How to Rotate an Image in Lightroom

In this tutorial we look at ways to rotate an image in Lightroom. There are a couple of reasons why you might need to do this:

  1. Because Lightroom imported your image with the wrong orientation. This usually needs the image rotating by 90 degrees.
  2. Because you didn’t have the camera level when taking your shot and the photo’s slanted.

We are looking at ways to address the first of these problems in this tutorial. If you’re trying to fix a slanted horizon in Lightroom, you’ll need to my other tutorial.

Rotating an Image Through 90 Degrees in Lightroom

This problem is a common and there can be many causes so I can’t advise you how to prevent it. Fortunately, fixing it when it happens is quite easy.

When you look at your Lightroom Library module you might see wrongly rotated images like in the following screenshot.

incorrectly rotated images in the Lightroom Library module

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Lightroom has a few quick ways to rotate images like this.

Rotating Images in the Lightroom Library Module

The first way to correct the problem is using the Lightroom Library module. When you move the mouse pointer to hover over an image thumbnail, you will see small curved arrows appear in the bottom corners.

rotating the image left and right in the Lightroom Library module

Clicking these arrows will rotate the image left or right (anticlockwise or clockwise) through 90 degrees. If you click the same arrow a second time you will rotate the image through another 90 degrees.

Rotating an Image Using the Lightroom Photo Menu

This next method to rotate the image is in the Lightroom Develop Module and the Library Module. If you’re in the Develop module you can only rotate the current image. But if you’re in the Library Module you can select and rotate multiple images simultaneously.

Start by selecting the photo or photos that you want to rotate. You can then click the “Photo” menu item where you’ll find the “Rotate Left (CCW)” and “Rotate Right (CW)” options. Click the one you want to use and it will rotate all the selected images.

Lightroom Shortcuts to Rotate an Image

As well as being able to rotate the images left and right, you can also flip them horizontally and vertically using the Photo menu. You might also notice that the menu options have keyboard shortcuts which can be useful to remember.

To rotate the image to the left (CCW) use the Cmd and [ keys on your keyboard. If you’re using a Windows PC that’s Ctrl and [.

To rotate the image to the right (CW) use the Cmd and ] keys on your keyboard. If you’re using a Windows PC that’s Ctrl and ].

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Summary of How to Rotate an Image in Lightroom

There you have it, three quick and easy ways to rotate an image:

  1. Click the icons that appear to the bottom left and right of the image thumbnail in the Library module.
  2. Select and rotate one or more image using the rotate left and right options in the Photo menu.
  3. Use the keyboard shortcuts or Cmd or Ctrl on a PC together with the square bracket keys.

If you have any other common problems in Lightroom that you would like to know how to fix, please add them to the comments below.

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