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How to rotate an image in Photoshop

Rotating images in Photoshop is very simple! We will look at two ways of doing this here.

Method 1: Using “transform” on an image.

The transform method allows you to rotate an image very simply. To do it:

a) Load your image into Photoshop
b) The image you have loaded is usually going to be a background image. You can see whether it is easily – is the name “background” in the layers box?

If it does, you need to change this into a normal layer. Normal layers can be rotated.
To change your background layer into a normal layer, right click the layer in the layers box, and select “layer from background”.

Layer from backgroundLayer from background

Now you have a normal layer, you can rotate it. The first method is to use the top menu “image” option, and then “image rotation”.

Image rotation selected in Photoshop CS4Image rotation selected in Photoshop CS4

The image rotation allows you to do several things. Simply flip the canvas horizontally or vertically; or have much more control and click “arbitrary”.

Arbitrary rotation lets you enter an angle. This angle determines how far off the horizontal your image is rotated. Its ideal if you know the exact angle you want to rotate something by.

Rotating image method 2 – using “Edit > Free Transform”.

One other way to rotate images (which is very useful in web design) is to use “free transform”.
Free transform lets you stretch your image or skew it; it also allows you to rotate it.
This is not done by entering an angle into a text box. The amount an image is rotated depends on how much you “drag” a corner of the image.

Its very useful if you are using the image in graphic design or webdesign – you may want to rotate the image so that it fits or lines up with something else on the screen.
To free transform an image, select “edit” from the top menu, and then “free transform”

Edit, then use free transformEdit, then use free transform

When you have selected free transform, you will see small boxes appear at the corners of the image.

Take your mouse pointer just off the image, close to one of the corners of the image. You’ll notice how the mouse pointers change – from left and right arrows, vertical arrows, and the pointer we want – see below.

Free transform selectedFree transform selected

That mouse pointer shows that Photoshop “knows” we want to rotate our image. Just click, and drag the mouse. You’ll see how the image rotates exactly to the angle you choose.

Image rotated using free transformImage rotated using free transform

When the image is rotated correctly, just press the enter key.

You will notice that free transforming like this may make some parts of your image disappear “off screen”. If this isn’t good, you’ll need to increase the canvas size, so the entire image shows.

This is done by using the top menu option “image” and then entering a new, larger image size.

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You Rock!

29 March 2010

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