Resizing a Document
Sometimes, you need to use images that were created by another person, or perhaps designed with another project in mind. In such cases, you may have to resize an an existing document.
Bring up the Image Size dialog box by selecting Image > Image Size or pressing Command-Option-I (Ctrl-Alt-I on Windows). You can resize the document by altering either the Pixel Dimensions or the Document Size. Use the former when resizing images that will be used on screen (such as on a web page), and the latter for resizing images that will be printed. You can maintain the original document proportions as you resize the image by checking the Constrain Proportions checkbox. T o scale layer styles (drop shadows, strokes, and so on), check the Scale Styles checkbox.
Resizing a Layer or Selection
Photoshop lets you resize layers or portions without affecting the overall size of a document.
From the Layers panel, select the layer that contains the element you wish to resize. If it contains other elements that you wish to exclude, select your element using one of the selection tools.
After making your selection, use Edit > Free Transform or press Command-T (Ctrl-T on Windows). A bounding box with handles will appear around your selection. Click and drag these handles to resize the element, as shown in Figure 2.7. T o keep the transformation in proportion so that the image avoids appearing squashed or stretched, hold down the Shift key and resize it using the corner handles.
Figure 2.7. Resizing an element using corner handles
You can also resize the element to a specific width or height using the options bar. In this example, I clicked the Maintain aspect ratio button (signified by chain links between the width and height values, circled in Figure 2.8), then specified the width; this changed the height of my element automatically . Without maintaining the aspect ratio, only the width of my rose would have changed.
Press Enter or double-click inside the bounding box to apply the transformation.
Figure 2.8. Using the Free Transform options
When you resize various layer types, you’re left with different results.
■ Vector shape layers, such as text or shape layers, can be resized larger or smaller without loss of quality .
■ Raster layers or selections can only be resized smaller than their original size. Resizing them larger will usually result in loss of quality .
■ Smart Objects can also be resized larger or smaller without loss of quality , depending on the original file. If the original file is a vector graphic, the Smart Object can be resized without ever losing quality . If the original file is a GIF or similar , the Smart Object can be resized up to the size of the source image’ s dimensions, above which it will start to lose quality .
Rotating a Layer or Selection
Earlier, you may have used the Free T ransform command to resize layers and selections, and thought it was really swell. What you might have been unaware of at the time is that the very same command can also be used to rotate layers and selections!
Make a selection or choose the layer you would like to rotate. Select Edit > Free Transform or press Command-T (Ctrl-T), and move your cursor outside the bounding box.
You’ll see that it turns into a curved, two-headed arrow as shown in Figure 2.9. You can click and drag this cursor to rotate the elements within the bounding box.
Figure 2.9. Rotating a selection
Press Enter or double-click inside the bounding box to complete the transformation.