How to Flip an Image in Photoshop Perfectly

In today’s article, we will learn how to flip an image in Photoshop. Now, we know that this may seem like a very basic action and it may be, however, here at the Clipping Masking Photoshop, we have received many questions on how to manipulate images, as such we decided to provide all the entry-level Photoshop users with detailed instruction.

Knowing how to flip an image is very essential. It lets you manipulate images and create unique reflections, perspectives, and much more. Among others, it can be also used to reverse those mirrored selfie photos back to normal

Herein we will provide you with a detailed step-by-step guide that will enable even complete beginners to learn how to flip an image in Photoshop. These steps are in the section below, and you can always return to this article and go through the step as you need to flip an image in Photoshop. After completing the task yourself a couple of times you will know the steps by heart.

Below the instructions, we have also prepared a special FAQ section that will answer all of the most common questions related to flipping an image in Photoshop.

Are you ready? Let’s dig in.

How to Flip an Image in Photoshop – Step-by-Step Actions

As you can imagine a piece of advanced photo editing software, which Photoshop definitely is, offers several different ways to perform this simple task. First, you must determine whether you are working with a single layer project (or if you want to flip all the layers) or if you want to flip an image of a particular layer.

Each of the given two options will start by you opening an image in Photoshop. Also, if you want to save the changes you’ve made consider if you want to keep the original (Save As) or override it (Save). Make sure to save the image in a format, quality, and size that suits your needs.

Option #1: Flipping the whole image/canvas

If you have a single-layered image (it can even be still locked as a background), you can click on the “Image” item in the top menu bar, then “Image Rotation”, and finally “Flip Canvas Horizontally” or “Flip Canvas Vertically”. In the same place, you also have an option to rotate the canvas.

Flipping the whole image/canvas - How to Flip an Image in Photoshop

Option #2: Flipping part of an image/a particular layer

Option #2 actually comes with two additional options, each giving you the same results, however, one does give you additional freedom to freely manipulate the image.

Flipping part of an image/a particular layer

Option #2.1: Choosing the flip option directly in the menu

When working with Photoshop, we more often than not have to deal with several layers. If you want to flip all the layers at once, simply follow the steps from option #1. However, if you want to flip, rotate, scale, or manipulate an individual layer, the above steps won’t work.

Choosing the flip option directly in the menu

First, make sure you have selected a layer that you want to flip. Then you have two options; you can go to the top menu, click the “Edit”, and hover over the “Transform” menu item, which will give you several options, including “Flip Horizontally” and “Flip Vertically”. As soon as you click on either of those, the action will be executed.

Option #2.2: Using the Free transform option

Using keyboard shortcuts can make working with Photoshop a lot faster, as such most of our designers learn those shortcuts fast and then use them instead of wasting time by getting to the action steps on the menu.

As such, you can press the “CMD/CTRL+T” to get the Free transform option. You will see a rectangular frame appear around your layer.

This gives you the option of freely manipulating the layer. You can scale it and move it around. In order to get to choose between the same actions as located in the “Transform” section, simply right-click anywhere in the photo and then select the flip option or any other manipulation actions.

Once you are done, you must confirm your action by clicking the checkmark in the top menu or pressing Enter on the keyboard. If you don’t like the results of your action, simply click the cancel icon next to the checkmark icon or press Esc on your keyboard.

Using the Free transform option - How to Flip an Image in Photoshop

If you don’t want to use keyboard shortcuts, but you prefer to manipulate the layer by accessing the Free Transform option, you can do so by clicking on the Free Transform option under the Edit tab in the top menu.

Note: If you want to rotate an entire image follow the steps described within option #1 and instead of choosing “Flip Canvas” select the “Rotate Canvas” option. If you want to rotate an individual layer, use option #2 but instead of the “Flip” option chose one of the given “Rotate” options.

Now you know how to access and perform flip vertically, horizontally, rotate 90° or 180°clockwise or counterclockwise, scale, and other advanced image manipulation actions.

Do not be afraid to play around with these options. You can always redo the last step or move multiple steps. This can be done within the Edit menu tab, or by clicking “CMD/CTRL+Z” to redo the last step or by clicking “CMD/CTRL+SHIFT+Z” to take a step backward. So relax and enjoy editing.

BONUS: Creative Ideas

Since you may want to create some awesome effects and play around with these cool yet simple image flip option, we decided to create this bonus section, in which we will provide two creative ideas gathered from our experienced designers. These two ideas alone give you practically limitless options for creating your unique and interesting final images.

Multiple Flip

Given the above instructions, you now know how to flip an image. In this case, you will need to apply all you’ve learned within option #2. We will assume that you are starting with an image that you’ve just opened and it is background (locked as a background layer).

To start the manipulation double-click the background layer and confirm its transformation into a layer. Once you have done that use the “CMD/CTRL+T” keyboard shortcut. Then hold down the Shift key and click the corner of the frame that appeared around the image. Reduce the size of an image to a quarter of the canvas size by dragging the mouse towards the image’s interior.

