10 Replies Latest reply on Apr 18, 2014 11:58 PM by boo radley 2013

    Rare way to Rotate Canvas

    boo radley 2013 Level 3

      Not sure if this is a widely known trick or not, but when holding down {ALT}and then pressing {F13} or {F14}, the canvas will rotate in either direction. You do not need to switch to the rotate tool to do this, it does it "on the fly". For those that have the F13 or F14 keys on their keyboards, they can do this. For those that don't, you would need to automate it it with re-mapped keys, but that's another story.


      Basically, those are the keys that are being sent when using the touch rings/touch strips on an Intuos or Cintiq to rotate the canvas.


      So for anyone who uses the touch rings/touch strips to rotate the canvas, has anyone noticed that if the currently selected tool is the brush, that the canvas will rotate very slowly (lag), but if any other tool is selected (eraser for example) that the canvas will rotate much faster? Is this a bug or is there another reason for it... I'd love to use the touch ring/strip to do it, but most of the time my selected tool is the brush, and because of this the canvas rotation lags. So I have to first switch to eraser, and then it rotates fast and smooth. Big pain (as usual) - there always seems to be a catch with Photoshop


      If anyone's up on this, is there a way to make it rotate at full speed with the brush tool selected?

        • 1. Re: Rare way to Rotate Canvas
          Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

          I hold down the r key.  when you let go it springs back to the brush tool.  Escape restores normal orinatation as usual.

          • 2. Re: Rare way to Rotate Canvas
            boo radley 2013 Level 3

            but how about for the issue at hand

            • 3. Re: Rare way to Rotate Canvas
              Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

              I thought I was answering your last paragraph.  I don't have F13 and F14 on my keyboard, so can't test that, and I always use springloaded shortcuts when available.

              • 4. Re: Rare way to Rotate Canvas
                boo radley 2013 Level 3

                yeah I use the 'R' key as well, but I do like to use the scrollwheel on the intuos or the touchstrips on the cintiq as well. Seems a little easier and less distracting.


                If you have a intuos/cintiq, maybe you could try it out... set the scroll wheel/touchstrips to 'rotate canvas' and then make sure your brush tool is selected. Then rotate the canvas with the scrollwheel. It should rotate pretty slowly.


                Then, switch your tool to the eraser. Then rotate canvas again with the scrollwheel.


                Does it work faster for you now?

                • 5. Re: Rare way to Rotate Canvas
                  Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

                  It's the same with both tools, and works fast enough, but not very smoothly.  It looks like there is a significant lag using the scroll wheel, and on my system, it rotates in steps with a frequency dependant on how much I move the wheel.  Small amounts give me ten steps per second, and large steps slow it down to about four. 


                  My keyboard lives on wooden wedges above the tablet, so I can easily move the keyboard back and forth as needed, so using r to rotate is the best option for me.  My scroll wheel is only used for brush size.

                  • 6. Re: Rare way to Rotate Canvas
                    boo radley 2013 Level 3



                    when I have the brush tool selected, the canvas rotation is slow and jagged.


                    with anything else selected, like eraser, the rotation speeds up (not a lot, but is a little more fluid and faster)

                    • 7. Re: Rare way to Rotate Canvas
                      Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

                      Rotate Canvas does not work with GPU acceleration turned off, but does with it turned on in Basic Mode.  So I wonder if your GPU settings in Preferences have anything to do with it?

                      • 8. Re: Rare way to Rotate Canvas
                        boo radley 2013 Level 3

                        I've actually been researching this a bit more, and have learned a bit. Here's some interesting info-


                        If anyone has a keyboard with F13 or F14 keys on it, and is using a Wacom tablet with the latest drivers installed, then all they have to do is hold down ALT and press F13 or F14 - and it will rotate the canvas a certain amount of degrees to the left or right. Personally I would find this to be the easiest method of them all to rotate the canvas as quickly and efficiently as possible.


