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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display System 10.4
Tiger only hintNot sure if this is a hint or not, but I have not seen it mentioned anywhere yet. If you go into the Displays prefrence panel, you will see a new drop down caled "Rotate." This will rotate the image on your display a number of diffrent ways: 90, 180, or 270 degrees.

This is very cool. I'm not sure if this is only with a Cinema display or not; I have the new 20" aluminum display.

[robg adds: This is a very cool feature, especially with some of the larger monitors that are coming out -- a 23" LCD on its side would make a nice monitor for someone who works with large numbers of text-based documents each day (or who wants to view maybe four full-height webpage windows on one screen). You won't see this panel on every Mac -- the 12" PowerBook I own, for instance, doesn't seem to want to let me type sideways. My main machine, though, can have a rotated display, and it works quite well.

Warning: A friend of mine tried the rotation trick on his machine with an older (VGA CRT) monitor connected. Somehow, this resulted in a scan-out-of-range error. After much troubleshooting, neither of us were able to resolve it (you couldn't even boot from the install DVD, and pulling the battery didn't help). He wound up doing an archive and install in FireWire target disk mode to get it back. The big problem seems to be that there's no "Did this change work -- yes or no" dialog box. When you choose a rotation, it just happens. So if your monitor can't take the strange rotated resolution, you may be in trouble...]
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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display | 35 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: CrazyJack on May 15, '05 02:59:13AM

I lost my display a couple of times as well since Tiger due to out-of-scan problems. The solution is easy: In the /Users/<Username>/Library/Preferences/ByHost-directory of the user who changed the resolution you should delete the file that starts with com.apple.windowserver.plist (behind that is some code to identify your computer, in case you have a network home directory.

You could delete this file from from single-user mode, an admin-account, from OS9, whatever you feel comfortable with.

And in my case: I have an LCD (Eizo L557) and merely clicking on the selected resolution (1280x1024) makes the scan frequency go crazy, without a warning dialogue. Even though it is connected through DVI. Very strange, but I think it is just a 10.4.0-thing, will be fixed soon.



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Jul 15, '09 11:37:15PM

You may also be able to bypass the scan rate problem, and delete the windowserver.plist file, by starting up the Mac in Safe Boot mode (hold down the Shift key at startup).



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: Grappik on May 15, '05 02:59:28AM

I believe this is for Macs that have ATI graphics cards. My PowerMac G5 has one of the nVidia cards, and does not have this option in the Display preference panel. Neither does my 12" PowerBook...



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: samkusnetz on May 15, '05 03:04:07AM

sounds to me like laying the groundwork for a tablet mac... anyone care to speculate?



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Tablet + 3rd party monitors
Authored by: lullabud on May 15, '05 01:12:59PM

I'd love it if they released a tablet, but a more present day function is for those rotating LCD monitors like Dell has, 2005fpw. I have one but I can't get this rotation trick to work on my 12" pb. It is a handy feature though, since documents are usually laid out vertically and a vertical screen would let you see more of the document at once. I did see something mentioned that said sub-pixel rendering relied on horizontal displays though, so the color accuracy and even readability goes down when it's rotated.



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: barrysharp on May 15, '05 03:11:56AM

I believe this will only work if the display has "Geometry controls". My Alu 23" does not have these controls. :( I tried in vain to get the drop down menu and ended up typing "Rotate" in the System Pref Spotlight search box and then selecting "Screen Image" that dropped down and appeared. Doing this I observed another drop down pane/sheet that indicated

The Geometry tab of Displays preferences is hidden because this display does not have geometry controls.

---
Regards... Barry Sharp



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: barrysharp on May 15, '05 03:14:02AM

Hmmm - reading some of the other replies makes me add - I have 2x 2.5GHz PM G5 with the nVidia 6800 Ultra.

---
Regards... Barry Sharp



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: jedik on May 15, '05 03:29:37AM

Try holding OPTION+COMMAND when clicking in the Displays icon in the System Preferences. ;)

This seems to work with iBooks and PowerBooks.

CAUTION: Try it at your own risk. As it's not shown by default, there may be a good reason for this.


