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VIDEO Rotate Your PC Screen For Reading

Read on your PC screen? Yes, we do more and more of that these days, and often we read multi-page documents and even entire magazines and books online. Think of all the trees we are saving!

The proportions of the screens of most notebook and netbook PCs are fine for reading about 20 lines of text at a time before hitting the “Page Down” or scroll button. But for simulating the book-reading experience on a sub-kilogram netbook, flipping the screen left or right can be very handy.

e-Reader Software

Most creators of e-reader software recognize this and include a “Rotate” function in their menus. Examples of these are:

  • Evince Reader (a.k.a. “Document Viewer”)
  • Foxit Reader
  • Adobe Reader

The above programs are limited to viewing documents published in Adobe's Portable Document Format (pdf).

Other examples of e-reader programs for other document formats:

  • FBReader (epub, lrf)
  • Calibre (epub, lit, lrf, html, txt, prc, pdb, odt, rtf, etc.)

The last-named Calibre ( is a veritable Swiss-Army Knife for creating, converting, cataloguing and reading electronic books and news feeds. But for now, it lacks the capability of flipping the page for a comfortable read on my 7”, 2-lb eeePC 701.

Let X Do It

So, if your reader software won't let you rotate the page for book-like reading, you can let CrunchBang's pre-installed display tools do it for you.

Xrandr (X Rotate and Resize) is the tool for page rotation (and other functions, it is a bit of a Swiss-Army Knife, too - see the Wikipedia article or the MAN page for all the details).

The command-line syntax is:

xrandr -o right (The o option stands for “orientation”)

xrandr -o left

xrandr -o normal

xrandr -o invert (Not sure why anyone would need this, but you never know :-)

Note When you are reading with the screen flipped by xrandr, it is frustrating to use the mouse. Try using and creating keyboard shortcuts for often-used commands.

Enjoy your onscreen reading!

howto/rotate_the_pc_screen.txt · Last modified: 2012/05/25 18:20 by machinebacon
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