Rotating the crop marquee

As I said, you can rotate an image by dragging outside the crop marquee. Straightening a crooked image, however, can be a little tricky. I wish I had a certified check for every time I thought I had the marquee rotated properly, only to find the image was still crooked after I pressed Enter. If this happens to you, choose Edit ^ Undo (Ctrl+Z) and try again. Do not try using the crop tool a second time to rotate the already rotated image. If you do, Photoshop sets about interpolating between already interpolated pixels, resulting in more lost data. Every rotation gets farther away from the original image.

Tip A better solution is to do it right the first time. Locate a line or general axis in your

. \ image that should be straight up and down. Rotate the crop marquee so it aligns * exactly with this axis. In Figure 3 28,1 rotated my crop marquee so one edge bisects the graffiti guy's egg-shaped head. Don't worry, this isn't how you want to crop the image — you're just using the line as a reference. After you arrive at the correct angle for the marquee, drag the handles to size and position the boundary properly. As long as you don't drag outside the marquee, its angle remains fixed throughout.

Yet another solution is to use the measure tool. Just drag with the tool along the axis you want to make vertical and note the angle (A:) value in the Info palette. I don't like this technique as much because it requires you to do some unnatural math — depending on how you drag, you may have to subtract 90 degrees from the A: value or subtract the A: value from 90 degrees. Then you keep an eye on the Info palette and rotate until you get an A: value that matches the answer to the previous equation. If you like math, great. If not, it's much simpler to use the technique I suggested in the preceding paragraph.

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