Photoshop Basics: How to Flip an Image in Photoshop

Flipping an image may be required for editing photos on Photoshop. There are many different ways to do so, and some had already been discussed in previous tutorials. It is important to note that there are two considerations on how to flip an image in Photoshop. This is to rotate an image as an entire canvas or to flip an image using specified objects. Flipping images can create designs and patterns on an image in Photoshop.

Here are a few ways on how to flip an image in Photoshop.

Easy: How to Flip Image in Photoshop Using Rotate Tool

There are many different ways for which an image could be flipped in Photoshop. Images in Photoshop could be flipped in varying angles depending on the requirement of the user. However, the most common (and the easiest) is to flip the images counterclockwise (in 90 and 180-degree angles) or clockwise (in 90 and 180-degree angles).  This is where the Rotate Tool could be useful. Here are different ways to use the Rotate Tool to flip an image in Photoshop:

  • Specific Angle Method: 
    • On the Image Menu, click on the Image Rotation option.
    • There are different options to choose from: “90º Right,” “90º Left,” “180º” or “Custom”. The “Custom” option allows the image to be rotated at a specified angle.
    • Another option would be to select between “Flip Canvas Horizontal” or “Flip Canvas Vertical” on the Image Menu.
  • Varied Angle Method:
    • On the toolbar, click on the Rotate View option. Click on the image to pinpoint the ‘Reference Point’ of rotation.
    • Once the reference point is selected, a compass cursor will appear (make sure to hold down the mouse). Move the mouse until the desired rotation angle is reached.

NOTE: The Rotate tool being describe does not rotate specific objects within the image. Instead, it rotates the entire canvass where the image is located.

Moderate: How to Flip Image in Photoshop Using Free Transform Tool

The easy method described above flips an image in Photoshop using the entire canvass. However, there are instances where only a part of the image (or an object) is desired to be flipped by the user. This is where the Free Transform Tool becomes useful. Here are the steps to the user the Free Transform Tool to flip an image in Photoshop:

  • The most important step is to create a layer for the selected object within the image. Once the layer containing the object is determined, it is now easy to use the Transform and Free Transform tool to flip an image in Photoshop.
  • It is important to remember that the selected object becomes a layer within the image. The Transform tools only rotate the active layers. Make sure that the desired layer to be flipped is active.
  • Using the Transform Tool:
    • Click on the Edit menu on the Menu bar.
    • Select the Transform Tool on the dropbox.
    • The Transform tool has options similar to the Rotate Image option: Rotate 90 Clockwise, Rotate 90 Counterclockwise and Rotate 180 degrees.
    • Another option is to select between “Flip Horizontal” or “Flip Vertical”.
  • Using the Free Transform Tool:
    • Click on the Edit menu on the Menu bar
    • Select the Free Transform Tool on the dropbox.
    • Right-click on the image to determine the flip options.

NOTE: Transform tool and Free Transform tool is closely similar to Flip and Rotate canvass tool. The only considerable difference is the fact that the Transform tool flips only a portion of the image (known as objects). The Rotate Canvass tool rotates the entire image.

Advanced: Creating Patterns by Flipping Images

Flipping an Image on Photoshop can create kaleidoscope-like patterns. Image Source: Pixabay

This method is a creative means for which a simple task of rotating an image creates beautiful outcomes. It is easy to create patterns by Flipping images or creating mirror views of images. The technique for this is to create multiple layers and merging them. Here are the steps:

  • Create a copy of the background image into a new layer. To do so, simply drag the “Background layer” into the Create a New Layer option on the Layer window.
  • The next step is very crucial in creating patterns on flipped images – creating additional space on the canvas.
    • Go to the Image Menu and select the Canvas Size Tool.
    • A dialog box will appear, this will show how much of the image and where space will be added.
    • Change the Width and Length of the image (by percent) by determining how much space will be added.
    • The Anchor determines where on the new canvas the original “Background image” will be placed.
  • Create a copy of the “Background layer” onto the blank space using the move tool. This usually creates a New Layer.
  • Flip this portion of the image by using the steps above (Flip objects using Transform Tool).
  • Merge the two layers together to create a single image. To do so, select the Layer Menu and choose the Merge Down option.

Also Read: Photoshop Basics: How to Curve Text in Photoshop

The post Photoshop Basics: How to Flip an Image in Photoshop appeared first on SpyreStudios.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top