When is Landscape not Landscape?
There has been some confusion about the orientation of PDF files. It is particularly confusing because the same nomenclature is used both to describe a shape and to refer to a page's orientation. The following is meant to clarify this issue. 

portrait shaped image
Portrait Shape
Landscape shaped image
Landscape Shape
The images above are both upright in their orientation. The image on the left is taller than it is wide, which might be referred to as "portrait shaped." The image on the right is wider than it is tall and so it might be called "landscape shaped."

Most desktop printers are made to take only a few sizes of paper. In general, the paper feeds through the printer with the narrow edge entering the printing path first. However the printer that Lulu's partner uses can take many sizes and widths. It wants all pages to come through the print path upright, which in computereze means portrait orientation:
printer page orientation landscape shape portrait orientation
portrait shape
portrait orientation
landscape shape
portrait orientation

Every Windows application that I use calls this upright orientation, "Portrait Orientation." This is true even when the width is greater than the height of the page. For instance, the "Page Setup" dialog in WordPerfect 11 for the Adobe Generic postscript driver looks like this when selecting the paper size:
Landscape shape, portrait orientation

This paper size is for a custom one-piece cover. It is 12.7 inches wide, 9.2 inches high. Although this is the kind of shape we think of as "landscape," note that "Portrait" orientation is chosen. Note also that when Portrait orientation is chosen, the diagram of the document (circled on the right side of the image) is upright--wider than it is tall. The top of the page will go through the printer path first, instead of the short side. This is a typical example of a "landscape shaped" page that is in "portrait orientation."

Lulu needs all PDFs and images to be in upright orientation. Your application will most likely call this upright orientation "portrait," whether or not the shape of the page is portrait or landscape.

What about the Lulu 9x7 Landscape book?
The 9x7 landscape book is an example of the difference between shape and orientation. In spite of its shape and it's name, it must be uploaded to Lulu in "Portrait" orientation. The following screenshot is from WordPerfect's Page Setup menu. The "Lulu9x7" paper size was defined as a custom form. Note particularly that the orientation of the page is "Portrait," and not landscape in spite of the shape of the page as seen in the document thumbnail image.
landscape 9x7

OK, so what about one-piece covers?
One-piece covers are yet another example of an image with a landscape shape that nonetheless needs to be converted to PDF in the upright, "portrait" orientation.

Can I just rotate a PDF if I started with the wrong orientation?
No. Something gets saved internally and the PDF reports that it is a "landscape" orientation even after it has been rotated. Start again and get it right from the start.

© 2006 by Don Campbell