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If you have text or an image that would look better if it were backward or upside down, you’ll probably need to know how to flip a layer in Photoshop.

Adobe Photoshop’s ability to edit in layers is probably my favorite feature. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities by allowing you to edit the contents of a layer independently from the rest of the image’s content.

Additionally, if you spend a lot of time creating designs and images for clients or colleagues, changing an image element that is on its own layer rather than mixed with a bunch of other objects that share a layer makes the revision process much easier.

While most of the benefit that I see from separate layers lies with the ability to apply adjustments or make color changes, it also affords you the opportunity to completely change the orientation of a layer.

You can use this ability to learn how to flip a layer in Photoshop CS6 if you decide that you want the layer to be flipped horizontally or vertically.

How to Flip a Layer in Photoshop

  1. Open the image in Photoshop.
  2. Choose the layer to flip.
  3. Select Edit at the top of the window.
  4. Choose Transform, then Flip Horizontal.

You can see pictures of these steps and get more information by scrolling down. We’ll also talk about another transform tool that has a little more flexibility.

Flipping a Layer in Photoshop CS6

The most difficult part of learning how to flip a Photoshop layer is distinguishing between tools that affect your entire image and tools that only affect your selected layer. We’ll concentrate on those tools for now because we’re only flipping one layer in this tutorial.

Step 1:

Begin by opening your multi-layer image in Photoshop CS6.

Step 2:

Select the layer that you want to flip from the Layers panel at the right side of the window.

If the Layers panel is hidden, press F7 on your keyboard to bring it back up.

Step 3:

Click Edit at the top of the window, click Transform, then click Flip Horizontal.

This will horizontally flip the layer you’ve selected. You’d use the Flip Vertical option instead if you wanted to flip your layer vertically.

If you don’t like the effect this has had on your image, you can undo the layer flip by pressing Ctrl + Z on your keyboard.

You can also use another option to give yourself more options when it comes to flinging your Photoshop layer. The Free Transform tool is activated by pressing Ctrl + T on your keyboard.

A box with little square handles appears around your layer when you’re in Free Transform mode. The layer will be transformed if you drag one of the boxes. With the Free Transform tool, I can, for example, flip a layer by dragging the left box handle to the right side of the layer, then the right box handle to the left side of the layer.

You’ll also notice that dragging your mouse outside of the layer box activates a tool that allows you to freely rotate the layer by clicking and dragging your mouse in the desired direction.

It’s worth noting that the method described above will only flip the single layer you chose in the first step. If you want to flip multiple layers horizontally, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard while clicking each one, then go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal at the top of the window.

Frequently Asked Questions

In Photoshop, how do I make a new layer?
At the bottom of the Layers panel, click the New Layer button. It’s the one with the upturned corner that looks like a page. Alternatively, at the top of the window, select Layer > New > Layer.

In Photoshop, how do I change the size of an image?
On your keyboard, press Alt + Ctrl + I, or go to Image > Image Size at the top of the window.
By pressing Alt + Ctrl + C on your keyboard, or by going to Image > Canvas Size at the top of the window, you can change the size of your canvas.

See also

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