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Photoshop Elements 6: The Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage

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Straightening the Contents of Your Image

What about all those photos you've taken where the content isn't quite straight? You can flip those pictures around forever, but if your camera was off-kilter when you snapped the shot, your subjects will lean like a certain tower in Pisa. Elements has planned for this problem, too, by including a nifty Straighten tool that makes adjusting the horizon as easy as drawing a line.

Tip

About 95 percent of the time, the Straighten tool will do the trick. But for the few cases where you can't get things looking perfect, you can still use the old school Elements method—the Free Rotate command, described on Free Rotate.

Straighten Tool

If you can never seem to hold a camera perfectly level, you'll love the Elements Straighten tool. It lives just to the right of the Cookie Cutter tool in the Full Editor's toolbox. To straighten a crooked photo:

  1. Open the photo, and then activate the Straighten tool.

    Its icon is two little photos, one crooked and one not. Or, on the keyboard, just press P.

  2. Make any changes to the Options bar settings for the Straighten tool before you use the tool.

    Your choices are described in a moment.

  3. Tell Elements where the horizon is.

    Drag to draw a line in your photo to show Elements where horizontal should be. Figure 3-4 shows how. Your line appears at an angle when you draw it. That's fine, because Elements is going to level out your photo, making your line the true horizontal plane in the image.

    Figure 3-4. Left: To correct the crooked ...

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