 or 180 degrees. For example, if a scanned document is saved in landscape orientation but needs to be viewed in portrait orientation, or if an image within a PDF is upside down and requires adjustment.

Rotate PDF with Preview

Preview is a free PDF viewer for Mac. It allows users to rotate and edit PDF documents quickly and easily. Here's the process of rotating the PDF in Preview:

  1. Open the PDF file in Preview.
  2. Select "Rotate Right" or "Rotate Left" in the toolbar. Or follow "Tools" > "Rotate Left/Right".
  3. To turn multiple pages at once, hold Shift. To rotate all pages in PDF hit Command + A.
  4. Finally, keep your changes by clicking on "File" and selecting "Save" from the menu options.

Turning PDF pages with Preview takes no time at all. You can pick the pages for rotation and it will be done in an instant. However, other than rotating pages, Preview doesn't offer much in terms of features for editing PDFs.


How do I rotate a single page in a PDF?
Use a PDF editor to open the PDF, select the page you wish to rotate, and choose the needed option.
Can I rotate only part of my PDF document?
Yes, most PDF editing tools allow you to select and rotate specific pages in PDF or sections of the document.
How can I stop someone else from making alterations to my tilted PDF?
A: You can add protection to the PDF file so that only those with the password can edit it.
Can I rotate scanned documents?
A: Yes, you can use an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tool to scan documents into a searchable PDF format and then rotate PDF if needed.
How do I know what orientation my rotated page will be in after rotation?
A: You can use the "Preview" option to see how your page will look after rotation before you save the changes.

How to Rotate a PDF: Conclusion

In conclusion, rotating a PDF is a straightforward process. To turn a PDF, the most important thing is to have the right software or online tool. Once you have it, the remaining steps are simple and intuitive. Pay attention to the following points:

  • Choose the right rotation angle. Verify you have the correct angle of rotation.
  • Check the results. Once you've rotated the PDF, double-check it to confirm everything looks as expected.
  • Save the changes. Don't forget to save the result after turning PDF.

Heeding these guidelines can ensure that the PDF looks professional and sophisticated. While PDF rotation can seem intimidating at first, this guide has shown that it can be easy if you know what to do. With these tips in hand, you can confidently rotate any PDF!

Alexandra Meyer

Editor-in-Chief at Icecream Apps

With experience spanning over several years, Alexandra Meyer holds the esteemed position of editor-in-chief at Icecream Apps. Originally involved in the website's establishment in 2014, Alexandra now ensures the maintenance of the company's exceptional content standards across their various projects. Specializing in technology, software, online services, and human resources, she has extensively written and edited numerous articles on these subjects.
5 min read
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