2

It is a mess to make rotate a simple image on Adobe Illustrator 21.

Here a screenshot of the original scene :

original view

I desperatly tried to use the "rotate tool" but it is very hard to handle : If I well understood, I have to chose a central point for the rotation, then click on the "rotate tool" which makes appear another window where we set the angle of rotation.

When I perfom all these operations, a new image rotated is overlapping the old one.

Briefly, it is really annoying, I just want to rotate of 90° my original image, nothing else.

Adobe Illustrator is amazing on some points but here, this is too complicated.

Could anyone explain to me a simple and quick method to make rotate of 90° my image : the portrait should become a landscape.

PS: I have forced the orientation of PDF with pdftk :

pdftk input.pdf cat 1-endeast output output.pdf

but there too, Adobe Illustrator systematically opens the output.pdf as portrait and not landscape, I don't understand why.

Any help is welcome.

UPDATE :

Here the selection rotated but impossible to make the portrait white page in landscape mode in order to overlap the selection rotated on it.

impossible to se landscape mode

5
  • When you talk about rotating an image I understand it as rotating a placed raster image - a single object. Do you perhaps instead mean rotating the whole artboard/document? If the PDF isn't created in Illustrator it's easier to just rotate it in Acrobat in Organize Pages.
    – Wolff
    Aug 8, 2021 at 8:10
  • Your commandline does not actually rotate the PDF it just instructs default view to be turned. Illustrator does not (yet at 21) allow views to be rotated. But yes Illustrator is hard to use. As you need to understad a huge selection of object taxonomy to survive. But yes here also you made taxonomy mistake of thinking rotating image is the same thing as rotating document. Its perfectly normal to only want to rotate o e not the other.
    – joojaa
    Aug 8, 2021 at 8:42
  • @joojaa . Acrobat is higher simple to make rotate documents, just 1 click. With Illustrator, I can't manage to go to landscape mode. I managed to rotate the selection as you saw below but impossible to have a presentation (landscape I mean) which would allow to overlap over it correctly. Have you got some tracks/clues/suggestions t circumvent this ?
    – youpilat13
    Aug 8, 2021 at 9:13
  • 1
    Yes offcourse thats the purpose of acrobat not purpose of illustrator. Its not in Adobes interests to duplicate functions. Use the rotate dialog in transforms panel with upper left corner as focus (or just move the rotate widet to upper corner). Then set artboard to landscape. Anyway oneclicking this is not as useful as it sounds, since what would i do when the image spans multiple artboards.
    – joojaa
    Aug 8, 2021 at 9:19
  • 2
    See this possibly related question Is there a way to rotate an artboard along with contents?
    – Billy Kerr
    Aug 8, 2021 at 9:54

4 Answers 4

6

This is actually quite simple to achieve, but you'll like struggle with a trackpad:

  1. Select the image
  2. Hit R (selects Rotate tool)
  3. Hold SHIFT (restricts rotation to 90-degree increments)
  4. Drag mouse and rotate (or equivalent trackpad gesture)
  5. Hit SHIFT+O OR click the Artboard tool (image below) which opens up the artboard properties and there's a button to landscape the page (top left corner below main menu)
  6. Finally, select the rotated image, go to the Align panel (SHIFT+F7), check the "Align to artboard" option, click horizontal and vertical align

enter image description here

UPDATE since you are having trouble with this, here's an alternative without using a mouse:

  1. Select the image
  2. Go to Object > Transform > Rotate, hit the Preview and type in 90 degrees. With the 'Preview' selected, you should get a live preview of the rotation. Play with the value until you get the rotation you need. Use Shift + up/down arrows in the value box to jump in 10 degree increments.
  3. Hit OK
  4. Continue with steps 5 and 6 listed above

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

11
  • I am on MacOS Big Sur, are you sure this is "holding SHIFT" ? and to drag with Trackpad ?
    – youpilat13
    Aug 8, 2021 at 8:04
  • These shortcuts are Illustrator default, should be working on Macs as well. Experiment a little, its been like this since forever in Illustrator. I don't use a trackpad.
    – Lucian
    Aug 8, 2021 at 8:05
  • 1
    Cyan point is the rotation center point. Basically the image is rotating around its center, which is what you need, and is also a default. Cyan point is OK and if you see it, you've already done step 2, selecting the Rotation tool.
    – Lucian
    Aug 8, 2021 at 8:09
  • 2
    I don't know mate, never used macs or trackpads. Honestly, if you're trying to work in AI without a mouse, you won't get too far, like, seriously :)
    – Lucian
    Aug 11, 2021 at 10:25
  • 1
    @youpilat13 - I agree with Lucian here. It's really difficult to operate Illustrator or any complex graphics software using a trackpad on a laptop. I think this is your main problem to be honest. Get a mouse.
    – Billy Kerr
    Aug 17, 2021 at 10:44
4
+50

I don't need to do this often enough for a script or any real automation. So I simply do it manually when needed. My Method...