---
:: Jedi Knight ::
-- Mac Rules! --



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: simonpie on May 15, '05 10:13:02AM

Does not work for me, I have a 17 inch powerbook of the first generation. But I did notice this, if one holds shift-option while clicking on monitor, you get the slow motion version of the transition between all preference pane and the monitor preference.



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: bromhead on May 15, '05 08:00:54PM

Works fine for me on my 17" 1.33 PowerBook with the Radeon 9600. Make sure you quit system preferences first before holding option-command. If you get the wrong keys you have to quit the preferences and try again.



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: auricgoldfinger on May 15, '05 10:19:03AM

Well... I changed it and took by accident 180deg. After changing, the option was gone, so I was in a little trouble suddenly :) But quitting system prefs and alt-click brought the rotate back and I changed it to normal. I'll try 90deg in a moment. Right now, the anti-aliasing is rather screwed up...



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: bakalite on May 15, '05 11:29:18AM

Guys, there is no alt on the mac. There is the Command (or Apple) key, the option key, and the control key.

In this case the poster means option. To get the rotate menu, do the following:

Close System Prefs.
Open System Prefs.
Hold down the option key while selecting Displays

On my Original Titanium G4 Powerbook the rotate menu shows up automatically for the cinema display, but not for the internal monitor. Doing the option trick brings it up for both. Rotating the display on the powerbook is no problem. To rotate it back to normal, just follow the steps above again.



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: wzpgsr on May 15, '05 11:53:33AM

That's funny. My option key clearly also says "alt".



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: JKT on May 16, '05 08:19:51AM

FYI, alt is used on a lot of non-US Apple keyboards in place of opt.

---
PB G4, 1.5 GHz, 2x512MB RAM, 128MB VRAM, 80 GB 5400rpm HD, SuperDrive, MacOS X 10.3.9

Visit www.thelandgallery.com for nature-inspired British Art



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: Kludge on Jul 12, '10 09:34:21AM

Worked for me! Now I can have my MacBook Pro on it's side and use it as a text reader while using an external display as the main display.

15" MacBook Pro (2009) OS X 10.6.4



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: Kludge on Jul 12, '10 11:39:00PM

Oh, I should add I have to have a second monitor hooked up for this to work. If it's just the MacBook by itself it doesn't work.



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: zpjet on May 15, '05 03:43:24AM
well i have last 15" powerbook with... i don't really know... yeps ATI Mobility Radeon 9700, and i see that option to rotate in displays, but only on external one and i haven't tried it with vga but only DVI. so i do hope we talk about the same thing when some of you guys complain. although this may prepare a path for a tablet mac, still we are mostly going to operate our powerbook sin landscape mode, huh? (although the possibility of reading in bed could be cool, i would still have to remove a few menu icons to make space for anything else than file and edit...)

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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: ChrisH3677 on May 15, '05 11:21:51AM

If you want to read in bed, Preview allows rotating of PDFs. This is very effective and I've used it extensively to read books and manuals in a landscape format.

---
Computer: Powerbook 15" Titanium 1Ghz 512Mb RAM 60Gb HDD SuperDrive Jaguar 10.2.8

Windoze switcher (August 2003)



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: Anonymous on May 15, '05 04:02:19AM

Apple decided to hide rorate option on some models despite they have capabilities to rotate it. The way to unleash rotating (provided hardware supports the trick) is:

1. Run System Preferences (the point is, it must be just-run, so quit it and reopen if you have it already opened)
2. Alt-click at Displays
3. Select your rotatation :)

If you want to revert to previous rotation, or to standard - close System Preferences and go to #1



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: jetcowbob on May 18, '05 02:51:57AM

Hrm... not sure what is wrong.... I do have the 10.4.1 update, but this trick, holding down alt/opt when clicking displays (yes, being the first thing i do after opening system preferences from the lil apple drop down menu)

Ive got one of the newer 1.5GHz 12" powerbooks. Id really like to figure out how to flip the display with an apple script, so that i can use the sudden motion sensor to flip the display automagically if i tilt it sideways to read it like a book. I think you can see where this is going. that mouse button is in the perfect spot for 'flipping pages' in an ebook.

