Note: You can print this (or any page) from your web browser by selecting File/Print. This information is provided for your personal use only and is not to be redistributed without permission of the author. This tip covers Photoshop 3, Photoshop 4 and Photoshop 5.
Laurie McCanna's Photoshop Tip #10
Fitting into a New Size without Diet or Exercise!
There are many situations where you'll need to get an image to fit into a specifically sized space. The method I'll describe is only one way to resize an image. If you have a method that works for you, great! But if you've been trying to resize graphics and they've ended up squished horizontally or vertically, this tip should help you out and keep your images from being digitally abused.
The size of this image is 584 pixels high by 400 pixels wide. We need to resize the image so that the final size is 200 pixels high by 300 pixels wide.
1. To find out the size of your image, select Image/Image Size from the Photoshop menu bar.
This dialog box gives you the width, height and resolution of your image. See that checkbox next to the word Proportions? (Note: in Photoshop 4 and 5, this checkbox is labeld Constrain Proportions.)Don't uncheck that checkbox! I guarantee that your image will be squished if you do. You don't believe me, so let's uncheck that Proportions checkbox, and change the width to 300 and the height to 200 pixels. Here's the result:
Yikes. That's pretty awful.
Use Ctrl+Z to undo the damage, and select Image/Image Size again. Leave the Proportions checkbox checked. You want to change only one dimension. Photoshop will then do the math for you and figure out how big the other dimension needs to be in order to retain the correct proportions for your image. Which dimension do you change? Select the dimension that will need to change the most. In this example, we're changing an image that is 400w x 584h to 300w x 200h. The height dimension in this example needs to change the most, so we'll change the height from 584 to 200.
Photoshop scales the width size proportionately, making the image 137 pixels wide.
2. Now you'll need to change the width of the image. You don't want to use the Image/Image Size for this. Instead, we'll use the Image/Canvas Size function. What the Canvas Size does is to add pixels to your image, and it fills them with whatever background color you have selected. Canvas Size changes the size of your image by adding to it, leaving the original image unchanged. The Image Size command changes the size of your image by anti-aliasing it.
I changed the width number from 137 pixels to 200 pixels.
The Placement graphic gives you a choice of where the extra pixels will go: to the left, to the right of your image, or on either side of your image. We've left the original image centered, which is the default.
Here's what the final image looks like, resized to 300 x 200 pixels. I had selected white as the background color, so that is what the extra space, added on either side of the image by the Canvas command, was filled with.