How To Rotate Canvas In Photoshop

It is instinctive to rotate the paper you are drawing on when you wish to draw your lines more clearly. Drawing upward and downward is far more difficult than drawing sideways. The same holds while working with photos in Adobe Photoshop when drawing with a cursor. For improved sketching and brush strokes, it is thus highly useful to know how to rotate the Photoshop canvas.

Photoshop allows us to rotate the canvas through a built-in tool called the Rotate View tool. All you have to do is open the image, select the tool, and rotate the view by clicking and dragging it inside the document window.

Keep reading below for more information.

Why Use the Rotate View Tool?

Instead of rotating the picture itself, this tool rotates the canvas that contains it. Instead of the artwork itself, you may think of it as spinning the paper below the drawing.  What makes this difference so crucial?

Because rotating the picture is a destructive modification (not the canvas). Photoshop must redraw the pixels to match the new appearance each time you rotate the picture. As a result, information is lost. If you repeat this often enough, the image’s quality will deteriorate.

However, turning the canvas that is hidden behind the picture does nothing. Its rotation won’t impact the image, no matter how many times you do it.

How to Rotate Canvas in Photoshop

Follow the instructions listed in this section to rotate your canvas in Photoshop successfully.

For more information on how to rotate a canvas in Photoshop, watch this video:

Step 1: Choose Tool

  1. The Hand Tool and Rotate View Tool are included on Photoshop’s toolbar. The Rotate View Tool is normally hidden behind the Hand Tool, the standard tool shown.
  2. Press and hold on the Hand Tool’s symbol till a fly-out option displays to pick the Rotate View Tool. 
  3. Select the Rotate View Tool from the menu after that. R is the keyboard shortcut for the Rotate View Tool, as you’ll see.

Step 2: Rotate the View

  1. The simplest approach to rotating the view of the picture while the Rotate View Tool is chosen is to just press and drag within the current document. 
  2. Using the Rotate View Tool, select the picture while continuing to press the mouse button. In the middle, a compass may be seen. 
  3. Even if you rotate the angle, you can always tell which direction is up since the red direction arrow at the head of the compass always leads to the real top of the image.
  4. Hold the mouse button down while dragging the picture to rotate the view. You may drag in either a clockwise or anticlockwise direction. 
  5. As you rotate the perspective, you’ll see that the compass still points to the real top of the picture. 
  6. Photoshop, by default, allows you to easily rotate the angle. However, if you drag while holding down the Shift key, the display will rotate in 15-degree steps.

Apply a Specific Rotation Angle

  1. If you are certain of the precise angle you want, you may type it into the Rotation Angle box in the Options Bar without any additional input. 
  2. You may change the angle by typing a new number after clicking inside the box to highlight the existing angle. Photoshop will instantly include the degree symbol (°), so don’t stress about that. 
  3. To confirm it, hit the Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac) button on your keyboard. The updated value can also be highlighted by pressing Shift+Enter (Windows) or Shift+Return (Mac). Doing this allows you to swiftly type in various directions without repeatedly clicking inside the box.

Using Scrubby Slider to Apply Angle

  1. Utilizing Photoshop’s Scrubby Slider is yet another approach to rotating the view of the picture. Directly place your mouse pointer on “Rotation Angle” in the options bar. 
  2. The pointer will transform into a hand icon featuring left and right facing arrows. This is what the Scrubby Slider looks like. 
  3. The rotation angle may be changed by clicking and dragging to the right or left. The default setting is to change the angle in 1-degree steps. To adjust the angle in steps of 10 degrees, slide the Scrubby Slider while pressing and holding the Shift key.

Step 3: Reset View

  1. Select the Reset View option in the Options bar to reset the view and return the picture to its upright orientation. 
  2. Alternatively, use your keyboard’s Esc key. 
  3. By doing a double-click on the Rotate View Tool inside the Toolbar, you may easily reset the view.

Match Rotation

What happens if you want to rotate several pictures at once? This may be implemented quickly with a single command.

  1. Ensure that Photoshop is open and contains each of the images you wish to rotate. Select the one whose rotation angle best matches your requirements.
  2. Hover over Arrange in the top bar under Windows. Next, select Match Rotation. The other photos will also rotate at the same degree.


This article discussed how to use the Rotate View tool to rotate the canvas in Photoshop. It’s a really useful skill when you’re designing your artwork, so make sure to check it out for yourself. Happy editing!