=)



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: GenesysX on May 15, '05 05:27:56AM

Does anyone know if there is a display that sends a signal to the mac that it has been pivoted, so that the display auto changes.

Is this possible?

---
--
Chris Andrews



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: iheartzach on May 15, '05 07:14:41AM

Zapping the PRAM should have resolved the out of sync/freq problem... I'm guessing



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: romulis on May 16, '05 06:33:48AM

Nope. Zapping PRAM has no effect.
The only thing that helps is a safe boot. (Boot and hold down the shift key - just like you used to do in Mac OS 9).



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: inemo on May 15, '05 08:39:16AM

This only works on ATI cards. You might have to hold down option to make the rotate popup appear when clicking on displays.



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: bradporeda on May 15, '05 09:19:02AM

After "upgrading" my 14" iBook with SceenSpanningDoctor to enable monitor spanning, the ROTATE menu appeared on my external Xeorx 1280x1024 monitor. Awesome.

The only downside is speed on the external monitor. Any dragging of windows is very choppy; probably because the CPU is swithing the X and Y axises on the fly, affecting performance.

---
--Brad



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: luhmann on May 15, '05 09:32:55AM

On my G4 iBook I was able to do this by hitting "option" when launching the pref pane. But after rotating I couldn't accesse the option again - I was stuck with an upside-down display. Finally, i was able to undo the action by restarting the computer and repeating the procedure.

I read about this hint on /. in an article about Apple's new patent for a tablet computer... although who knows what the patent is *really* for.



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: Ockham on May 15, '05 09:34:41AM

On the warning for a scan-out-of-range error:

This popped up at MacFixIt a couple of weeks ago with a forum member.

http://www.macfixitforums.com/php/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=tiger&Number=688727

The solution was simply to safe boot and change the display settings and then immediately reboot.



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: t413 on May 15, '05 06:04:07PM

This is the EXACT same hint (without the in-depth detail) the The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW). Here is the link.

The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

I have my high school textbook on PDF, and I rotate my 15 in PowerBook screen to read it... Which is very helpful.



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: SC_shooter on May 16, '05 09:58:05AM

I have a 9800 Mac Edition retail card in a dual 2.0 G5. This option doesn't come up with any key combination that I can find. I can rotate the monitor with the ATI Displays using Versavision but not with the Displays preferences.

Any ideas?

I even went back and reinstalled drivers from the CD that came with card and all updates since. This didn't help. When I updated to Tiger, I didn't install anything other than the ATI Displays program, figuring that surely the drivers came with Tiger.



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: bellis1975 on May 17, '05 08:34:56AM

Now if I could only rotate my trackpad. It took me about 10 minutes just to put the rotation back on my ibook after I tried this. Quite a mental exercise. Now I need to go this try this on my 20" imac and buy that vesa mount that I have been wanting.



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Applescript?
Authored by: bethematt on May 28, '05 01:33:38PM

Does anyone know if there is there an apple script that will rotate the display for me?



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: KenaiTheMacFan on Jun 07, '05 07:27:31PM

I heard that the Cinema Displays overheat if you rotate them.

---
Ian



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: engelby on Jul 27, '06 06:01:43PM

I know its been a year later, but I would really like to get this to work on a laptop of mine. I remember this feature a long time ago, but looked again today and couldn't get it to come up in the system preferences. Is there a preference file somewhere that I could flip my screen 180 degrees.

As a side note, everybody probably knows that holding shift and clicking minimize will make windows minimize/maximize slowly, and there's lots of tricks with that with dashboard and expose and all that stuff. I found one today that I didn't know about tho while trying to get this to work. You used to have to hold Option and click the Displays preference in system preferences, well while holding the Shift and Option keys, it makes the system preferences load in slow motion.

Anyways, any help on this would be appreciated.



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: digitalax on May 08, '07 01:09:40AM

it depends on your hardware. If there's no such a menu in the Display preferences, your hardware can't rotate image.



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10.4: How to rotate OS X's display
Authored by: filiptepper on Mar 10, '11 03:03:58PM
If you're running 10.6 and you need to pivot your display you can try EasyPivot application, it's available on the Mac App Store. [here]

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