Why does my image get rotated and show a compass when using the trackpad on my MacBook or while using my Magic Trackpad?

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Photoshop FAQ, Official Rep

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Posted 7 years ago

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
Photoshop supports a two finger rotate gesture, as well as two finger pinch gesture for zooming, that users accidentally invoke while using the trackpad on their Macbook or Magic Trackpad.

There are few options to deal with this if you encounter it:

  1. You can press the [esc] to reset the document rotation.

  2. In Photoshop CS5, you can disable gestures altogether by disabling the "Enable Gestures" preference. Choose Preferences > Interface... and uncheck "Enable Gestures."

  3. In Photoshop CS4, you can disable gestures altogether by installing the Disable Canvas Rotation Via Trackpad plug-in.

For more detailed information on these options, see the following knowledge base document:

You rotate your view or zoom accidently when using button-less trackpads in Photoshop CS5 and CS4 (Mac OS)