One of the most useful elements of Adobe Photoshop CS5 is the ability to separate your designs into layers. This allows you to segment specific portions of your design into different sections that you can edit individually. For example, if you are designing a flyer or a newsletter for your business and you include a logo or clip art, you might want to change the color of that one item, or you might want to add a drop shadow to it. However, if everything in the design was on the same layer, then you would not be able to specifically target that one element. You would need to apply your desired effect to everything else that was on that layer. The same rules apply to rotation effects, so if you want to know how to rotate a layer in Photoshop CS5, you can use the following steps.
Procedure for Rotating a Layer in Photoshop CS5
Start by launching Adobe Photoshop CS5, click File at the top of the window, then click Open and select the multi-layer Photoshop document containing the layer that you want to rotate.
For the purposes of this tutorial, I am just using an image that contains two text layers. This decision serves two purposes – it is easy to visualize if you are just looking at the image, and it is easy to tell which layer is selected in the Layers panel at the right side of the window.
Begin the process of learning how to rotate a layer in Photoshop CS5 by clicking the layer that you want to rotate in the Layers panel. If this panel is not displayed at the right side of your Photoshop window, you can press F7 at the top of your keyboard to toggle it on or off.
If you had previously been working on this image and something is selected in the layer that you want to rotate, press Ctrl + D to deselect it. Otherwise proceed with the tutorial.
Click the Edit menu at the top of the window, then hover over the Transform option. You can see on this menu that there are several options to rotate your layer.
If you click the Rotate option, you can freely rotate the layer by dragging your mouse, or you can click the Rotate 180, Rotate 90 CW or Rotate 90 CCW to rotate the layer by the amount and direction indicated. In my final image, you can see that I have elected to rotate my layer using the Rotate 90 CCW option.
As with nearly every action that you perform in Photoshop CS5, you can press Ctrl + Z to undo it if you do not like how the rotation has affected your image.
You can use this same procedure to achieve results for similar tasks, such as if you want to know how to flip a layer in Photoshop CS5, or if you want to know how to resize a layer in Photoshop CS5.
If you want to flip your layer, you can use the Flip Horizontal or Flip Vertical option at the bottom of the Transform menu while a layer is selected.
Individual layers can be resized using the Scale option on the Transform menu.
You can also check the list at the right side of the window for additional Photoshop CS5 articles, such as this one about how to make a Photoshop CS5 animated gif.