{Solved} How To Rotate Text In Photoshop CC

feature Rotate Text



When it comes to creating a text effect, Photoshop is my choice of software. Working with text itself is as simple as grabbing the Type Tool, clicking on your canvas, and type. That’s text 101, and you’re here for more than just that.

Am I right? Awesome! Check this out…

Today I’m going to share how to rotate text in Photoshop. But we’re not going to stop there, though. You’ll learn the secret (they’re hidden) on how to rotate, flip, and scale individual letters too!

If you’re ready, let’s do it!

Table of Contents

Create a New Document

New document

To follow along, create a new document with the following dimensions; 1920 x 1080 @ 300PPI. I’ve styled my background layer with a Linear Gradient.

Let’s grab our Text Tool with the letter “T” or grab it from the toolbar. Type out anything you’d like. For this project, I’ve written out the word “Rotate.”

How To Rotate the Text Layer

free transform

Rotating text is not that much different from rotating images. The tool of choice for rotating both is the Free Transform tool. 

This can be found via the menu bar; Edit > Free Transform. Or you can use my favorite method via a shortcut; Command or Ctrl + “T.”

Once the Free Transform tool is activated, a boundary box is placed around your text. To rotate the text layer, click on the outside of the text box, drag your mouse up, down, left, or right. You’ve now turned the text layer!

To rotate your text at 15-degree intervals, hold down your Shift key as you rotate. As you do, you’ll see a little black text box with a number inside indicating the current angle.

Rotating Text With Pinpoint Accuracy

So far, the rotation of your text has been easy to do with the Free Transform tool. But there’s more to rotating text than what I’ve shown you thus far. In fact, you can control the center of rotation based on your creative vision.

By the center of rotation, I’m referring to an anchor point on the text that it rotates around. By default, the center of rotation is in the, well, center of the word. But what if you want the word or text to rotate around a different anchor location?

This can be achieved by changing the rotation anchor point via the tool options. Make sure the Free Transform tool is still active. If not, use Command or Ctrl + “T.” 

Now, take a look at the tool options bar’s left side (image above). There are a checkmark and a square made of other hollow squares, with a solid square in the middle.

This represents the different anchor points you can use to rotate your text around. Let’s try it. Click the bottom left square and re-rotate your text. Pretty cool if I do say so myself!

Pro Tip:

You may have noticed the black icon in the center of the Free Transform box boundary (looks like a crosshair) moved to the new location you selected and turned white.

This is a visual cue showing your new anchor choice. If your text isn’t rotating as expected, you may have forgotten to reset your anchor to the center. This crosshair is a friendly reminder!

Flip & Scale Your Text In Photoshop

new menu

While we have the Free Transform tool active, let’s look at a few other options you have for manipulating your text. Right-click anywhere on your canvas to reveal a menu of options.

At the bottom, you’ll see five different choices…

Each of those options is self-explanatory. Try each of them out to see how your text is rotated.

At the top of the menu, you have Scale, Rotate, Skew, and Warp. Selecting the first three doesn’t do anything different… the tool options are the same.

If you click Warp, well, you’re in for a treat. This option, as its name implies, will allow you to warp your text.

If you select Warp by mistake, you can click one of the other three options to revert back to rotating, scaling, or skewing your text.

How To Scale Your Text With Photoshop


Scaling your text isn’t as apparent as rotating it. To scale your text, click on a corner (or side) to start the process of scaling. Next, drag your mouse in to make it smaller and out to make it larger.

Try this; hold down your Alt or Option key as you drag a side in or out. This scales the text from the center. As we did with rotating the text, you can change the anchor point too.

In the tool options bar, change from the middle to a corner. Now, when you hold down Alt or Option and scale, it will resize again. But this time, it will be anchored to the point you selected.

How To Skew Your Text With Photoshop


The Skew option will allow you to make your text taller, shorter, wider, or narrower. You can even add a tilt if you desire. Both will require a different keyboard shortcut.

Toggle Text Orientation With Photoshop

toggle text orientation

How about changing the text orientation from left to right to top to bottom?

Easy-peasy with Photoshop!

Make sure your Type Tool is selected and navigate to the toolbar. To the left of the font selection (drop-down menu) is the Toggle Text Orientation icon. Click it.

Boom, your text orientation has changed!

Rotating Individual Letters In Photoshop

rasterize type

So far, our text effect has centered around the entire word. You could even use what you’ve learned with a line of text or even paragraphs.

But what if you want to rotate a single letter? This is an advanced technique that you’re going to learn how to do… right now.

With your Type Tool, it’s feasible to select individual letters. However, you won’t rotate it with the Free Transform tool since it’s applied to the entire word.

Instead, we need to isolate the letter to be rotated from the rest of the text. In its current state, as a text layer, it can’t be done.

One option is to Rasterize the text, so it becomes pixel-based. The problem with that is the text will no longer be as sharp as it was. You’ll end up with softer text.

{Solution} Convert The Text Layer To A Shape Layer!

convert text layer to a shape

Go to; Type > Convert To Shape

This updates your text layer into a shape layer. There’s one problem, though. Your text is no longer editable! Make sure your word is spelled correctly before converting.

Also, did the color of your text change? Or was a stroke added to the letters? 

This happened because the last colors you chose for your shape are still selected. To fix this, grab your Shape Tool, update the Fill to your choice color, and set the Stroke to none.

shape color

Here are the steps for rotating individual letters in Photoshop…

converted to path
letters set to path with one letter selected
letter selected
letter rotated

Your Photoshop Text Journey Doesn't Stop Here!

I hope you had a lot of fun using the Free Transform tool to rotate, skew, and scale your text in Photoshop! There’s a lot more to learn about Photoshop text effects, though. How about something more advanced?

Well, I have you covered with over 20 text effect Photoshop tutorials! Or, check this out to learn all the ways to rotate an image.

Thanks for stopping by! If you enjoyed this Photoshop tutorial, please share!

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A 30-year photography pro with a desire to help you achieve your creative vision! Facebook | Youtube

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