New user: working with PDFs?

I’ve just started my first project with Scrivener, and so far all is well – just one hurdle. I’ve imported PDFs (in my Research folder). However, there doesn’t appear to be a way to rotate them (clockwise or counterclockwise) as is pretty common in other programs. I found only one thread in the forum on this – which dates to 5/2007 and elicited only a single reply, namely “no it’s not possible to rotate pdfs.” Is that still the case? It would be great to be able to do so within Scrivener – otherwise I guess I’ll need an external editor to check the orientation of every pdf before I import it?


No, it’s still not possible to rotate PDF files, and there are no plans for this. The trouble is that rotating PDF files is more than a viewing option, it’s actually an edition option, and Scrivener isn’t a PDF editor. To clarify: you can rotate an imported image in Scrivener, but rotating an image is just a viewing option - it doesn’t affect the original file. By contrast, a PDF file may consist of multiple pages, and rotation operates only on the current page, which entails editing the underlying file. Thus Scrivener allows the rotation of images because it has no effect on the underlying image, but not on PDFs because rotation would affect the underlying PDF file, and Scrivener isn’t capable of editing PDF files (its features being focussed on text).

Hope that makes sense. The short answer, though, is that, yes, you will need to import files that have the orientation correct to begin with - this usually isn’t a problem with PDF files, though, unless they are ones you have scanned in yourself.

All the best,

OK, thanks. I’ll use Acrobat or another editor to rotate files before importing them.

That is the best policy to take with special formats like this. Scrivener is good for collecting media and keeping everything organised, but it was never meant to be an editor for all of the various types of files it can import (it would, in many cases, take years to address each format adequately). If you already own a copy of Acrobat, that would be by far the best place to get your PDFs looking great before collecting them as research material into Scrivener.