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Ease of rotating and cropping images in CS6

Apr 12, 2012 12:34 PM

Tags: #cs6_beta #ui_issues #crop_tool

There is much I like about the new crop: Rotating the image instead of the box is SO much easier and the straighten option is a great time saver.


But in one instance, I'm finding cropping in CS6 to be harder: Cropping images that are not correctly oriented in the first place.  Rotating an image 90-degrees was a snap in CS2: Alt-I/E/0.  The shortcut keys are gone in CS6, so using the rotation command is no longer quick.


But I can do it in the crop box, right?  True -- but not easily.  The image is landscape, the crop box is portrait.  With the crop tool selected, holding the shift key down to get fixed-increment rotations doesn't work: Pressing the SHIFT key changes the cursor from rotation to the crop cursor.  To get the rotation, I have to start rotating the image and then press SHIFT to get 15-degree increments.  A few moments later, I have rotated the image into portrait orientation -- and the crop box is now centered on the image, but it is set to crop the middle.  I have to drag the handles out to get approximately what I want: The full image in the crop box.  (What I want is what I would get if I rotate the image with the Rotate command, then control-zero to fill the screen, and then select the crop tool.)


We rotate a lot of images.  It's easy to do in CS2 and the two approaches I've found for CS6 are both awkward.  The new crop tool has replaced the dual arrows in older versions (to swap the horizontal and vertical sizes) with a rotation arrow.  I think you should restore the arrows (and their function) -- then use the rotate button to rotate the image, not the crop box.  (Isn't that the design center for the new crop box?  We're moving the image, not the crop box.)

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 12, 2012 12:39 PM   in reply to OC Photoworx

    You can edit your keyboard shortcuts (Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts) to assign keys to the Image Rotation menu item.


    When you're in the Keyboard Shortcuts window, select Application Menus from the Shortcuts For dropdown. Then expand Image >, scroll down until you find Image Rotation, then assign your shortcut of choice.

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    Apr 12, 2012 3:17 PM   in reply to OC Photoworx

    I can see where the behavior can be a bit awkward. I took moment to play with your steps in the first post. This may help.


    When you activate the Crop Tool, rotate the image using the method you posted (start rotating then hold Shift). Once the image is in a portrait orientation, press the X key on your keyboard to rotate the Crop box. Press Return/Enter to accept. That will rotate the crop to landscape as well, and fill the image.


    It might help a touch, but I agree, it's slightly awkward, especially with the 'rotate first, then hold shift' step.

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  • Noel Carboni
    23,455 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
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    Apr 12, 2012 3:22 PM   in reply to OC Photoworx

    Just a side note...


    So many digital imaging systems now set an orientation flag in the images...  Can we assume you're scanning images from film or something?  Why aren't you getting correctly-oriented images in the first place?  Just curious.  Maybe if that were made better this would be a non-problem for you.



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 13, 2012 1:01 PM   in reply to Howard Pinsky

    I was also wondering if it is possible to rotate a selection when using the Content Aware...Move tool? I tried this tool to move a selection, but it would only allow me to move the selection laterally. I did not see any rotate arrows for the selection, which I need for a more precise move. Cheers

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    Apr 13, 2012 1:29 PM   in reply to Togalab18

    After you have Moved the item, and before you drop the Selection, you should be able to Transform>Rotate it.


    Work on an overlying empty Layer with "Sample All Layers" checked; and use a Layer Mask or the Eraser to clean up any rough edges or unwanted material

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