Rotate or flip an item

You can rotate or flip a selection, a layer, or an entire image. Make sure to choose the correction command depending on the item you want to rotate or flip.

  1. In the Edit workspace, select the photo, layer, selection, or shape you want to rotate or flip.
  2. Choose Image > Rotate, choose one of the following commands from the submenu, and then click OK:

    90° Left, Layer 90° Left, or Selection 90° Left

    Rotates the photo, layer, or selection a quarter-turn counterclockwise. (Rotate Selection is only available when you have an active selection in an image.)

    90° Right, Layer 90° Right, or Selection 90° Right

    Rotates the photo, layer, or selection a quarter-turn clockwise.

    180°, Layer 180°, or Selection 180°

    Rotates the photo, layer, or selection a half-turn.

    Custom

    Rotates the item by the amount you specify. If you select this option, enter the number of degrees you want to rotate the item by, and the direction in which you want to rotate the item.

    Note: A positive number rotates the object clockwise, and a negative number rotates the object counterclockwise.

    Flip Horizontal, Flip Layer Horizontal, or Flip Selection Horizontal Flips the photo, layer, or selection horizontally.

    Rotating an image
    Rotating an image

Freely rotate an item

With the Free Rotate Layer and Free Rotate Selection commands, you can rotate an item by any amount.

Freely rotate an item
Use the Free Rotate Layer command to straighten the image, and click the Commit button to apply the rotation.

  1. In the Edit workspace, select the layer or selection you want to rotate.
  2. Choose Image > Rotate > Free Rotate Layer or Selection. A bounding box appears in the image.

    Note:

    If you select an image that is a Background layer (such as a photo imported from a camera or scanner), you are given the option of turning it into a regular layer so that you can transform it.

  3. (Optional) To change the point around which the item rotates, click a square on the reference point locator  in the options bar.
  4. Do one of the following to specify the rotation amount:
    • Click and drag the rotate handle at the bottom of the bounding box. The cursor will change to concentric arrows when it’s hovering over the handle. To constrain the rotation to 15° increments, hold down Shift as you drag.
    • Type an angle of rotation between –180 (maximum counterclockwise rotation) and 180 (maximum clockwise rotation) in the Set Rotation text box  of the options bar.
  5. Do one of the following:
    • To apply the transformation, double-click inside the bounding box, click the Commit button , or press Enter.
    • To cancel the transformation, click the Cancel button , or press Esc.

Scale an item

  1. In the Edit workspace, select the photo, layer, selection, or shape you want to scale.
  2. Choose Image > Resize > Scale.

    Note:

    If you select a photo that is a Background layer (such as a photo imported from a camera or scanner), you are given the option of turning it into a regular layer so that you can transform it.

  3. Do any of the following to specify the scale amount:
    • To maintain the relative proportions (avoiding image distortion) as you scale, select Constrain Proportions, and then drag a corner handle. Alternatively, press Alt (Option in Mac OS) as you drag a corner handle.
    • To scale only the height or the width, drag a side handle.
    • Enter a percentage for the Width, Height, or both in the options bar.
  4. Do one of the following:
    • To apply the transformation, double-click inside the bounding box, click the Commit button  or press Enter.
    • To cancel the transformation, click the Cancel button  or press Esc.

Skew or distort an item

Skewing applies a vertical or horizontal slant to an item. Distorting stretches or squishes an item.

  1. In the Edit workspace, select the photo, layer, selection, or shape you want to transform.
  2. Choose Image > Transform > Skew or Image > Transform > Distort. If you are transforming a shape with the Shape tool selected, choose Image > Transform Shape > Skew or Image > Transform Shape > Distort.

    Note:

    If you select a photo that is a Background layer (such as a photo imported from a camera or scanner), you are given the option of turning it into a regular layer so that you can transform it.

  3. Drag a handle to skew or distort the bounding box.
  4. Do one of the following:
    • To apply the transformation, double-click inside the bounding box, click the Commit button , or press Enter.
    • To cancel the transformation, click the Cancel button , or press Esc.

Apply perspective to an item

Applying perspective creates the appearance of objects existing in three dimensions.

Apply perspective to an item
Original image (left) and image after perspective applied (right).

  1. In the Edit workspace, select the item you want to transform.
  2. Choose Image > Transform > Perspective. If you are transforming a shape with the Shape tool selected, choose Image > Transform Shape > Perspective.

    Note:

    If you select a photo that is a background layer (such as a photo imported from a camera or scanner), you are given the option of turning it into a regular layer so that you can transform it.

  3. Drag a corner handle on the bounding box to apply perspective.
  4. Do one of the following:
    • To commit the transformation, double-click inside the bounding box, click the Commit button , or press Enter.
    • To cancel the transformation, click the Cancel button , or press Esc.

Freely transform an item

The Free Transform command lets you apply transformations (rotating, scaling, skewing, distorting, and perspective) in one step. Instead of choosing different commands, you simply hold down a key on your keyboard to switch between transformation types.

  1. In the Edit workspace, select the item you want to transform.
  2. Choose Image > Transform > Free Transform. If you are transforming a shape, choose Image > Transform Shape > Free Transform Shape.

    Note:

    If you select a photo that is a Background layer (such as a photo imported from a camera or scanner), you are given the option of turning it into a regular layer so that you can transform it.

  3. (Optional) To change the point around which the item rotates, click a square on the reference point locator  in the options bar.
  4. Do one or more of the following to transform the object:
    • To scale, drag any handle of the bounding box. To scale the width and height proportionally, either press Shift as you drag a corner handle, or select Constrain Proportions in the options bar, and then drag a corner handle.
    • To rotate, move the pointer outside of the bounding box and drag. When positioned outside the bounding box, the pointer becomes a curved, two-sided arrow . Press Shift and drag to constrain the rotation to 15° increments.
    • To distort, press Ctrl (Command in Mac OS), and drag any handle. When positioned over a handle, the pointer becomes a gray arrowhead .
    • To skew, press Ctrl+Shift (Command+Shift in Mac OS) and drag a handle in the middle of any side of the bounding box. When positioned over a side handle, the pointer becomes a gray arrowhead with a small double arrow .
    • To apply perspective, press Ctrl+Alt+Shift (Command+Option+Shift), and drag a corner handle. When positioned over a corner handle, the pointer becomes a gray arrowhead .
  5. Do one of the following:
    • To commit the transformation, double-click inside the bounding box, and then click the Commit button , or press Enter.
    • To cancel the transformation, click the Cancel button , or press Esc.

Apply a transformation to a Background layer

Before you can apply transformations to the Background layer, you need to convert it into a regular layer.

  1. In the Edit workspace, select the Background layer in the Layers panel.
  2. Convert the background.
  3. Apply the transformation.

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