I received an Adobe PDF scan of a document that displays upside-down.

I rotated it inside Adobe Acrobat and chose Save As to make a new document, however, the rotation is not saved and when I open the new document, it is upside-down again.

How can I correct this upside-down document as a new PDF file?

16 Answers 16

up vote 23 down vote accepted

Make sure you go to Documents ⇨ Rotate Pages and then save it. This should work if you close and reopen. If you go to View ⇨ Rotate View and try to save the document it will not keep the rotated view when you save it.

For Adobe Acrobat 10, go to Tools on the right and rotate it that way, then save it.

  • 3
    If you rotate it from the Toolbar via VIEW it won't save the rotated format. The save option is actually grayed out. If you go to the right side bar with TOOLS » COMMENT » SHARE. Choose Tools and rotate your pages from there, it will save just fine. – user202541 Feb 26 '13 at 20:36
  • @user202541 I have success following your method, why not put it as answer? – checksum May 10 '14 at 3:22
  • 1
    This is the best answer. It is done within Acrobat. – Vennsoh Jun 3 '14 at 3:29
  • 3
    Where is Documents located in Adobe Reader? There is no Documents tab? – Kala J Jul 31 '14 at 14:17
  • 2
    @KalaJ: jwade isn't talking about Adobe Reader, he's talking about Adobe Acrobat, which unlike Adobe Reader is not a free product. – twasbrillig Oct 20 '14 at 5:19

Follow these steps:

  • Rotate to the correct view
  • Select: File -> Print -> Printer: PDF Printer
  • Save as your document


  • 1
    I did it with CutePDF Writer, it worked, just make sure that you are printing the "current view", and not other options such as "document" or "current page". You can check the result in advance on the preview, though. – Halberdier Sep 22 '15 at 12:31
  • 5
    Seriously the best for those that don't have full Adobe Acrobat, and the document is too sensitive to send it online for document rotation. – StrangeWill Apr 15 '16 at 4:14
  • This is genius! :) – Antonio Mar 9 '17 at 9:36

While there are many commercial tools available which allow you to modify/rotate a PDF document and save the changes, you have to download and install the software -- too much of a hassle for a one-off kinda task such as this. Luckily, the fine folks at http://www.rotatepdf.net/ allow you to have your PDF file rotated online to a desired degree (90 clockwise/counterclockwise and 180 clockwise) online, for free.

I just had this issue today and found the website. Once you specify the PDF you want to rotate and the degree of rotation, you click the "Rotate PDF" button. That uploads your PDF to thier servers and performs the requested rotation. Momentarily, you're greeted with a result page allowing you to view the result online or download the rotated PDF to your computer.

While they say they remove the PDF after conversion and don't retain it on their servers, I'd not upload a sensitive document for conversion.

  • Used this and it was sweet and simple. – aug Dec 13 '12 at 3:25
  • Web interfaces/tools are the best. No install, no uninstall, nice n sandboxed. Perfect! – Rudie Feb 16 '13 at 1:18
  • 8
    This is fine as long as you don't want to rotate private/secret data (think SSN, email addresses, credit card numbers...) – Stan May 19 '14 at 13:54
  • @Rudie The web tools are sandboxed, but they could infect your pdf or steal your data. After installing Adobe Reader you can print as PDF, so usually you don't have to use other tools. – BlackCat Oct 28 '16 at 12:16
  • @BlackCat That's a very good point! Never thought about that... Many media formats must have exploitable quirks like that, and some online tools probably do exploit them. – Rudie Oct 28 '16 at 15:59

ImageMagick's convert tool can be given -flip -flop to reflect in both axes, which will do a 180° rotate.

You may want to use the -density option to keep a decent resolution (as pointed out in the comments, the default 70 dpi looks ugly. 300 or 600 dpi give better results)

  • 1
    I tried this, and the resulting quality of the rotated PDF was HORRIBLE! – robguinness Jul 31 '13 at 12:31
  • This didn't work for my .pdf file without images. convert -flip -flop 20150720180251625.pdf results in convert.im6: no images defined '20150720180251625.pdf' @ error/convert.c/ConvertImageCommand/3044. – JamesThomasMoon1979 Jul 21 '15 at 1:45

You can open the PDF file in an Adobe app like Illustrator and then rotate in there. Then save as PDF and this should work. If you you don't have access to CS3 you may want to try open source PDF editing software.

