Non-Arbitrary Rotation Using Ruler Tool

Making arbitrary rotations in GImp is delightfully simple.  You choose the tool, grab the image, and spin.  You can make a visual determination as to when you have achieved your rotational goal.  Photoshop makes this rather more difficult.  You must enter a rotational angle, then you are required to apply that rotation (no preview available) and hope that you don’t have to undo the rotation and try a different guessed-at angle.

Happily enough, I came across this post which reveals a trick for dealing with this deficit in Photoshop.  You merely combine the Ruler tool (formerly the Measure tool) and the Rotation tool.  Essentially you mark a line (using the Ruler tool) which will be your new horizon line (or any line parallel to your desired horizon), and when you then evoke the Arbitrary Rotation tool the necessary angle is auto-filled into the tool.

First mark you line with the Ruler tool.  The Ruler tool is located in the Tools palette under the Eyedropper tool (click and hold until the selection menu flies out).  I don’t know why it’s under the Eyedropper.  It just is.  Took me forever to find it, so just say thanks and move along.

After selecting the Ruler tool you merely draw a line parallel to any line in the image you want to be horizontal within the image.  This is just a matter of clicking in one place, moving to another location, and clicking again.

When you are satisfied that the line you’ve drawn is parallel with your desired horizontal, open the Arbitrary Rotation tool: Image —> Rotate Canvas —> Arbitrary…

The rotation dialog should appear auto-filled with an angle to match the offset of the line you have just drawn.  Click the OK button and rejoice.

Isn’t that much simpler?

Have fun with that.


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