[OS X TeX] rotating vs landscape in two-sided documents

Chabot Denis chabotd at globetrotter.net
Sun Feb 11 12:38:48 EST 2007

Well, thanks to the help of many people here, my report is almost  
complete and I am very happy with the result, although I hope future  
reports will allow me to concentrate on content and not on  
formatting, one advantage of using LaTeX that was not achieved for  
this particular document...

I found some interesting consequences of the choice of method for  
rotating tables or figures in a landscape format that I'd like to  
share and maybe get some feedback on things I could have done.

I have quite a few "rotated pages" in my report. Some are due to  
multiple pages in landscape format, obtained with the combination of  
2 environments, landscape [from pdflscape] and longtable [from  

Even if my document is two-sided, these tables are always oriented  
with their top parallel with the left edge of a page. It allows you  
to easily read 2 contiguous pages of the same long table.

I also have a few full-page landscape figures. For those I had always  
used \sidewaysfigure [from rotating]. But the result is not to my  
liking in a two-sided document: a full-page figure on an even page  
has its caption near the left edge of the page, whereas the contrary  
is true for odd pages, the caption is along the right edge of the  
page. You are continuously flipping the document 180° if a few such  
pages follow each other.

It also does play nice with my long tables, which are always oriented  
the same way.

The solution is obviously to use the landscape environment for my  
figures also, which I did.

But here are some features of each method.

landscape environment:
pluses: orientation the same for odd and even pages (maybe not always  
an advantage, but for me it was); when you view the pdf document,  
those pages are shown in landscape orientation, no need to crook your  
minuses: I don't understand what it does with \textwidth. I normally  
bring in my figures like this:


this works in sidewaysfigure. But in landscape environment, the  
caption automatically spreads over the width of the wide page, but  
somehow \textwidth remains defined for a narrow page. I must change  
my scaling factor which become less intuitive. Here I had to change to:


which gave me a figure a bit narrower than the caption, not what I'd  
call intuitive. But once you know it...

pluses: simple to use, intuitive meaning of \textwidth in scaling the  
minuses: I don't like the different rotation angle on odd and even  
pages [can this behavior be changed? Did not see how in  
documentation]; even on one-sided document, the pdf is always  
displayed on portrait mode [can this be changed], and you have to  
crook your neck or keep your fingers on the rotate pages shortcuts!

Hoping this summary can be of use to someone, as I don't often get to  
help people on this list.


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