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Documentation & User Guides | FotoWare

Rotating images


See how you can rotate a whole range of large files in a single, quick operation with minimal strain on your computer's CPU.

How FotoStation rotates pictures

When working with image files you will sometimes see that the image does not have the correct rotation. Typically, this problem will occur if the photographer has captured images with a “portrait” orientation, but there are also other cases when the image is not displayed the right way.

FotoStation has two different ways of rotating an image. You can choose to rotate the actual file as it is saved on the disk (the Rotate on disk option), or you can choose to only change the orientation metadata tag, which effectively only rotates the thumbnail and preview - the Rotate on screen option, often called a “soft” rotation.

Rotate on disk

The Rotate on disk option rewrites the image data when rotating the image. Each selected image can be rotated to the left, to the right, or upside-down. This option can be accessed either from the context menu (select one or more images and right-click on the image) or from the Image menu. The quickest way to rotate a whole range of selected images, though, is using the keyboard shortcuts defined for each rotational direction: Alt+Shift+Left/Right arrow to rotate to the left/right (Shift–Option–Left/Right arrow on Macintosh) and Alt+Shift+Down arrow to rotate the image upside-down (Shift–Option–Down arrow on Macintosh).

Rotate on Screen

The Rotate on screen option makes it possible to rotate an image without rewriting the entire file, as is the case with the Rotate on disk option. When using Rotate on screen, FotoStation writes information about the orientation of the image to the metadata in the file (both in EXIF rotation data and the XMP data). Image editors such as Photoshop honor this standard and will display the image rotated according to its soft rotation. This functionality is useful in several cases:

  • A soft rotation saves time since FotoStation doesn’t have to rewrite the entire image file. This is especially important for large image files such as large JPEG files.
  • When working in a production setting, it is useful to reduce network traffic. If you only soft rotate image you can reduce the amount of data transferred back and forth between the server and the client. In addition, if the system uses a FotoWare Color Factory server, Color Factory can be configured to rotate the high-resolution image file according to the soft crop information when the image is processed.

The Rotate on screen option can be accessed either from the context menu or from the Image menu. However, the quickest way to rotate your selection is using keyboard shortcuts: Alt+ Left/Right arrow to rotate to the left/right (Option–Left/Right arrow on Macintosh) and Alt+Down arrow to rotate the image upside-down (Option–Down arrow on Macintosh).

Applying soft rotation to file

If you want the high-resolution image to be rotated according to the soft-rotation data, right-click on the thumbnail, select Rotate on disk and then choose Convert screen rotation to disk rotation. This may for example be necessary if you need to open the file in an application that does not honor EXIF rotation data. Photoshop, on the other hand, will open and rotate the picture according to what you see in FotoStation.

No reason for quality loss concerns - even for JPEGs

When rotating JPEG images in FotoStation there is no loss of image data. While image professionals may be concerned that rotating high-resolution JPEG images many times will result in a substantial loss of quality, there is no loss of image data when rotating JPEG images in FotoStation, even when using the Rotate on disk option.

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