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10 ways to rotate photos in Lightroom

There are a number of different ways to rotate photos in Lightroom and Lightroom Classic CC and maybe that’s why it’s a little difficult to know how to make this operation so simple. And in today’s article, I’m going to show you at least 10 different ways to rotate photos in Lightroom.

Rotating photos in the Lightroom Library module

In general, rotation options in the Library module are faster and simpler.

Using these options, you can rotate your images in 90 degree increments, either clockwise or counterclockwise.

As with many functions in Lightroom, there are several ways to call a function.

All options for how to rotate photos in Lightroom do the same job, but not all are available in all modules.

In this one, we’ll focus on the options available in Lightroom’s Library mode. 

10 ways to rotate photos in Lightroom

Toolbar. If you are using single photo view in library view, there are left and right image rotation buttons.

Each click will add 90-degree rotation to your image.

If your toolbar was not visible, press the T key or go to View > Show Toolbar.

10 ways to rotate photos in Lightroom  menu

These buttons for rotating photos in Lightroom are only visible in the Library module, they will not go through in the Develop module. 

You can choose to use keyboard shortcuts to make this work.

On Mac it is:

⌘ + [ (key) to rotate clockwise

⌘ + ] (key) to rotate counterclockwise

The Windows equivalents are Ctrl + [ and Ctrl +].

Main menu. In the main menu, it’s Photo > Rotate Left (CCW) and Photo > Rotate Right (CW).

rotate photos in Lightroom to the left

With a right click, you can also access a menu where you can rotate your photos in 90 degree increments.

Right-clicking on the photo, then choose the transform option.

rotate photos in Lightroom with transform

Rotate multiple Photos 90 degrees in the Lightroom Library module

You can also rotate multiple photos at once in the Library module, using the same tools.

In thumbnail view, select the photos you want to rotate and use the buttons to rotate clockwise or counterclockwise.

rotate multiple photos in Lightroom

Rotate the photo 90 degrees in Lightroom’s Develop module

If you’re already in the Develop module and want to change the photo orientation from landscape to portrait (horizontal to vertical) or vice versa, you can, but there are some slight differences in how to do it.

As you can see, the rotation buttons are no longer available on the toolbar.

10 ways to rotate photos in Lightroom

You can still use the same keyboard shortcuts I explained above to do this service.

You can still use the main menu via Photo > Rotate Counterclockwise (CCW) and Photo > Rotate Clockwise (CW).

On top of this, you can also right-click and use the sub-menu to rotate your photo.

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Rotate a photo in increments smaller than 90 degrees in Lightroom

If you want to rotate your photos in increments smaller than 90 degrees, a very simple way to do this is to use Lightroom’s Crop tool.

Besides being a great tool for rotation, your photos can be used to make framing adjustments ! 

rotate photos in Lightroom with the crop tool

Rotate photo with Slider in Lightroom

The slider starts by default in the middle. Drag the marker left to rotate counterclockwise, and drag the right to rotate clockwise.

You will see how many degrees it is rotating on the right side of the slider.

And if you want the photo to return to its original aspect, just return the slider to the centre. To make your life easier, just double-click on the slider, and it will return to 0.

If you know how many degrees you would like to rotate your photo, you can also enter the value manually by clicking on the degrees numbers and typing in the desired value.

rotate photos in Lightroom precisely

Rotating with the cut handles

 rotate photos in Lightroom drop handles

You can also use the crop tool’s crop handles, which is also a really cool way to rotate photos in Lightroom.

Rotating photos this way is really cool when you need to make small adjustments to your images.

Auto-rotate in Lightroom.

In some photos we have to worry about the horizon line, like in landscape photos, for example, and that’s why we need these Lightroom controls.

auto rotate photos in Lightroom

Using the auto control allows Lightroom to find some horizontal line to align your photo.

This option doesn’t work well on some photos, but it will work perfectly on others.

Creating the Precise Skyline in Lightroom

The coolest way to adjust the horizon of your photos is to use the level tool also available in the crop tool in Lightroom.

level  rotate photos in Lightroom

To use this tool, click on one of the points on your horizon, keep the button pressed, and click on the other end of the horizon.

A line will appear during this procedure, becoming your horizon guide.

How to flip a photo horizontally or vertically

If you just want to mirror your image, the famous flip Lightroom also has this feature to help you.

10 ways to rotate photos in Lightroom

Now it’s up to you options to rotate photos in Lightroom abound, work with these tools to improve your compositions. 

If you prefer to see how you do it instead of reading, this video on How to Rotate Photos in Lightroom.

Leave your comment there if you have any questions or suggestions.

If you want to go crazy in Lightroom, be sure to check out the following posts as well and learn all about how to use Lightroom. 

Mastering Lightroom in 7 days

Written by Rix Mascarenhas

Rix Mascarenhas, photographer, art lover, always involved in crafts, design, painting etc ... As a photographer, I like to take photos and create stories that have meaning and help people to prosper. My work is guided by the stories behind each scene that really represent the moment.

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