Flipping in Lightroom


Today’s Question: I would like to be able to flip an image in Lightroom. Is it possible, or only a Photoshop thing?

PLEASE NOTE: The original answer posted below was incorrect. Details of the correction can be found in a follow-up post here:

Flipping in Lightroom Redux

Tim’s Quick Answer: Flipping an image is not possible in Lightroom, and thus would require Photoshop (or another application). You can rotate an image in Lightroom, but not flip it.

More Detail: Fortunately, it is quite easy to flip an image in Photoshop, and you can send an image from Lightroom directly to Photoshop for this purpose. Just note that in the process a new copy of the image will be created as an additional file on your hard drive.

To get started, select the image in Lightroom that you want to flip. Then choose Photo > Edit In > Edit In Adobe Photoshop from the menu. Once the image is opened in Photoshop, you will want to convert the Background image layer to a normal layer so you can actually flip it. To do so, double-click the thumbnail for the Background image layer on the Layers panel and click the OK button in the New Layer dialog that appears.

You can then choose Edit > Transform from the menu, and then choose “Flip Horizontal” or “Flip Vertical” from the submenu depending on the direction you want to flip the image. After completing any other work you’d like to perform in Photoshop, simply choose File > Save from the menu to save the updated image file, and then choose File > Close from the menu to close that file.

You can then return to Lightroom, and the new copy of the image that has been flipped will appear alongside the original photo within your catalog.