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How to Rotate Layer in Photoshop

This tutorial is on how to rotate an image or layer in Photoshop. I’ll show you how to rotate a canvas from the Image Menu and how to turn a layer using the Free Transform Tool.

Recapping Tutorial on How to Rotate a Layer in Photoshop

There’s a number of reasons you may want to rotate a layer or photo in Photoshop. For me, my phone seems to always take pictures and not realize the phone is turned. So when I bring them into Photoshop to do some tweaking I need to turn them.

Rotate the Entire Canvas

To quickly rotate an image or layer in Photoshop go up to the Image menu, find Image Rotation, and choose 180 Degrees, 90 Degrees Clockwise, or 90 Degrees Counter Clockwise. Once you re-save the image your picture will now be in the correct direction.

When we do this though we are flipping the entire canvas. There’s probably going to be a scenario when you just want to turn a single layer while keeping the rest of your PSD where it is.

Rotate Just One Layer

To rotate just one layer you want to use the Free Transform Tool. Select the layer. Then hit Command+T if you’re on a Mac or Control+T if you’re on a PC.

Free Transform Box around Layer in Photoshop to Rotate It

You’ll now see a box around the layer with squares on each corner and on each side. Hover your mouse near one of the squares until it turns into a curved double-sided arrow. Now click and turn the layer to rotate it as needed. Holding the Shift key will rotate it in 15 degree increments. When you have it rotated how you want it, hit the Return or Enter key or click the checkmark at towards the top of the screen. You can use the Free Transform Tool again and again to get the layer rotated just right.

Below are useful links related to the tutorial:

Reach out to me if you have any questions on this tutorial or anything else Photoshop, graphic design, video or post production-related. I’m here to help you emotionally, mentally and technically as a creative professional.

Foreground and Background Colors in Photoshop

This tutorial is on foreground and background colors in Adobe Photoshop. I’ll show you what these are, how to change them, how to fill your background and a bunch of keyboard shortcuts.

Recapping Tutorial on Foreground and Background Colors in Photoshop

In Photoshop towards the bottom right you’ll notice a black square and white square that sit on top of each other. These are your foreground and background colors in Photoshop.

Foreground and Background Colors in Toolbar in Photoshop

To change either of these colors click inside the box. Once you do this then a new Color Picker box will open up. Select the new color and click OK. There’s a number of ways to select a new color. Feel free to play around if you’re new to Photoshop.

The foreground color is the square that’s on top. The background color is the square that’s underneath. Clicking the tiny arrows above the two squares will switch the colors. The keyboard shortcut to switch the foreground and background colors is the “X” key.

Let’s say you want to use this color to fill a layer with that color. I do this all the time if I need to make a quick background for a lower third or whatever it is I’m composing in Photoshop. To fill with the foreground color use the keyboard shortcut Option+Delete/Backspace if you’re on a Mac. If you’re on a PC the keyboard shortcut is Alt+Backspace. To fill the layer with the background color use Command+Delete/Backspace if you’re on a Mac. On a PC the keyboard shortcut is Control+Backspace.

If you want to reset the colors back to the default of black and white use the “D” key.

Additional Recommended Resources: