How do I rotate objects in Adobe® InDesign®?

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Graphics, text, graphic elements (lines, boxes, etc.) and photo blocks can be rotated in InDesign using the Rotate tool, Control palette or the Free Transform tool.

  • Place the graphic or select the graphic with the Selection tool.
  • The object can be rotated with the Control palette, the Rotate dialog box or the Rotate tool, or the Free Transform tool.

Rotate using the Control palette:

  • Type an angle measurement in the Rotation angle field.
  • Use a positive number to rotate counterclockwise and a negative number to rotate clockwise.
  • The object will rotate from the point selected on the Proxy.
  • Press Return/Enter.

InDesign-Control palette

Roate iconsInDesign CS5, CS4 & CS3

  • Use the icons on the Control palette to rotate or flip elements
    • Top row of icons: Rotate Clockwise or Rotate Counterclockwise
    • Bottom row of icons: Flip Horizontal or Flip Vertical
  • With the element selected, click on one of the icons

InDesign CS5 Free Transform & Rotate toolRotate using the Rotate tool dialog box:

  • Double click on the Rotate tool InDesign-rotate tool to open the Rotate dialog box.
    • CS5 users may need to click and hold the Free Transform tool to get the Rotate tool.
  • Type an angle measurement in the Angle field.
  • Use a positive number to rotate counterclockwise and a negative number to rotate clockwise.
  • Select Preview to view the change.
  • Click OK.

InDesign CS5, CS4 & CS3 Rotate dialog box

InDesign CS2 and CS InDesign-Rotate dialog box

Rotate with the Rotate tool:

  • Select the object with the Selection tool.
  • Click on the Rotate tool.
    • The object will rotate from the point selected on the Proxy.
  • Click away from the object and drag around it.

InDesign-roate with rotate tool

  • The further away from the object you click, the more control you have.
  • To constrain the rotation to 45 degree increments, hold down the Shift key as you drag.

    InDesign-rotated object

    InDesign-free transformRotate with the Free Transform tool:

    • Select the object with the Selection tool.
    • Click on the Free Transform Free Transform tool tool.
    • Click away from the object and drag.
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