Rotate illustrator canvas and contents?

Is there a way to rotate the canvas in illustrator 90 degrees? It’s pdf format. I’ve tried the Artboard tool (Ctrl/Command + O)

I found an answer regarding this: Illustrator opens PDFs rotated 90 degrees. Why, and how do I deal with it?

Is this still the case? Do i have to use adobe acrobat / reader to rotate it? Is it possible to rotate it in illustrator CS6?


Thank you for visiting the Q&A section on Magenaut. Please note that all the answers may not help you solve the issue immediately. So please treat them as advisements. If you found the post helpful (or not), leave a comment & I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Method 1

Press Shift+O. At the top of the screen you can switch from portrait mode or landscape mode. Select your desired position.

rotate canvas

Then press V (Selection Tool) then Ctrl/Command + A (Select All) to select all the objects.

Move your mouse to any corner of the selected box. Your mouse should change to this

rotate cursor

Hold Shift and Click & Drag to rotate the selected object 90 degrees. There are number a ways to rotate objects, you can also right click the selected object > Transform > Rotate then apply what degree you want.

It does not matter if you rotate the canvas first or the objects first. They are independent of each other. To my knowledge there is no “one-click” method to doing both at the same time.

Method 2

Same as Javi, but before rotate anything, press M (Rectangle Tool) and generate a rectangle with the exact dimension of the Artboard.

Then, align to Artboard in both directions (H and V). Next, apply the Javi procedure…finally, delete the rectangle.

Method 3

Design it in InDesign, where you can go to Pages -> Rotate Page View. This rotates the entire page and its contents, so that you can design something upside down (bellybands that wrap around a box or 2-sided packages folded on the short end, for example) and then rotate it back to design the right-side-up part.

Method 4

The quickest way I’ve found to do this is to create a clipping mask of the contents that lines up exactly to the edges of your artboard (use the align tool to get it exact).
Then rotate the artwork, then rotate the clipped mask. Then you can release the clipping mask.

Method 5

Just print it again to pdf , and open it again in Illustrates it should do the magic .

Method 6

  1. Shift + O – select the “artboard tool” (second-from-last, above the zoom tool).
    A left-side menu will appear.
  2. At the bottom of the menu, a button appears in the “Quick Action” section: Artboard Options–click it.
  3. The 5th line contains an “Orientation” multi-select field with two options: (1) Portrait; (2) Landscape. Select the option that best suits your needs.

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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