Revision Date: 10 January 2021

Rotate / Zoom Rotate / Zoom icon
Ctrl + Shift + Z

The command to open the Rotate/Zoom dialog can be found in the Layers Menu or invoked with Ctrl + Shift + Z.  The toolset allows a free rotation of a layer about the three axes (X, Y, and Z).  In addition, there are panning, zooming and tiling options.

Rotate/Zoom Dialog

Roll / Rotate

Outer Ring

The active layer can be rotated about the Z axis by clicking and dragging dragging the outer ring of the Roll / Rotate control  Moving the outer ring has the same effect as moving the uppermost slider or typing a value into the top numeric value box.  Rotation will be about the center of the layer.

Roll Control outer ring demo
Rotate/Zoom Roll Control outer ring

The Z axis is aligned through the center of the Roll control "globe" and the reticule.  If the Roll control is realigned so the reticule is pointing South East, the Z axis will also be aligned to the South East.  Rotations using the outer ring will appear to be centered about this axis.

Realignment of Z axis
Rotations follow the Z axis

Holding Shift while dragging the outer ring confines the rotation angle to 15 degree increments.

Roll Control

The Center of the Roll/Rotate control allows rotations simultaneously about the X and Y axes.  The control can be clicked and dragged as can sliders two and three respectively.  Values can also be typed directly into the numeric input boxes.

The third slider is perhaps the easiest understood. It controls the apparent tilt of the image from zero (front on) to 90 degrees (side on)

Rotate Zoom Tilt Control demo
Rotate/Zoom Tilt control

The second slider determines which compass direction the reticule faces. Zero is due East, 90 degrees South, 180 degrees (both + and -) West and -90 degrees faces North.  The action of the second slider is most obvious when the third slider is non-zero.

Rotate Zoom Roll Control demo
Rotate/Zoom Roll control


Panning is the action of sliding the image in the same plane as the rest of the layer.  Click and drag the control or use the sliders to move the layer around the canvas.

The upper Pan slider controls movement horizontally. The lower pan slider controls movement vertically.

Rotate Zoom Pan Control demo
Rotate/Zoom Pan control


This control expands or contracts the layer. Higher zoom settings increase the size of the contents of the layer.  Smaller values shrink the contents of the layer.


If the ☑ Tiling checkbox is checked, any portion of the layer not filled by a region under transformation will be filled with a repeating pattern of the transformed region.

If the ☐Tiling checkbox is not checked, any portion of the layer not filled by a region under transformation will be transparent.

Preserve Background

If the ☑ Preserve Background checkbox is checked, regions of the layer not filled by the area under transformation will contain the original layer contents.  The original pixels will show through if Tiling allows.

Using the Rotate/Zoom controls allows an image to be tilted and transformed as if it were at an angle to the viewer.  It is relatively easy to create the illusion of depth or perspective using these tools.


Rotate/Zoom Example
Using Rotate/Zoom to tilt an image.