How to Correctly Resize images in Photoshop
Knowing how to resize an image in Photoshop is an essential skill that is useful if you are a photographer or not. In this article we will explain how it is done in less than five minutes.
You will need Adobe Photoshop CC to follow it. These steps will work in earlier versions of Photoshop, although some menus may appear different depending on the version you are using.
1. Resize photos using the Image Size tool
The easiest way to resize images in Photoshop is through the Image Size panel. You can access this through the Image> Image Size buttons found in the top menu bar.
Once in the Image Size panel, you will see that there are several options available.
Under the Fit to option, you can choose from a number of predefined image sizes. Choose a suitable size and then tap OK and Photoshop will adjust your image to match this preset size.
By using the Width, Height and Resolution options, you can resize your image to a specific set of dimensions. The pull-down menus on the right adjust the unit of measurement. This is where you can specify whether you want to measure your image in pixels or inches, for example.
You can notice that when changing the height, the width changes with respect to the new height. Photoshop does this to maintain the correct aspect ratio on your photo. If you prefer this not to happen, click the Don’t restrict aspect ratio button, located to the left of the Width / Height options.
Finally, the Resample option defines how Photoshop will resize your image. The default setting of Auto is suitable for most tasks, but there are other options available, which are better suited for things like enlarging images. In any case, each type of resampling describes what it is suitable for in parentheses after your name.
Once you’re ready to resize, select OK and Photoshop will resize your image.
2. Resize images using the Canvas Size tool
The Canvas Size panel can be accessed through the Image> Canvas Size buttons found on the top menu bar. Unlike the Image Size tool, this will not change the size of your current image. By resizing the canvas, you can add or remove pixels to increase or decrease the overall size of the canvas. Any photo or image already present is cropped, or displayed with a colored border.
Let’s see an example. Here is an image in Photoshop:
By reducing the width of the canvas, the image is cropped:
Increasing the width of the canvas adds two white borders to the left and right of the image:
The image is still the same size, but now there are more pixels to work with. You could use this method to add a border to an image or create more space to add text, graphics, or other illustrations.
There are two main areas within the Canvas Size tool.
The Current Size area at the top provides basic information about the size of your canvas before making any changes. The New Size area is where you can change the size of the canvas.
Change the numbers within the Width and Height options to change the size of your canvas. As before, you can change your unit of measurement using the dropdown menu to the right of your dimension entry.
The Anchor option allows you to specify where to add or remove data. This anchor consists of a 3 x 3 grid. Selecting one of these nine squares will alter from where the canvas is enlarged or reduced.
For example, choosing the top center box, and then increasing the height using the options above, will add data to the top of the image. Choosing the center anchor will divide any enlargement or reduction between all sides.
At the bottom is the Canvas extension color option. This is only relevant if you enlarge the canvas. Select a color here, and Photoshop will fill any enlarged area with your selected color.
3. Resize images using the crop tool
As the name implies, the Crop tool is a destructive way to resize images. It will resize them, but at the expense of your image. Any part of the image that has been cropped will no longer be visible.
The crop tool is best used to remove parts of an image that you no longer want to see, which, in turn, will reduce the width or height of your image.
Start by selecting the Crop tool, found on your toolbar.
Once selected, a series of “handles” will appear at the corners and center edges of your canvas. Click and drag them from a border or corner to start cropping your image.
Once you have started cropping, you will see the new image in its original brightness, but any part that will be lost after the cropping is dark. When you’re ready, hit Enter to complete the crop.
4. Resize images using the Transform tool
The final method to resize images is through the Transform tool. This allows you to resize objects instead of everything. Suppose you are producing a poster or combining two different images into one. By using the Transform tool, you can resize separate parts of the image, instead of doing it all.
The Transform tool works best with objects on their own layers, so take a look at our Photoshop Layers tips if you need some practice.
Select the layer that contains the image or graphic you want to resize. Choose the Transform tool from the Edit> Transform> Scale menus.
Like the crop tool, the Transform tool provides various “controls” around the edge of the image. Click and drag a handle to start resizing the image. Do you realize how your image begins to look stretched? Hold down the Shift key to restrict the aspect ratio. Photoshop will adjust the opposite edge to maintain the proportions of the image.
When you’re ready, press the Enter key to complete the resizing.
The 4 main ways to How to Resize an Image in Photoshop
These four techniques show how easy it is to resize images in Photoshop. In summary:
Image Size: Use precise numbers and measurements to resize the image.
Canvas Size: Increase or decrease the size of the background, without enlarging your image.
Crop Tool: Reduce the size of the image by removing part of your image.
Transform tool: resize individual parts of an image, without resizing.
Now that you know everything about resizing the image, why not automate editing with Photoshop Scripts and speed up your workflow?