Typesetting things in landscape orientation

It's often necessary to typeset part of a document in landscape orientation; to achieve this, one needs not only to change the page dimensions, but also to instruct the output device to print the strange page differently.

There are two “ordinary” mechanisms for doing two slight variations of landscape typesetting:

  • If you have a single floating object that is wider than it is deep, and will only fit on the page in landscape orientation, use the rotating package; this defines sidewaysfigure and sidewaystable environments which create floats that occupy a whole page.

Note that rotating has problems in a document that also loads the float package, which recommended in other answers in these FAQs, for example that on float placement. The rotfloat package loads rotating for you, and smooths the interaction with float. - If you have a long sequence of things that need to be typeset in landscape (perhaps a code listing, a wide tabbing environment, or a huge table typeset using longtable or supertabular), use the lscape package (or pdflscape if you're generating PDF output, whether using pdfLaTeX or dvips and generating PDF from that). Both packages define an environment landscape, which clears the current page and restarts typesetting in landscape orientation (and clears the page at the end of the environment before returning to portrait orientation).

No currently available package makes direct provision for typesetting in both portrait and landscape orientation on the same page (it's not the sort of thing that TeX is well set-up to do). If such behaviour was an absolute necessity, one might use the techniques described in "flowing text around figures", and would rotate the landscape portion using the rotation facilities of the graphics package. (Returning from landscape to portrait orientation would be somewhat easier: the portrait part of the page would be a bottom float at the end of the landscape section, with its content rotated.)

To set an entire document in landscape orientation, one might use lscape around the whole document. A better option is the landscape option of the geometry package; if you also give it dvips or pdftex option, geometry also emits the rotation instructions to cause the output to be properly oriented. The memoir class has the same facilities, in this respect, as does geometry.

A word of warning: most current TeX previewers do not honour rotation requests in DVI files. Your best bet is to convert your output to PostScript or to PDF, and to view these “final” forms with an appropriate viewer.

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