How to Straighten a Photo

How to Straighten a Photo

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to straighten a photo in PaintShop Pro. Straightening your photos is an important step in the photo editing process, because a crooked photo is noticed right away and really detracts from the photo’s overall quality. Straightening helps make your photographs look balanced and well-thought out and can instantly transform an amateur snapshot into a professional-looking image.

Download Resources:

Written tutorial (PDF, 960 KB)
Sample images (Zip file, 3.16 MB)

How to Straighten a Photo

In this tutorial, we’ll review how to use the Straighten tool and its various options on the Tool Options palette.

Click on any of the images below to view full-size.

How to use the Straighten Tool

Open PaintShop Pro in the Edit tab and open the photo you want to straighten. In this example, we’ll use a photograph of a castle that is crooked.

  • Go to the toolbar on the left and select the Straighten
  • A straightening bar with end handles will pop up on the image.
  • Drag each handle of the straightening bar to align it with the part of the image that you want to straighten.

For this example, click and drag on the handles of the straightening bar so that they align with the edge of the roof of the castle.

TIP: Zooming up on your image will help you be more precise with the placement of the straightening bar.

  • On the Tool Options toolbar, click on the Apply checkmark to apply the changes or you can also double-click on the straightening bar to apply the straightening.

Now the photograph of the castle is nice and straight, making the photo look much more professional!

Straightening Without Cropping

When the Straighten tool is activated, the Tool Options toolbar has an option to Crop Image, which is checked by default. This will trim the edges of your photo as part of the straightening process.

If you uncheck Crop Image when applying the straightening, PaintShop Pro will automatically fill the edges of your image with whatever color is currently selected in the Background (bottom) swatch on the Materials palette. You can leave the background if you like the effect, or you can use the Crop tool to crop the photo to your liking.


Using the Straightening Modes

On the Tools Options palette, you can choose from any of the following Modes:

  • Auto will automatically straighten the image based on the position of the straightening bar.
  • Make Vertical will rotate the image to make the straightening bar vertical.
  • Make Horizontal will rotate the image to make the straightening bar horizontal.

The Make Vertical mode is handy for photos shot on your phone that end up sideways and slightly crooked, so they need to be rotated and straightened at the same time. For example, we’ll use a photograph of a red phone booth in London.

  • Select the Straighten tool and line up the straightening bar along the side of the phone booth.
  • Select the Make Vertical mode and then click on Apply.

And now the photo has been both rotated and straightened that easily!

Straightening Photos with the Pick Tool

With photos that don’t have any straight lines like buildings or horizons that you can use to line up the straightening bar, you can use the Pick tool.

  • Select the Pick tool from the toolbar.
  • Hover your mouse over a corner of the photo and click and drag to manually rotate the photo slightly until the photo appears straight.

NOTE: You can use the Crop tool to crop the photo to remove the background around the edges.

It’s just that simple to straighten your photos to create a great base before making more edits and adding other effects in PaintShop Pro!

Thanks for watching! We hope you found this tutorial helpful and we would love to hear your feedback in the Comments section below. And don’t forget to visit our social media pages and show us what you’ve learned by sharing your photos, videos and creative projects with us.

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Comment (1)

  • BRIAN HALL Reply

    Great tutorial. Very specific to one topic, good examples, concise. Very easy to understand, and I love the persons voice, easy to listen too. I am new to paint shop pro, Really like the product so far, big learning curve. The tutorials are fantastic although the one on using the smart clone could of used more detailed information and examples eg when I tried the clone tool, two circles appear which were not explained and need to explain if should right or left click to apply

    January 6, 2020 at 7:19 am

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