Today’s Question: When I’m reviewing my photos in the Library module in Lightroom I have rotate buttons below the image preview. But when I go to the Develop module those rotate buttons disappear. Is there no way to rotate photos within the Develop module?
Tim’s Quick Answer: While the rotate buttons are not available on the toolbar when working in the Develop module in Lightroom, you can still rotate images by using a menu command or a keyboard shortcut.
More Detail: In most cases, of course, you aren’t likely to need to rotate your photos in 90-degree increments, because your camera will have set a rotation flag automatically for your photos. But in some cases you may find that the rotation wasn’t applied correctly, or that you want to alter the rotation for an abstract photo.
When reviewing your photos in the Library module you can have rotation control buttons on the toolbar below the image display (or on the thumbnails themselves). You can hide or reveal these rotation buttons when working in the Library module. Simply click the downward-pointing triangle at the far right of the toolbar below the image preview area and choose the “Rotate” options.
When you are working in the Develop module, however, these rotation buttons are not available. However, the menu commands for rotating your photos are still available. You can, for example, right-click on the thumbnail for a photo on the filmstrip and choose the “Rotate Left” or “Rotate Right” command. You can also go to the Photo menu on the main menu bar and choose the same options.
In addition, you can use keyboard shortcuts to rotate your images while in the Develop module. To rotate the image left (in 90-degree increments) hold the Ctrl key on Windows or the Command key on Macintosh and press the left square bracket key ([) on the keyboard. To rotate the image right, hold the Ctrl/Command key and press the right square bracket key (]).