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How to Flip an Image in Photoshop

As a graphic designer, photo editor, or marketing guru, you will eventually run into a situation where flipping an image is the only solution to a design issue. Perhaps the subject is facing the left, but you need them on the opposite side; or maybe a certain layer looks better when flipped. Therefore, learning how to flip an image in Photoshop is a valuable skill. Below, we’ve outlined the essential steps for flipping a project or specific layers.

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Flipping the Entire Project

  1. First, open the image file that you’d like to flip. Everything on the canvas will be moved to the opposite side. 

  2. There are two types of image flipping: horizontal and vertical. To access them, select the Image tab and then choose “Image Rotation” from the list. Clicking “Flip Canvas Horizontal” will switch east to west, and right to left. “Flip Canvas Vertical”, on the other hand, will make your image upside-down. (If you’re using an older version of Photoshop, these commands might be listed under “Image Rotate” instead of “Image Rotation”)

  3. When you’re finished, we recommend selecting “Save As…” from the file menu, so that you create a new file and retain the original version as well. If you’re having trouble finding the flip commands, just type in “Flip” within the Help search bar.    

Flipping Individual Layers

  1. First, select the layer that you’d like to flip. This approach only allows you to manipulate one layer at a time, but you can consolidate multiple elements into one layer before flipping it. 

  2. Next, select “Free Transform” from the main Edit tab (or press Ctrl + T). This will isolate the layer, allowing you to alter it. 

  3. Right-clicking on the layer will bring up another list of options. You’ll see “Flip Horizontally” and “Flip Vertically” at the bottom. These behave in exactly the same way as the “Flip Canvas” commands, but only for the selected layer. 

  4. After flipping the layer, press Enter to make the change permanent, or double-click on the transformation box to undo it. Remember to “Save As…” from the File menu when you’re finished editing!

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