  • For those not familiar with Illustrator, here are instructions to rotate the content: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/28429/… – Xavier Poinas Feb 9 '15 at 13:34
  • 9
    You should name some "open source PDF editing software", otherwise this answer is quite useless for all the people that doesn't own a copy of Adobe Illustrator. – Manuel Durando Feb 10 '15 at 9:08
  • Realy? google.com/… seems pretty easy to me. Plus, I don't use any open source PDF software so I really don't have a good recommendation. – nicorellius Feb 10 '15 at 16:29

Another solution for automating this is to use pdftk (which unlike Imagemagick's convert, won't change the resolution). It can be done with the command

pdftk inputfilename.pdf cat 1-endS output outputfilename.pdf

where cat instructs pdftk to catenate pages (as opposed to burst mode where you get a lot of little files) 1-end is the page range and S is the direction to rotate it (top points South)

Also, here are some additional examples of pdftk usage.

  • 1
    Thanks so much for this - this is the best solution here. I had a PDF that contained two combined reports. With one command, I was able to remove the pages I don't need and flip the ones I did need. Just as a note, I believe I had to use 1-endeast to get it to flip correctly when it was completely upside down. You can use north, south, east, west, left, down, and up I believe. This was very helpful. Thank you! – user1274820 Jan 8 '16 at 20:41

I have PDF-Xchange Viewer,and it is easy to fix and save orientation with this freeware.I also have Foxit Reader which although freeware as well,is very limited in it's editing ability.Go with the PDF-Xchange Viewer!

  • This how to do it: Go to "Document" than "Rotate pages".. – droidgren Jun 15 '16 at 9:53

DerfK's answer suggests pdftk, which is a good fit but isn't provided in Fedora since at least Fedora 21.


An alternative (actually listed in Fedora 23 when searching for a pdftk package) is pdf-stapler :

pdf-stapler cat input.pdf 1D output.pdf

will rotate by 180° (D) the first page (1) of input.pdf into output.pdf. See pdf-stapler -h.


I just noticed tab completion suggested me pdf180 (along with pdf90 and pdf270). This is a wrapper for pdfjam --suffix rotated180 --angle 180 --fitpaper true input.pdf, which you can use as simply as

pdf180 input.pdf -o output.pdf

(-o output being optional, if not provided pdf180 will output to $PWD/input-rotated180.pdf).

Other alternatives

Answers to this question on ask.fedora.org, in addition to explaining why pdftk isn't available for Fedora since (at least) Fedora 21, are worth checking since they list several other alternatives, which presumably are able to rotate PDFs.

Another solution: rotate it, copy it all into Word and then save that document as a PDF. You have to change the Word document to have no margins before copying it over.

www.pdfsam.org : open source, cross-platform tool that allows to rotate, split, merge and otherwise manipulate PDF documents. This is a must-have tool, in my opinion, if you are doing things like insurance claims, or other document handling tasks.

I used this because the other solutions (above) didn't work for me in my firewall-limited environment (we're not allowed to upload documents to the web).

  1. Download & Install from Github releases
    • Note: I had to install the MSI version
  2. Run and Click the "Rotate" button
  3. Click "Add", and select a PDF document
  4. Under "Rotate Settings" select the type of rotation you want done (you can rotate the whole doc, or only certain pages, etc.)
  5. Be sure to select a "Destination Directory"
  6. Click "Run"

on a mac you can go to the print menu and on the bottom left corner you can print a PDF of you document after you rotate it. It will create a new PDF with the new changes.

In windows: go to www.ninite.com check off PDFCreator or CutePDF, and get the installer. It will create a PDF printer for you to select in the print dialogue, and when you print, it will prompt you with a save dialogue for a PDF file.

I am not sure if it possible in Adobe PDF Reader but Foxit PDF Editor (Paid software, trial available) has the feature to save a PDF file after rotating it.

  1. Install Foxit Editor.
  2. Open the file in Foxit.
  3. Go to Document -> Pages -> Rotate.
  4. Do a Save As to save the changes.

Here is the easiest solution. It is free and can be done online. http://www.rotatepdf.net/

If you don't have the reading pane already up to do the option mentioned above, then you can just click Document-Rotate Pages . This should allow you to save the rotated view.

You need to be working with a version of Acrobat that allows changes (i.e., not simply free reader). In the pages tab on the left, highlight the pages you want rotated (by left-clicking on them, use Ctrl to click on multiple pages), then right-click - Rotate Pages - 180 degrees. Then save.

In Acrobat Pro, click on Document at the top, then Rotate Pages. Then save the document. Works perfectly.

You need Adobe Acrobat Standard or higher to edit pdf files.

1) Open your document in Adobe Acrobat (not Acrobat Reader).

2) Click on the “Pages” tab on left side of the page. Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut Shift + Ctrl + R, to open the rotate pages dialog.

3) Right-click on the thumbnail image of the page you want to rotate. You will have the default choice to rotate the selection or you can choose a range of pages to rotate.

4) Save your changes.

NOTE: The common pitfall is using menu View -> Rotate View -> Counterclockwise and save the document, which will only temporarily rotate, not permanently.

You should be aware that Adobe Acrobat requires an $11/month subscription to use this feature.

protected by Community Feb 26 '13 at 20:55

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