It drives me crazy that all books and papers I have to read are in portrait mode, yet my screen is in landscape mode. Is there a possibility to change the layout of a PDF from portrait to landscape? I don't mean rotating it, since then it would be impossible to read, I mean rearrange the objects on the page or even chop a portrait page into two halves and putting them next to each other?

  • I have an external monitor in portrait orientation just for this problem (as well as for editing code and displaying web pages which are often more usable in portrait). On my desktop system I use a Dell rotatable monitor I bought used off eBay and on my laptop I use a Asus portable monitor resting on a plate stand also bought off eBay. A worthwhile setup if you can afford the desk space (and money!). – B.Tanner Jan 31 '19 at 6:34

No, this is not how PDF files are designed. They are designed to mimick a paper print copy. Thus, flow of the content and layout is static.

Other formats such as epub exist that can adapt layout of the content to changing dimensions of the screen/window.

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  • 1
    That was the current state of PDF about 15 years ago! – Max Wyss Jan 31 '19 at 3:13
  • As @MaxWyss mentioned, this situation has not changed in decades. The problem is, it should be some possibility to just cut a page in half, as you'd cut an image, and paste them side-by-side. – Qubix Jan 31 '19 at 10:30
  • @Qubix Actually, I was referring to the first sentence of the message… – Max Wyss Feb 1 '19 at 10:37

If the PDF has been created accordingly (as a "structured PDF"), and the PDF viewer is capable to do it, you can switch to the "Reflow view", which does reflow to the size of the viewing window.

It may be that only the Adobe viewers (Acrobat/Reader) do support this feature.

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