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Free Script to Rotate Selected Characters

InDesign allows you to rotate text characters if you convert them to outlines. But what if you want to keep the text “live” and editable, but still rotate the characters? There’s a script for that!

The Japanese version of InDesign allows character rotation, but none of the other versions do. However, the character rotation property is accessible “under the hood” via scripting. The catch is that the “composer” of the paragraph must be set to the “Adobe Japanese Paragraph Composer” before the character rotation value works reliably.

So the script, which you can download here, changes the paragraph composer to the Japanese Paragraph Composer and then rotates the characters the amount you specify.

The drawback to applying the Japanese composer is that you’ll likely lose hyphenation in the paragraph, and other horizontal and vertical spacing in and around the paragraph may change. And you’ll likely need to fuss with the kerning on either side of the rotated character. But if you can live with these limitations, the script can be quite useful.

Keith Gilbert

Keith Gilbert

Keith Gilbert is a digital publishing consultant and educator, Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Community Professional, conference speaker, author, and contributing writer for various publications. His work has taken him throughout North America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. During his 30 years as a consultant, his clients have included Adobe, Apple, Target, the United Nations, Best Buy, General Mills, Lands' End, and Medtronic. Follow him on Twitter @gilbertconsult and at
Keith Gilbert

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