Straighten a Photo in Photoshop: Quick & Easy

August 24, 2010 · 24 comments

in Photoshop Tutorials

When you’re capturing a fleeting moment, there usually isn’t time to make sure that your subject is nicely positioned or that the photo is perfectly straight. Thankfully, there is a quick and simple trick in Photoshop that will accurately straighten any photo. All you need is an obvious horizon and two minutes to spare.

Here’s the photo I’ll be using. It was taken in Tokyo as I was quickly crossing the road. As you can see, it’s definitely skewered and needs some serious straightening.

1.) Select the ruler tool

Click on the ruler icon. The ruler tool shares the same icon as the eyedropper tool.

2.) Drag

Drag the ruler tool in a straight line across the horizon you wish to straighten. You can also make a vertical line as well.

3.) Rotate Canvas

One you’ve drawn the line, click on
Image > Rotate Canvas > Arbitrary

Photoshop will automatically calculate how much the image needs to be rotated. In this case, 3.27 degrees clockwise.

4.) Crop

Your photo probably look something like this:

Now you would need to crop it by first making your selection with the rectangular marquee tool.

After you’ve done this, simply click on
Image > Crop

And viola! Here’s the final straightened photo.

Pretty easy right?

Article by

1 part ad agency. 2 parts freelancer. An avid urban photographer, traveler, and streetwear lover. Geeky curator of all things awesome. Sustains on Vegemite, meat pies and lamingtons. Follow me on Twitter or Flickr.

Yi has written 69 awesome articles for us at Photoble

  • http://www.facebook.com/george.argyrakis George Argyrakis

    nice and very useful tip. Well done

  • http://www.facebook.com/george.argyrakis George Argyrakis

    nice and very useful tip. Well done

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yiie

    Thank you! Although it’s so simple, It’s often one I sometimes forget about!

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yi

    Thank you! Although it’s so simple, It’s often one I sometimes forget about!

  • Lynne

    Great tip! I get very confused with the lens correction filter-this seems much easier.

  • Lynne

    Great tip! I get very confused with the lens correction filter-this seems much easier.

  • http://www.mobilecubix.com iPhone App Developer

    Good man….Just in two minutes

  • http://www.mobilecubix.com iPhone App Developer

    Good man….Just in two minutes

  • http://twitter.com/SketchyFletchy Fletcher Thompson

    Nice! Didn’t know that trick with the ruler.

    You can also restrict the marquee tool to a particular aspect ratio if you want to maintain the original image aspect. :D

  • http://twitter.com/SketchyFletchy Fletcher Thompson

    Nice! Didn’t know that trick with the ruler.

    You can also restrict the marquee tool to a particular aspect ratio if you want to maintain the original image aspect. :D

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yi

    Glad you found this helpful!

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yi

    Thanks! :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yi

    Glad you found this helpful!

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yi

    Thanks! :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yi

    I have to say, Lightroom trumps Photoshop when it comes to post-editing :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/yiiee Yi

    I have to say, Lightroom trumps Photoshop when it comes to post-editing :)

  • Zyllan

    Really up to the point. Thanks for sharing with us!!!

  • Zyllan

    Really up to the point. Thanks for sharing with us!!!

  • Diego Righi

    Esse tutorial já está velho e ultrapassado, já existe uma ferramenta no cs5 q faz td isso de maneira mais fácil e rápida. Seu nome é “Straighten”

    Abs

  • Diego Righi

    Esse tutorial já está velho e ultrapassado, já existe uma ferramenta no cs5 q faz td isso de maneira mais fácil e rápida. Seu nome é “Straighten”

    Abs

  • http://www.angelsaffordablewebdesign.com Info

    Love this, it’s a super quick, easy tip!

  • http://www.angelsaffordablewebdesign.com Info

    Love this, it’s a super quick, easy tip!

  • http://www.powerbrainsolutions.com Professional Web Design

    In Photoshop, you can use the measure tool to drag a line across the horizon. Photoshop will remember the angle, and when you go to rotate the image, it will automatically fill in the correct angle of rotation. However, when you use this method on a photo that only has a background layer, you’ll still need to crop the image as second step. You might as well do it all in one step with the crop tool.

  • http://www.qualitywebdesign.co.nz Quality Web Design

    Wow, that was easy! Great tip, thanks Yi.

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