Straightening images with Photoshop’s Lens correction tool

Let’s be honest, Photoshop’s tool for straightening an image sucks – well it would if it really were a tool – it’s not even that. It’s a cumbersome workaround.

Start with the Ruler tool (if you can find it – it’s stuck away under the Eyedropper) then ‘measure’ along the line you want to be horizontal. Then choose Image > Rotate Canvas > Arbitrary and accept the value for the angle – that’s what you used the Ruler tool to measure. Wow, that’s sophisticated – NOT! And it gets worse. While now have a ‘straight’ image, the edges look horrible. Grab the Crop tool and crop the image to remove the messy edges.

So, while there isn’t a tool, there is a slightly smarter workaround. Choose Filter > Distort > Lens Correction – ok, I promised it would be smarter – I didn’t say it would be any easier to remember where to find it.

In the Lens Correction dialog, drag on the Angle to straighten the image – best thing about this is that you get a grid to guide you. Then, drag the Scale slider upwards until the rough edges disappear. Then click Ok and you’re done.

So, there you have it, a one stop straightening tool – still sucks compared with programs like Paintshop Pro and Photoshop Elements which will straighten and crop in one step but it does it in one menu rather than 3 tools – I call it an improvement – just!

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Helen Bradley

I am an expatriate Australian lifestyle writer, videographer and photographer. I write tutorials and produce videos on Photoshop, Lightroom and Illustrator as well as photography, office computer applications and DIY crafts. I have written for most of the big names in consumer tech including PC World, PC […]

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