I have a complex table in Pages 8.2.1 and several cells have equation objects in them. The table has gotten too wide and I want to rotate it by 90 degrees.

From what I understand I can't rotate one page by 90 degrees, but Apple discussions post says (to a question asked March 2018):

We assume you are using Pages 5/6/7 because you can rotate Tables in Pages '08 or '09.

I haven't figured out how.

I found this: Pages '09 Hacks: lInsert pages at landscape format but a) I don't have version 9 yet and 2) I don't understand what it's saying. I'm new to pages and this is written with experienced users in mind.

If I just select a table the rotation field is dark in format/arrange:

screen shot trying and failing to rotate a table

I saw a hack in this answer:

  1. Insert a shape near the table and change the fill to 'No Fill'
  2. Select the shape and the table
  3. Group the shape and table together
  4. Rotate the group

If you ungroup the elements the table will revert back to the original rotation, but you can still resize etc the table from within the group.

but I haven't able to make use of it yet because when ever I select a shape the table deselects, I haven't been able to group them yet.


  • How can I rotate my preexisting wide table with equations in several cells by 90 degrees so that the rows are now vertical?
  • If and only if that's not possible, can I make my table tall and make all text reenter all text and equation objedts sideways?
  • 1
    Pages '08/'09 refers the really old iWork '08 and '09 suite (as in 2008/2009). Pages 8.2.1 was released much later, after a complete software rewrite. I don't remember if rotating tables was possible then, but probably yes, as Pages from iWork '09 had more capabilities than even the current Pages version. The second "hack" does indeed work, though, I tested it with Pages 7.1 and 10.2. You group the table with a proxy object and then rotate the group. It's not possible to edit the table inside the group, though, and in the moment you ungroup both object, the table "forgets" the rotation.
    – Gummibando
    Oct 16, 2020 at 14:03
  • @Gummibando this is great news! I didn't realize '08 was a year and not a version number, thanks! :-) About "...haven't able to make use of it yet because when ever I select a shape the table deselects, I haven't been able to group them yet." I must be doing something wrong then. On a page I create a table, a text box and a square. I can select multiple objects other than the table and group them, but as soon as I try to select the table all other selections become unselected. I can't group the table with anything else.
    – uhoh
    Oct 16, 2020 at 14:30

1 Answer 1


In order to rotate a table, the document must be changed to a Layout type of document. Also, be aware that this is a bit of a hack, your mileage may vary.

Note: It may be best to start with a new document or a copy of your current document to be safe.

Select Document to reveal the Document sidebar.

document selector

Next, untick the Document body checkbox. You will see a dialog that asks you to confirm the change to your document.
Select Convert.
Add a new Table and edit its contents first. You cannot edit the table once it has been grouped. 🤷🏻‍♂️
Add a shape (hint: put the shape behind the table to hide it)
From the Format sidebar, choose arrange.
Select both the Table and the shape. Shift+click or Drag selection.
Select Group.
Now Rotate the table.

Animation of above process

  • Interesting; I will give this a try today, thanks!
    – uhoh
    Oct 31, 2020 at 22:55
  • Excellent, works for me! So far it seems that I can then copy/paste the final table into an existing document and the only drawback is that it can't be further edited?
    – uhoh
    Nov 2, 2020 at 7:24
  • 1
    Seems on each edit the process must be repeated. Certainly not an ideal solution.
    – bjbk
    Nov 16, 2020 at 14:25
  • 1
    It's curious isn't it! I haven't tried to print like this yet, I'll try that today because I'm curious. Maybe there are some hitches in some cases that makes it impossible for Apple to 100% support this on all devices, so they leave it as an unsupported feature? Hmm... anyway thank you for your help :-)
    – uhoh
    Nov 17, 2020 at 1:10

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