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Using a Visible Grid for Straightening Photos

Here's another popular technique for straightening photos that works particularly well when you're having trouble finding a straight edge within your image.

Step One

Open a photo that needs straightening. Go under the View menu and choose Grid. Elements will put a non-printing grid over your entire photo. Go under the Window menu, under Images, and choose Maximize Mode. Then make sure you're zoomed out enough (press Control-Minus a couple of times) so that the gray canvas area around your photo is visible.

Step Two

Press Control-A to select the entire photo, and then press Control-T to bring up the Free Transform bounding box around your photo. Move your cursor outside the bounding box and click-and-drag upward or downward to rotate your image (using the onscreen grid as a guide to align your image). If one of the horizontal grid lines isn't close enough to a part of your image that's supposed to be horizontal, just move your cursor inside the bounding box and use the Up or Down Arrow key on your keyboard to nudge your photo up or down until that part reaches a grid line.

Step Three

When you've finished straightening your photo, press Enter to lock in your transformation. Then, go back under the View menu and choose Grid to remove the grid. Once you remove the grid, you'll notice that there are white canvas areas visible in the corners of your image, so you'll have to crop the image to hide these from view.

Step Four

Press the letter C to switch to the Crop tool, then drag out a cropping border that will crop your image so that none of the white corners are showing. When your cropping border is in place, press Enter.

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