Quick Tip: Locking your iPad Orientation

Though it’s become a commonplace feature across smartphones and tablets, the iPad’s ability to automatically adjust its layout based on how it’s being held–portrait or landscape–is a remarkable feat.  Unfortunately, it can also be a nuisance in certain situations.  Imagine, for example, trying to share a document with a judge by handing your iPad across the bench.  If the judge is unfamiliar with such devices, the shifting layout could be confusing or frustrating.

How do you lock your iPad’s orientation in either portrait or landscape mode?  There are two easy ways:

1. If you only need to lock the orientation occasionally, use the “Lock Rotation” button.  To reach it, simply double-tap the home button, swipe from left to right until you see the options displayed below, and tap the button in the lower left corner to lock orientation.  If you’re successful, the icon will change to include a lock and you’ll see the words “Portrait Orientation Locked” or “Landscape Orientation Locked.”

The Lock Orientation button is shown in the lower left corner of the screen. Tapping it again will release the lock.


2. If you need to lock the device’s orientation regularly, you can adjust your settings so that the side switch–used to mute the device by default–will instead lock the orientation.  Just tap the Settings app and select General, then  select “Lock Rotation” under the heading “Use Side Switch to:”.  Now when you need to lock the device’s orientation, you simply flick the side switch down. This will also change the button demonstrated in the first option (above) to a mute button.

In the Settings app, select General and tap “Lock Rotation.”

About Joshua Poje

Joshua Poje (@poje) is the Director of the ABA's Legal Technology Resource Center, where he provides technology and practice management guidance to attorneys throughout the country. He is the editor of the annual ABA Legal Technology Survey Report and a frequent speaker and writer on legal technology topics. Follow him on: Twitter | LinkedIn | Google+

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