All You Need To Know About Rotation Directions

Did this happen to you before? You want to copy or scan your ID, a legal document, passport or a book or article, but you are not too familiar with the scanner? And in the end, your document is upside down or rotated?

Luckily, you can easily rotate single pages or a whole PDF document easily using PDF2Go. We have even created an easy to follow tutorial for you. To make things easy, we used arrows and clear labeling for our buttons, yet that is not always the case.

PDF Rotation


That’s reason enough for us to explore the whole business about rotation directions

Rotation Directions

When talking about rotation, we are talking about a circular movement of an object; in this case the page of a PDF document. The rotation is done around an imaginary line or axis.

Clock-iconUsually, we divide this circular motion into two directions. Clockwise (CW) or counterclockwise (CCW), which is also known as anticlockwise (ACW) by speakers of British English. The name, as you probably already guessed, comes from the direction of the hands of a clock.


Clockwise-arrow-iconA clockwise motion follows the hands of a clock. Starting from the top, the hands move to the right, then downwards, to the left and back to the top. In general, starting from the top clockwise is seen as a rotation to the right.



Counterclockwise-arrow-iconA counterclockwise motion moves against the direction of the hands of a clock. From the top, the motion first leads to the left, then downwards, to the right and back to the top. When starting from the top, this motion can be regarded as a rotation to the left.


Furthermore, the rotation is often described by the degree of rotation. Assuming a full circle of 360°, there are two ways to define rotation using degrees. The first one follows the clockwise rotating motion. Thus, your page or image would be rotated the chosen amount of degrees to the right:

  • 90°
  • 180°
  • 270°

However, sometimes the distinction is made in a different way with the rotation to the left (counterclockwise) taken into account:

  • +90° – rotated to the right
  • -90° – rotated to the left


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