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How to Rotate Layers in Adobe Photoshop

You can easily rotate your layers and group multiple layers into a stack. This will help you perform actions on them as a single entity. In as much as the layer itself is not locked, the contents of each layer in your Photoshop documents can be individually manipulated without it affecting the rest of the image. Now this includes rotating the entire layer, a task which is accomplished by using commands which are found in the Transform submenu.How to Rotate Layers in Adobe Photoshop

Available Commands

Here’s how to use the available commands to rotate layers in Adobe Photoshop:

  • Scroll to the Layers pane
  • Choose the layer you want to rotate
  • If you want to rotate multiple layers in the same way, you can tick all of them and select all of them and rotate them simultaneously, instead of doing it individually.
  • Tap on the “Edit” link
  • Linger over “Transform” to display the submenu.
  • Then select the command which is most appropriate for your situation.
  • Three commands, “Rotate 180”, “Rotate 90 CW” and “Rotate 90 Counter Clockwise”
  • Rotate the selected layer, respectively, by 180, 90 clockwise and 90 counterclockwise degrees.
  • Choose the “Rotate” command to freely rotate the selected layer by any angle you like.
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Rotating Freely – How to Rotate Layers in Adobe Photoshop

After you have selected the rotate function, here’s the next step you should take:

  • After you have selected the “Rotate” command, you will come across a bounding box around the contents of the selected layer.
  • Move your mouse cursor outside the bounding box and it will turn into a curved, two sided arrow.
  • Tap and drag in order to rotate the layer. If you hold “Shift” while doing so.
  • Photoshop constrains the rotation to increments of 15 degrees. Thus by default, the layer rotates around its center.
  • In order to change this behavior, you have to drag the small crosshair icon from the center of the bounding box to the position around which you want the layer to rotate.
  • Once you are done, tick the “Enter” link to confirm if you change your mind.
  • Tap on “Esc” if you wish to cancel the rotation altogether.
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Understand that you can create complex composites which are multiple layers deep. In Photoshop, you can easily scroll around your layers and group multiple layers into a stack to aid you perform actions on them as a single entity. Then you can lock a layer to avoid making unintended changes to your work.


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