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Chapter 4. Editing Photos > Rotating Photos

Rotating Photos

If you’ve turned your camera to switch from landscape view (horizontal) to portrait view (vertical), you must rotate the image in iPhoto to view it right side up. Rotating is such a common function that iPhoto provides an always-available Rotate button.

Ways to rotate photos:

  • In any mode, to rotate one or more photos clockwise, select them and click the Rotate button under the album pane (Figure 4.17 and Figure 4.18). To rotate them counter-clockwise, hold down and click the Rotate button.

    Figure 4.17. Here I’m showing a “before” photo in the display pane and also in its own window just so you can see both Rotate buttons.

    Figure 4.18. Here’s the “after” picture that resulted from clicking the Rotate button.

  • In organize or edit mode, select one or more photos, -click one, and choose the desired rotation direction from the contextual menu that appears.

  • In any mode, select one or more photos and choose either Counter Clockwise () or Clockwise () from the Edit menu’s Rotate menu.

  • In the image-editing window’s toolbar, click the Rotate button (Figure 4.17). To rotate the photo in the other direction, -click the Rotate button.


  • You can change the direction used by the Rotate buttons in iPhoto’s Preferences window; -clicking always reverses the default direction (Figure 4.19).

    Figure 4.19. In the Preferences window, select which direction you want iPhoto to rotate photos by default.

  • It may be easiest to rotate photos in batches in organize mode. Shrink the thumbnail size so you can see a number of photos at once, -click the ones that need rotating clockwise, and click Rotate. Repeat with any images that need counter-clockwise rotation, holding down when you click Rotate.


If you rotate a GIF image that you’ve imported into iPhoto, iPhoto converts it to a JPEG upon rotating, which may not be desirable.

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