Now, make sure to confirm the resized image by pressing the Enter key. Then use the “CMD/CTRL+J” to copy the same image into a new layer and make sure to select it. Now the flipping begins. You can start with a horizontal flip or with a vertical one, whichever best suits you.

Let’s say we are starting with the “Flip Horizontal” (see the instructions above (option #2)). Once you have flipped the image, position it next to the original resized image to get the two mirrored images one right next to the other. Select them both and press the “CMD/CTR+J” to make a copy of each into new layers, giving you four images in total.

Now, you could do the “Flip Vertical” on each of the latest two copies individually or you can select both layers and flip them at the same time. Once you do that, you will have four copies of your initial image, each mirrored in its own direction.

This effect work on every photo, though it provides the most fascinating results with images that have an object in the corner, which can then be positioned to be in the center of the final composition of four images.

Mirror Effect

For the mirror effect, simply focus on the part of the above effect to the point where you are left with two side-by-side images.

Explore your creativity and play around as much as you want. Photoshop can be extremely fun and can awaken your sleeping creativity. Don’t forget that you have the Redo and Step Backward actions, so keep calm.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

How do I mirror flip an image in Photoshop?

To mirror flip an image in Photoshop, you have several options as presented above. You must first determine if you are dealing with a single-layered image (or maybe want to flip all layers at once) or do you want to mirror flip an individual image. This will help you determine whether you will need to follow the above steps provided under option #1 or option #2. Also, determine whether you want to mirror flip your image horizontally or vertically and click the right action.

NOTE: “Flip horizontally” mean that an image will be flipped across the vertical imaginary line, while “Flip vertical” means that an image will be flip over the horizontal imaginary line.

How do you flip an image in Photoshop 2019?

To flip an image in Photoshop 2019 (CC) just follow the steps provided above.

How do you mirror an image?

To mirror an image you need to flip it horizontally (normally, in some cases you may want it to be upside down; that is commonly used for creating reflections). Just follow the steps provide above. First, determine whether you are dealing with a single-layered image, or do you have multiple layers and want to mirror an individual layer.

How do I turn a mirror image into a normal image?

Any mirror image can be converted back to normal by simply applying the “Flip horizontal” action. Follow the steps provided above to complete the action.

How do I mirror half of an image?

To mirror half of an image you will need to turn that half into its own layer. The easiest way to do so is by using the Rectangle selection tool. Select half of the image and press “CMD/CTRL+J” on your keyboard. This will copy your selection (half of the image) into a new layer. Then follow the steps provided under option #2 provided above.

After you have successfully mirrored half of your image, make sure to position it as suits your needs.

How do I make a picture backward?

To make a picture backward has the same meaning as to mirror it, which means you can do it by applying either horizontal flip or vertical flip to your image.

How do you mirror the text?

Text in Photoshop is always in its own layer, as such, you will need to follow the steps given within option #2 in order to mirror text alone. However, if you want to mirror the entire canvas (the text and all the layers) then you can use option #1.

Is a selfie a mirrored image?

Whether a selfie photo is a mirrored image or not depends on the type of phone you have and its settings. Most of the latest smartphones give you an option to choose whether you want your selfie photos to be mirrored or not.

If you have mirrored selfie photos and would like to convert them into regular ones, it can be easily done with Photoshop by simply applying a horizontal flip.

Why do I look better in the mirror than in pictures?

If you feel like you look better in the mirror than in the picture, it must be because you prefer your mirrored image over your actual looks, which is shown in the picture.

Our brain works in mysterious ways and because we are most often used to seeing ourselves in mirrors, we are more used to our mirrored version. As such, pictures might seem weird to us.

If you prefer your mirrored version, you can always use Photoshop to horizontally flip the image.

NOTE: Make sure to pay attention to the text. If there is any text in the photo, it will show that you have mirrored the image.

Why do I look better in selfies?

If you like yourself better in selfies, this probably means that your selfie camera is taking mirrored photos. As such, you are seeing yourself in the mirrored version of yourself, which is always slightly different than our actual image since no person is 100% symmetrical.

Final Thoughts

We did our very best to provide you with detailed instructions on how to flip an image in Photoshop. With the instructions provided above, you should be able to flip every single-layered image or any individual layer you want.

The above step-by-step instructions should also make it possible for you to rotate photos. That is if you have access to Photoshop. If you need to flip parts of an image, you will require an advanced photo editing program and Photoshop is without a doubt the best option. However, if you need to flip a single-layered image, you can use many basic photo-editing programs. For this basic action, you can even explore online tools that will do that for you.

However, if you have a bulk of photos that need to be flipped or otherwise manipulated, you may save a lot of time by hiring a team of professionals. Here at Clipping Masking Photoshop, we offer great deals and extremely fast results. So let us know if you need our help.

Best regards,

Clipping Masking Photoshop

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