How to flip an image in Photoshop: updated

Flipping an image is an art. It’s not too difficult as it seems to be. If you are a graphic designer, artist, or photographer you will surely need to flip an image in Photoshop.

So whether you are a beginner or an expert, you must know how to flip an image in Photoshop.

When you flip an image horizontally, it produces a reverse image, just as if you are looking through a mirror. That’s why a flipped image is also known as a mirror image.

Similarly, when an image is flipped vertically, it spins the image upside down.

This type of transformation is very helpful to relocate the object from right to left or from left to right as per your client’s demand. You can also use it to give your image a surreal effect.

Also, the mirror effect is used to make beautiful and enchanting patterns for your project. It may also be used while doing composites when you need to add a reflection of a particular object in the photograph.

Whatever is your reason to flip an image, you should know completely that how to do it right.

In this article, I am going to share a detailed guide on how to flip an image in Photoshop.

Hopefully, this article will clear all your confusion and you will be able to learn everything in a precise manner. You will go through all the essential steps along the path.

Steps to flip an image in Photoshop:

Before getting started make sure you have Photoshop software installed on your PC. Moreover, as mentioned above, flipping an image in Photoshop may have different steps for different platforms.

So, follow these steps to learn to flip an image in Photoshop and create valuable art according to your imagination.

flip a whole image in Photoshop:

Consider, you want to flip an image on the whole in Photoshop. Let’s say you took a picture in front of a mirror but, it is difficult to read for your company now.

So you want to flip it right away. It includes a few simple and easy steps to be done.

Step 1: The first step is to open the image you want to flip, in Photoshop. For this go to the menu bar at the top and click File. (You can also use a short key Alt+F for this purpose.)

open image in photoshop

Then click on Open

open image to flip 90 degree


 Select the desired image from your documents and click open.

Short key Ctrl+O can also be used instead.

The image will be opened in a new file, so now you can edit it.

browse through your drive

Step 2: Crop your image if necessary. If there is an additional area that you don’t want in your final picture, then crop that extra part of the image. This step can be optional for you.

You can skip it if you do not want to crop the image.

crop the image

Step 3: You may want to add a layer using an image. For this, double-click on the background in the layers section. A new layer window will open. Rename it and click OK.

create new layer

How to flip an image horizontally in Photoshop:-

Following are the steps to flip an image horizontally

Step 1: Go to the menu bar at the top of your screen. Click on Image.

select image from menu

Step 2: Now select Image rotation from the list.

select rotate image from menu

Step 3: Click on Flip Canvas Horizontal.

select flip canvas horizontal

By clicking this your image will be ultimately flipped horizontally.

mirror image in photoshop

Step 4: Click on the save command to save your new flipped image. If you want to keep both edited and non-edited images, then click on save as and rename it.

flip an image vertically in Photoshop:

Now let’s talk about flipping an image vertically in Photoshop.

Step 1: Click on the Image tab in the top menu bar

select image to rotate

Step 2: Select Image Rotation.

select rotate image from menu

Step 3: Now click on Flip Canvas Vertical.

select flip canvas vertical


 It will immediately flip your picture vertically.

image upside down in photoshop

Step 4: Go to the Save option and save the image you just created. Go to Save as if you want to save both old and new images.

flip an image in Photoshop without flipping the canvas:

It’s basically called flipping a layer of an image. If you are editing a multi-layered image and you are required to flip only one layer of that image then you can use this technique.

You can do it to edit any kind of image either a logo or any imported or local image. For this, you must follow the following steps.

Unlock the layer:

unlock layer in photoshop


You have to unlock the layer first if you just have opened an image. Because a locked layer cannot be edited or changed.

Click on the small padlock icon or double-click the layer to characterize it as a new non-edited layer. You can rename it if you want to. Just double-click on the name of the layer and edit the text.

Flip the layer:

First, you have to make sure that you are editing the correct layer.

Step 1: Double-click on your desired layer in the layers board.

select layer in photoshop

A rectangle with handles will appear around the image. You can flip it manually by dragging those holds.

select image from menu

Step 2: Right-click inside the rectangle of the layer you want to flip. Certain flip options will appear.

flip image horizontal

Step 3: Now select Flip Horizontal or Flip Vertical.

select from menu filp image
  • By clicking the flip horizontal, the right and left side of your image will be flipped.
  • By clicking flip vertical, the top and bottom sides of your image will be flipped.

And that’s it. This will flip the layer of image you selected, without rotating the canvas. This function applies to all types of layers of an image not on a specific type.

Step 4: Save your edited image either by clicking the save command or by pressing Ctrl+S.

If you want to edit further, you can continue your editing. But if you have finished your editing and now you are satisfied with the image you can save it as a JPEG.

Also, if you want to save some storage space on your PC you can click on the top menu Layer icon and then Flatten Layer.

How to rotate an image in Photoshop:-

Flipping an image or rotating an image is considered to be the same but these are not the same. There is a clear difference between a flip and rotation.

When an image is flipped either vertically or horizontally, it gets reversed throughout and the resulting image will be a complete mirror image.

But when you rotate an image, only the angle of the image gets changed leaving their elements exactly the same as before.

Suppose your image is fixed from the center and you start turning it around either clockwise or anti-clockwise. This function will be called the rotation of an image.

You can rotate the image to correct its directions and to straighten up its frontier.

For example, you have an image in a landscape layout and you want it to be in a horizontal position then you can rotate your image likewise.

Follow these simple steps to rotate your image in Photoshop.

Step 1: Click File in the top bar menu and then click Open. This step can be done by using a short key Ctrl+O. Select the image you want to rotate in Photoshop.

step 2 open file

Step 2: Now again Go to the top bar menu and click Image.

open image to flip 180 degree

Step 3: Select Image rotation. By putting the cursor on image rotation a new menu list will be shown.

Step 4: Choose the option according to which you want to rotate your image.

  • 180 degree:- It will allow the image to rotate along half of the circle. You can say it will invert the image.
  • 90 degree CW :- It will rotate the image towards the right along one-quarter part of a circle.
  • 90 degree CCW:- It will rotate the image towards the left along one-quarter part of a circle.
  • Arbitrary:- By clicking arbitrary you will be able to rotate your image at a specific angle. You can type the angle and the direction of your choice.

Undo your changes in Photoshop

If you do not like the changes you made, just click Undo or press Ctrl+Z to Undo the changes you made.

Save your image:

Click on File and then Save As. Choose a location for your new image and save it.

Final Words:

You can see that flipping and rotating an image is so simple to be done and it’s much useful for both experts and beginners, either for creative or professional motives.

I hope the tutorial is pretty much informative and easy to learn and pursue. You can create limitless designs and images of your choice by learning these simple techniques.

Improve your skills by understanding these simple tricks in-depth and becoming a successful designer.

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