                        The problem here is that when holding down the ALT key, and if the brush tool is currently selected, then it's switching to the eyedropper tool before it gets to the F13 or F14 part - and this is what is slowing down the canvas rotation. It switches to the eyedropper tool quickly because ALT is the key that temporarily switches to the eyedropper tool until we let go. It doesn't switch to the eyedropper when on the eraser tool because when the eraser is selected, the ALT key does nothing - it doesn't temporarily switch to the eyedropper tool - meaning that it gets right to the F13/F14 part with no delay - hence why the canvas rotates faster when the eraser tool is selected.  This is probably very complicated for many, but hopefully you're following..


                        so I don't get how under your setup, that your canvas rotates just as fast under the eraser or brush tool? It should be sending ALT-F13/F14 when you touch the touch ring, which means it should be temporarily selecting the eyedropper tool as soon as you spin the touch ring so long as you have the brush selected as opposed to the eraser... are you sure there's no small delay if the brush is selected? If so, are you running the latest wacom drivers for your tablet?

                        • 9. Re: Rare way to Rotate Canvas
                          Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

                          My system was built for NLE with Premiere Pro, and is reasonably fast, and I don't tend to see wait states doing most things in Photoshop.   As for the Alt key, there are any number of things that change the instant you press a second key in combination, and certainly with nor discernable delay.


                          Just wondering if you are Left or Right handed?  I'm right handed so hold the pen with my right hand, so using my left to press the r key will rotating with the pen, is fast smooth and convenient.  If I had an F13 and F14 I'd need to book a taxi to take me way over there.  I guess I could at least catch up with some reading while on the way, but it all sounds like a workflow horror story to me.   I'm having a cold sweat just thinking about it.

                          • 10. Re: Rare way to Rotate Canvas
                            boo radley 2013 Level 3

                            lol, i get your point... I also use my right hand for the wacom pen. but using my left hand on the keyboard require that I look down at the keyboard every time I need to press a key... so if I want to rotate the canvas, I need to look down, hold down R, then look back at the screen - and repeat this process for every key that needs to be pressed on the keyboard - I find this to be a massive distraction. Especially when we're dealing with so many keyboard shortcuts - how do we look down at the keyboard every time we need to press a shortcut key? Look down to find the 'e' key for eraser.. then look down to find the 'b' key for brush.. then again for 'm' for mixer, and so on for the rest of the many shortcuts... it just isn't practical, especially for digital painting if you want to keep an un-interrupted workflow. Having to stop your momentum and look away to your keyboard just to switch a tool is a major, major concentration breaker.  So we need to find a way to press keyboard shortcuts without having to look away from the screen.


                            We need to remember where those keys are, so we don't have to look down at the keyboard. There's a few neat peices of hardware which you can use with your left hand, which allow you to press several buttons which are sculpted to your left hand, therefore allowing to you to just reach for certain keys with your thumb, or your index finger, without having to look at it- your fingers just remember where those keys are, and most of the time those keys are right uinder the fingers of your left hand - extremely useful. Look up "Razer Nostromo" on Youtube - there's a lot of professional digital painters that are using this hardware for this very reason - no need to look down at a keyboard to find the key you need to press (hence minimal distraction for your painting process).


                            I personally am using a Logitech G300, which allows me to re-program all 9 buttons into photoshop keyboard shortcuts - all while holding it my left hand, and holding the pen in my right hand. I never look away from the screen, because my left hand holding the mouse memorizes where every button is; the location of the buttons was carefully positioned on the mouse  in order for the user to memorize where the buttons are without looking at it  (Logitech is good for that, they know that we want to send keystrokes without looking away from the screen).  I have a single button set to pan, rotate and zoom in/out, which is all done on the fly and by holding down just one key - no need to press space, F1/F2(zoom in/out) or R(rotate) - the one key does it all - and they all work interactively with eachother - without looking away from my painting.


                            But the whole ALT+F13/F14 is still slowing it down. A few of my mouse buttons are re-programmed to hit those very keys, but it is slowed down because every time ALT is sent when in brush mode, it sends the 'eyedropper' tool quickly, because that's what ALT does in Photoshop natively - it's activating the eyedropper tool until let go - and that is causing the slowdown. Guess there's no way around it unless Wacom removes the ALT part from the shortcut (ALT+F13 or ALT+F14).. they could maybe make it (CTRL+F13 or CTRL+14... at least then, the eyedropper wouldn't activate because ALT is no longer being sent and is no longer part of the equation)