How To: Rotate the data frame in ArcMap


ArcMap provides two ways to view a map - data view and layout view. Each view displays the same information but allows for different interactivity; however, the orientation of the data frame can be manipulated.

The instructions provided describe how to rotate the data frame.


There are three options for rotating the data frame.

Option A – Via Data Frame Properties

1. Navigate to Data Frame Properties. There are three ways to open the Data Frame Properties dialog box.

a) Click the View menu, and select Data Frame Properties.
b) In the Table Of Contents, double-click the Data Frame layer.
c) In the Table Of Contents, right-click the Data Frame layer, and select Properties.

2. In the Data Frame Properties dialog box, click the General tab.

3. In the Rotation box, input the rotation angle, and click OK. With this new rotation angle set, the data frame is updated.

Option B & C – Using Data Frame Tools

1. Click the Customize menu.

2. Navigate to Toolbars > Data Frame Tools to enable the toolbar.

Use either of the tools in the Data Frame Tools toolbar to rotate the data frame.

Rotate Data Frame

1. Click the Rotate Data Frame button on the Data Frame Tools toolbar. The tool is activated.
2. Click the data frame, hold down the left mouse button, and move the cursor to rotate the data frame.
Data Frame Rotation Angle

In the Data Frame Rotation Angle drop-down box, input the rotation angle to rotate the data frame to a specific angle.

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