Using 2.10.1, I open a new Print Composer and immediately change the Page Setup Orientation from Landscape to Portrait. But the orientation of the screen does not change; it continues to display landscape.

Likewise, changing Paper Size does not affect the size/orientation of the Print Composer window.

If I add a map to the Print Composer and Export as PDF (regardless of what Page Setup is set to), the result is always landscape.

It appears that Print Composer is only capable of A4 landscape.

What am I missing?

  • 1
    Does your print composer already have a Map Item? Have you change the size of it as well? Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 10:37
  • Can you provide screenshots of what you're experiencing. This problem sounds highly unlikely.
    – underdark
    Commented Oct 25, 2015 at 9:05

3 Answers 3


QGIS 2.x

There is an Orientation option in the Composition menu which allows you to switch between Portrait and Landscape:


Can't confirm this but I would guess that the Page Setup... are options for printing and not for visualising onscreen.

QGIS 3.x

To change the layout orientation, right-click on the layout and select Page Properties. You can also change other various settings for the layout:

Layout for QGIS 3

  • 2
    For anyone else with the same problem, here's the detailed steps: Print Composer > Panels > Composition (make sure that it is checked on - mine was off, so I missed it). Then within the Composition Panel, change the orientation, as pictured in Joseph's answer.
    – Stu Smith
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 23:37

To solve this go View/Panel/Compostion. The composition panel will appear in the right sidebar of the Print Composer. It is non intuitive. The setting for this is in a very odd place indeed.

QGIS 2.14.3 Essen

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The functionality described in the answers above seems to have disappeared in version 3 (I'm using 3.4). I solved this using the "Add Pages" button on the toolbar. You add a page in the portrait format, and then go to the default page in Landscape and delete it. You are then left with a composer template in portrait format.

  • 1
    Thanks for posting an answer, there is a method to change the orientation by right-clicking the layout and selecting Page Properties. I've edited my post to include this :)
    – Joseph
    Commented Apr 3, 2019 at 14:47

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