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How do I automatically rotate images in Windows explore?

Federica Monsone , Feb 18, 2009; 08:40 a.m.


I am a PC use and often look at my images using Windows explore and selecting the thumbnails view. I find it very annoying how all the images taken in portrait mode are defaulted to display in landscape mode, which forces me to rotate them counterclockwise. Is there a way to ensure that they are automatically displayed the right way up?

When I review them in camera they are so how can i ensure they are on my PC? Thanks,



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Derek Kennedy , Feb 18, 2009; 11:13 a.m.

Not knowing what camera you are using, I am able to set in my Canon DSLRs to automatically rotate the images when I open in the computer - check your settings. I can also set it to rotate or not on the camera screen as well. I do this on the camera and computer so that when I view a portrait format image on the camera screen it fills the while screen - easier to see as the image will be larger.

Frank Skomial , Feb 18, 2009; 11:55 a.m.

Nikon pictures have a rotate flag. If you use Nikon's software to transfer pictures from the camera to computer, that software (if feature not disabled), will rotate picture during transter and save on your computer in proper orientation.

If you use a Windows Explorer to copy files out of camera, or most other software, the picture will be saved on computer in the original orientation, including the rotate flag setting, but it will not be rotated. Then the rotate flag could be used for rotation during display on the monitor.

I do not know if there is a way to make use of this flag in Windows Explorer and automate rotation after the pictures are stored in wrong orientation. Currently the Windows Explorer's Folder View Options do not provide for picture rotation. The best would be to use Nikon software and do it right at the time of picture entry to the computer.

Rich Simmons , Feb 18, 2009; 12:04 p.m.

If you rotate your photos using Windows Explorer the EXIF information is deleted after you do so.

Henry Posner , Feb 18, 2009; 01:44 p.m.

I have XP with Microsoft's PowerToys at home and I can right click on an image (or a bunch of them) and rotate clockwise or counterclockwise is an option. I don't recall if this is an XP feature or from one of the PowerToys.
Henry Posner
B&H Photo-Video

Derek Kennedy , Feb 18, 2009; 02:18 p.m.

I use Irfanview to view all my jpgs/RAW files. I do not use IE for anything other than to take up space on my HDD.

Irfanview http://www.irfanview.ca/ WILL (or should) auto rotate if their is a auto rotate flag.

Federica Monsone , Feb 19, 2009; 05:52 a.m.

I use a Canon 20d...

Jeff Applegate , Feb 20, 2009; 12:19 a.m.

I thought I read that Windows Explorer does not observe the orientation flag. In any event I have had the same frustration as the OP. Thumbnails of images from my Canon S3 all show up in landscape orientation in Explorer.

Jeff Owen , Feb 20, 2009; 09:24 a.m.

I never use the orientation feature in the camera for the very reason that some viewing programs can read the EXIF data and some cannot.

In Windows Explorer just select all the images that need turning (hold the Ctrl key down whilst selecting) and then right click on one of the thumbnails. A drop down menu will will show options including rotation. Click on the one you want and not only will the thumbnail be turned then so will the final image when you open it. This will not work well if you have already used the camera rotation feature.

I use this method when there are a lot of shots that need turning but am a little wary of doing it on all shots as I am not sure how 'lossy' this route is. Mostly I rotate my shots in Photoshop or equivalent program where I know there it will be done without too much image quality loss.

Berg Na , Feb 22, 2009; 01:31 p.m.

This issue is a serious bug in the Microsoft image viewers, Windows Photo Gallery also suffers from this limitation, they just ignore the information in the EXIF header on the image orientation so all images are displayed in landscape mode. There are no signs that Microsoft has any plans to correct this issue.

I wouldn't recommend changing the image rotation with Windows Explorer, not only will this degrade the image quality, it also removes the EXIF orientation tag that other programs, like Photoshop, rely on to display the image correctly.

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