How to Straighten an Image in Adobe Lightroom

November 17th, 2011 by John Batdorff

I get a lot of questions on how to straighten an image in Lightroom, so I thought I would “level with you” and show how I fix the problem with a video tutorial… ;)

How to Straighten an Image in Adobe Lightroom Video Transcript

Hello, everyone. John Batdorff here, and today I thought I’d show you how to straighten an image in light room.

Now, in many cases, when I’m off shooting ocean landscapes, I’m using my tripod and a level to make sure that the image, of course, is leveled. However, when I’m shooting straight photography you don’t have that luxury. In this case I think I was actually on my stomach when I was shooting this gentleman. And so, as you can tell just by looking at the image, it’s not leveled and there’s a couple of techniques we can use to straighten this image up.

So what we’re going to want to do is go to our crop tool here. You can click on the box or hit the letter R in your keyboard and you’ll notice we have this box right here. So one thing you can do is you can go outside the box and you can rotate it. Take note of my cursor here, how we have those two arrows, and you can just grab it and rotate it until you think it’s straight. One of the benefits to using a grid overlay with the box is you can try to line them up, as you can see right here on this horizontal line. That’s one technique. Let’s reset that.

Another technique is to grab the straightening tool. And I like to use this and I’ll grab a long horizontal line and I’ll go all the way across and then go up a little bit. In this case I’m using the  curve. And that put us right on -2.5 and you can click on the overlay box again or hit the letter R in your keyboard. And that looks pretty straight.

Now, to cycle through as we discussed before this crop overlay, just hit the letter O on your keyboard. Let’s get a good grid here and that’s a pretty good grid to work with when you’re trying to  straighten things up. It looks pretty darn straight so I’m going to use this crop right  here.

So once again, options that we have, we can go outside the box and we can rotate it like this. You can go and use the slider right here to rotate the box. Or the technique I prefer in many cases when I have an image like this is grab the straightening tool and drag along a line that you want, whether it’d be horizontal or vertical. Just straight line and reset. And then click on the overlay box here or hit the letter R on your keyboard. So I hope that was helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at Thank you very much.

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