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How to flip image, merge layer, edit background in Photoshop?

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Adobe Photoshop is a great image manipulation tool, but only as long as you know what you’re doing. The sheer number of tools present mean that things can get intimidating pretty quick.

But all is not lost. Several things in photoshop are way easier than you think they are. In this article, we go over some quick basic things you can get done quickly in photoshop.

Flipping an image/Layer

If you look at the toolbar, you might not find a tool to flip an image in the first go. Don’t worry, though; it’s easier than you think.

If you want to flip the whole image, go to Image > Image Rotation  > Flip Canvas Horizontal/Flip Canvas Vertical and photoshop will take care of the rest.

Flipping individual layers is also quite similar. Select a layer and go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal/Flip Vertical. 

Merging layers

Merging layers is an excellent way of reducing clutter from your images. Here’s how you do it.

Go ahead and select all the layers you wish to merge into one. Go to Layers > Merge Layers. And that’s it. Make sure that the selected layers are visible though; otherwise, you’ll get some weird artefacts.

Also read: Top 8 free alternatives to Adobe Photoshop

Mirroring images

An essential element of designing is symmetry. In some cases, mirroring an image can be helpful to achieve this symmetry.

To mirror an image, first, create duplicate your existing image on a separate layer. Next, flip the image horizontally. Now go to Image > Canvas Size and select Percent for width from the drop-down menu. Set the width to 200 and the anchor point to the top right side.

Select the duplicate layer and the original layer. Then in the top menu, right next to the Show Transformation Controls checkbox, click the Align left edges button.

Changing background colour/making the background transparent

There are several ways you can do this. I’ll show you how I do it.

Load up your image and select the magnetic lasso tool. Now click at the starting point and slowly move your pointer around the edge of your subject until you’ve completely covered it. Press Ctrl+Left Click to finalise the selection.

Now, right-click and select Select Inverse. Depending upon what you want to do, you can either replace the background with something else, with a solid colour or delete it completely. Inversely, if you’re going to extract the subject, cut/copy out the selection.

Softening/Smoothing skin

You won’t believe how easy it is.

First, create a duplicate layer of your image. Now select the Spot Healing brush and set the type to Content-Aware. Click over skin blemishes to remove them. You can also make the brush smaller or bigger accordingly.

Also read:Adobe Photoshop vs Lightroom: Which one should you use when?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: