106. Rotate an Image or Layer
Before You Begin
45 About Editing Images
108 Straighten an Image
109 Apply a Quick Fix
The single most common fix you'll ever perform on digital photos is to rotate them right-side up. Images freshly imported from a digital camera are always wider than they are tallin other words, in landscape orientation. When you tilt your camera 90 degrees for a tall shot using portrait orientation, your camera doesn't recognize the different orientation (not even in the EXIF data), so Photoshop Elements doesn't know that the image is on its side. Thus, when you import such an image into the catalog, or open it directly into the Editor, it's sideways. To fix the problem, rotate the image as described in this task.
When desired, you can rotate a single layer rather than a whole image. For example, you might have text on a layer that you want to place diagonally across an image. By following this task, you can select the text layer and rotate it. You can also rotate layers that contain other data, such as drawn objects, or image data (such as a portion of a photograph you copied from another image file).
Rather than rotating an image or layer, try flipping it. Rotating pivots the image or layer around its center point, like a spinning top. Flipping pivots the image or layer along its central vertical axis, like the pages in a book, or along its central horizontal axis, like a gymnast rolling over a bar. On the other hand, when you flip text rather than rotate it, the text becomes reversed and might be illegible.
Open Image and Select Layer
Open the image you want to rotate in the Editor in Standard Edit mode and save it in Photoshop (*.psd) format. If you want to rotate a single layer, switch to Standard Edit mode (if needed) by clicking the Standard Edit button at the end of the Shortcuts bar. Then click the layer's name on the Layers palette to select it. The selected layer is highlighted in blue.
Choose Image, Rotate
Select Image, Rotate from the menu bar. From the submenu that appears, select the type of rotation you want to perform on the selected image:
Although you can rotate an entire image in the Organizer, you can't rotate a single layer alone from the Organizer. In the photo well, click the image's thumbnail and then click either the Rotate Left or Rotate Right button located on the Options bar.
- 90° Left, 90° Right, 180°. These commands rotate the image at its center point, to the left or right.
- Custom. This command displays the Rotate Custom dialog box so that you can enter an exact degree of rotation in the Angle box. Select the rotation directionRight or Leftand click OK.
- Flip Horizontal, Flip Vertical. These commands flip, rather than rotate, the image. Flip Horizontal flips the image from left to right, over its central vertical axis. Flip Vertical flips the image top to bottom, over its central horizontal axis.
- Layer 90° Left, Layer 90° Right, Layer 180°, Layer Flip Horizontal, Layer Flip Vertical. These commands do exactly what the image commands do, but they rotate or flip only the currently selected layer.
To learn how to use the Image, Rotate, Free Rotate Layer command to rotate, move, or stretch a layer, see 99 Move, Resize, Skew, or Distort a Layer.
View the Result
After you're satisfied with the image, save the PSD file. Then merge the layers (if any) together by selecting Layer, Flatten Image and resave the result in JPEG or TIFF format, leaving your PSD image unflattened so that you can return at a later time and make different adjustments if you want.
To capture this image of my daughter during a recent boating trip, I turned the camera 90 degrees. Because a digital camera saves all images in landscape orientation, I needed to rotate the photo before printing it. The Image, Rotate, 90° Right command did the trick.
You can rotate an image (not a single layer separately from that image) while using the Quick Fix edit tool by clicking the Rotate photo 90° clockwise (right) or Rotate photo 90° counterclockwise (left) button on the Quick Fix pane. See 109 Apply a Quick Fix.
To create the second image, I selected Katie from the first image. Then I used the Image, Rotate, Layer Flip Horizontal command to flip her left to right (so that she's facing the other way). I filled the Background layer with the Waves layer style, which I rescaled to make larger. Then I added the text, Make Waves! and used the Image, Rotate, Free Rotate Layer command to set the text at an angle. See 98 Apply a Layer Style for more about layer styles and 183 Add a Text Caption or Label for more about adding text layers. Look for this image in the Color Gallery.