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Can QGIS (1.8.0 Mac) rotate the entire view of a project? that is, have north pointing in a direction other than up on the screen and on output? of course, while still allowing adding new layers etc.

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It would be nice if you could rotate the data frame in "data view." If you are trying to edit building footprints, it makes the job a whole lot easier. – user23590 Nov 4 '13 at 2:55
Thanks, Patrick. That applies in spades to my community. – johnsankey Nov 5 '13 at 5:01

Well yes. Basing this on Windows use though. In print composer, once you load your "add new map view" to your print composer there is an option to rotate the view by angles

enter image description here

I am assuming the functionality is similar on a mac.

Not to sound condescending or anything but draw your maps orientated north south and only rotate to suit fitting pages. It confuses others to have them any other way than north south.

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With apologies, Gerald, in a 3:1 rectangular urban community with grid streets aimed 20° off EW, it's unnatural to show it at that angle. Urban people navigate by streets; I don't know a single person, myself included, who has their GPS set to show N up... – johnsankey Mar 11 '13 at 16:25
I've got print composer to work as you show, but what I want to do is to rotate the screen view then crop to a rectangle that is about 5% of the area of the base layers I get from CanVec. I'm only interested in my study area, not the whole city. – johnsankey Mar 11 '13 at 16:28
Ok point accepted. Just my mindset on maps. As for the remainder....did you try the scale of the drawing? baring in mind i am assuming that all the functionalities are similar from mac to pc. zooming in and out on the map using scale will display the relevant sector – Ger Mar 11 '13 at 16:33

Rotating the map through the print composer can also be achieved using the python scripting command setMapRotation.

mapRenderer = iface.mapCanvas().mapRenderer()
c = QgsComposition(mapRenderer)

x, y = 0, 0
w, h = c.paperWidth(), c.paperHeight()
composerMap = QgsComposerMap(c, x,y,w,h)
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