One of the most important things to master when you’re first learning InDesign is the concept of container vs. content. You need to select the right things (and with the right tools) to get the results you want when transforming objects. For example, you can create interesting effects by rotating text or text frames on the page. It’s easy enough to rotate both the frame and the text within it, using the Selection tool and the controls in the Transform panel or Control panel.

You are watching: How to rotate text in indesign

But what if you just want to rotate the frame and leave the text as is? Or vice versa? Here’s how.

To rotate a text frame and not the text within it. Select the text frame with the Selection tool.


Press the A key to immediately switch to the Direct Selection tool and enter the desired angle in the Transform panel or Control panel.

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To rotate text while keeping the original look of the container frame, select the frame with Selection tool, and enter the desired rotation angle.


Then press the A key to immediately switch to the Direct Selection tool, and enter reverse angle to un-rotate the frame. In this example, I rotated the text and frame 20° and then just the frame –20°, to put it back in its original place.





|October 24, 2016

direct selection toolselectingSelection toolTextText effectstransform

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Mike Rankin
Editor in Chief of and InDesign Magazine. Instructor at LinkedIn Learning with courses on InDesign, Illustrator, GIMP, Inkscape, and Affinity Publisher.

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