How to Rotate an Image in GIMP – Simplest Way


GIMP is a free image editing tool. It gives you the option of transforming your picture as a whole or making changes to its layers as well as rotating a selection from it. In this article, I have explained how to rotate an image in GIMP in all three ways. 

How to Rotate an Image in GIMP

Method 1: Rotate Image Clockwise or Counter-clockwise

This is the most basic transformation of any canvas which allows the user to spin the frame clockwise and counter-clockwise. Generally, this can be used to flip a vertical canvas that has been saved horizontally. Follow the steps below to rotate an image in GIMP.

  1. Open GIMP and open a picture that you want to transform from vertical into horizontal or vice versa.
  2. Right-click on the picture and choose the “Image” option from the list shown.
  3. Now, select the “Transform” option. Here you will be able to see multiple options for clockwise and counter-clockwise at pre-defined angles. You can select the “Rotate 90° clockwise” option which will flip your portrait 90 degrees clockwise.

You have now rotated an image without cropping.

Method 2: Rotate a Layer in an Image by Any Angle

The below steps will allow you to pivot a layer in your selected picture by any angle. 

  1. Open a picture with layers in GIMP.
  2. Select the layer you want to pivot in the right-side frame. 
  3. Click on the “Rotate” tool in the toolbox window at the top left corner of your screen and then click on the desired layer. You can now see a “Rotate” dialog box which has various options for angle and offsets.

You can also do it by clicking “Shift” and “R”.

  1. Now, you simply have to drag the layer to pivot it as desired. 
  2. However, if you want to pivot it at a certain angle you have to enter the exact angle in the dialog box. Enter “45.00” in the “Angle” text area of the dialog box and click on the “Rotate” button.

This will pivot the layer of your canvas as requested. You can also drag and drop it multiple times, but doing so will affect the quality of your canvas. Apart from this, you also have the option to change the offset of the portrait you are working on by adjusting the number in X and Y offset. 

Method 3: Rotate a Selection in an Image by Any Angle

Let us now move on to how to rotate selection in GIMP. These steps will allow you to select an area of your portrait and make changes only to that selection. 

  1. Launch GIMP and open a picture that has a particular section that you need to transform.
  2. Select the “Rectangular Select” tool in the toolbox window at the top left corner of the screen.
  3. Click at a point in your picture and drag it down to make a rectangle selection.
  4. Select the “Rotate” tool from the left side window and click on the selection.
  5. Drag and drop the selection as you desire or you can also pivot your selection to a certain angle by entering its value in the “Rotate” dialog box and pressing “Enter”.

Now you have successfully rotated a selection of your picture.

Last Word

You can make any rotational changes in your canvas using the various methods above. Follow the steps given above to pivot the image as per your needs and have fun editing.

Azad Shaikh

Azad Shaikh

Azad Shaikh is an internet geek at heart. From reviews about computer components to playing X-box one games, Azad takes pleasure in writing about anything and everything about computers. He is a computer engineering graduate and certified ethical hacker. In his leisure time, he reads and explores the internet.

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