Select the Artboard tool... tap the correct button in the Control bar Across the top of the screen.

enter image description here - Portrait or landscape..

  • Select > Select All
  • Object > Group
  • Double-Click the Rotate Tool enter image description here
  • Enter either 90° or -90° which ever is appropriate and hit OK:
    enter image description here

  • Make certain the Align Panel is set to align to artboards
    enter image description here

  • Click the Center align horizontal enter image description here and center align vertical enter image description here buttons

In some cases it can be helpful to draw a no fill, no stroke, rectangle at the artboard edges, in order to keep the position of all elements the same after any rotation, before doing all this.

0

If all you want to do with a PDF is to rotate the pages, it's much easier to do in Acrobat than Illustrator.

  • Open the PDF in Acrobat.
  • Click View > Tools > Organize Pages > Open or simply search for "rotate" in the Search tools field in right column.
  • Use the Rotate clockwise or Rotate counterclockwise buttons to rotate the pages.
  • Save the PDF.
4
  • 1
    Thanks, I know but if I open it after in Adobe Illustrator, it renders the image vertically with a portrait mode, this is frustrating.
    – youpilat13
    Aug 8, 2021 at 9:18
  • Ah, I see. Same happens here. Strange. But why do you even open the PDF in Illustrator afterwards?
    – Wolff
    Aug 8, 2021 at 9:22
  • hoping the rotated page in Acrobat will be still rotated in Adobe Illustrator
    – youpilat13
    Aug 8, 2021 at 9:40
  • Yes, I understand that, but this whole question might also be a workflow issue. Normally I would make a document in Illustrator (or InDesign) in the final size and orientation I want and then place images and graphics as links. If the equation in your PDF is a raster image, I would extract that image and save it in raster format. I wouldn't edit an existing PDF to fit my needs. So that might be part of the reason why you find this cumbersome.
    – Wolff
    Aug 8, 2021 at 10:04
0

You are right, this is needlessly complicated. Unfortunately there is no really good solution for this. The problem is that any robust solution really has to work regardless of situation. The problem is that an artboard is not the same thing as a page, its more general. See what do you do when several artboards overlap each other and you want to only rotate some of the pages with content? Also artboards aren't normal objects they can not exist in arbitrary orientation.

Personally, if i ever would be in a position where i would need to do a lot of this. Then I would do what @Scott, hints in his last paragraph. Because its the most general possible solution. However i would instrument that a bit. I would make a script that would auto generate the bounds in a layer called artboards. Then i would make a script that would update the artboards after manipulation. THis would make it possible for me to use all the tools in my arsenal to edit the layout as a please, and remove the pain of updating stuff.

Ideally it would be a plugin, but the support costs are so high that i would need to be actually employed by your org to support it.

So how would this work?

Lets try to flesh out a preparation script. In essence we want to draw a invisible rectangle for each artboard (and because we want to be neat lets put them on a saparate layer).

#target illustrator
 function ab_to_path(parent, ab) {
    try { 
        pth = parent.pathItems.getByName(ab.name);
        pth.remove();        
    } catch (err) {

    }
     finally {
       rect = ab.artboardRect;         
         
       pth = parent.pathItems.rectangle(rect[1], rect[0],
                   rect[2] - rect[0],  rect[1] - rect[3]);
       pth.name = ab.name;
       pth.stroked = false;
       pth.filled = false;          
         
         
         return pth;
     }
}

 function find_or_create_layer(parent, name) {
    try { 
        layer = parent.layers.getByName(name);
    } catch (err) {
        layer = parent.layers.add();
        layer.name = name;
        layer.zOrder( ZOrderMethod.SENDTOBACK );
    }
     finally {
         return layer;
     }
}


function artboards_to_rectangles( doc ){
    layer = find_or_create_layer(doc, "ArtboardProxy");
    boards = doc.artboards;
    for (i = boards.length-1; i >= 0; i--){
       ab_to_path( layer, boards[i]);
    }
}


artboards_to_rectangles(app.activeDocument);

OK now you can just select the parts you want. Then rotate and move and even scale the corners as you want. Remeber a artboard can not be slaned so dont try to do that.

And finally we need to script to clean up and update artboards:

 function find_or_create_ab(doc, name) {
    try { 
        ab = doc.artboards.getByName(name);
    } catch (err) {
        ab = doc.artboards.add([0, 0, 10, -10]);
        ab.name =name;
    }
     finally {
         return ab;
     }
}

 function path_to_ab(doc, rect) {
     bb = rect.geometricBounds;
     ab = find_or_create_ab(doc, rect.name)
     ab.artboardRect = bb;
 }


function rectangles_to_artboards( doc ){
    layer = find_or_create_layer(doc, "ArtboardProxy");
    rect = doc.pathItems;
    for (i = 0; i < rect.length; i++){
       path_to_ab(doc, rect[i]);
    }
}

rectangles_to_artboards(app.activeDocument);

And thats about best we can do without using the api. OK so you could make a gui that opens a window with a button done that waits for cleanup

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