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How to resize an image in Photoshop

The process should quickly become as simple as breathing.
January 18, 2023

You need to know how to resize images if you’re going to use Adobe Photoshop — it’s practically inevitable, whether editing photos straight out of the camera or creating original digital artwork. There’s a primary method, and a secondary one with more niche applications.

How to resize an image in Photoshop

Using the Image Size option

Resizing in Adobe Photoshop 2022

This approach should be used in most cases, since it gives you maximum control over dimensions and quality.

  • In the top menu bar, select Image > Image Size.
  • Click the Dimensions drop-down arrow to choose a unit of measurement: percent, pixels, inches, centimeters, millimeters, points, or picas. We recommend choosing pixels in most situations, especially if your image is going on the web.
  • Select the Fit To menu to choose from a range of preset sizes and formats, such as standard 8.5 x 11-inch printer paper, or a screen resolution matching existing ratios.
  • If you want custom dimensions, enter your own Width and/or Height values. Use drop-down menus to choose different measurement units. Normally changing one value will automatically affect the other in order to preserve aspect ratios, but you can click the chain icon to disable (or re-enable) this.
  • Resolution should normally be left unchanged unless your image has strict requirements.
  • Check Resample to preserve as much image quality as possible. The accompanying drop-down menu should typically be left on Automatic, but there are other options we’ll discuss in the next section.
  • Click OK when settings look good.

Using the Transform tool

Using the Transform tool in Adobe Photoshop
Roger Fingas / Android Authority

When an image is in a separate layer on top of a background layer, you can use the Transform tool (Control/Command-T) to perform a quick and dirty resize.

  • With Transform tool active, move your mouse cursor to one of the corners of the selected area, then click and drag the diagonal arrow to resize while preserving aspect ratio.
  • If necessary, click and drag the body of your image to reposition it on your canvas.
  • Hit the Enter key to confirm changes, or the Escape key to back out and try again.

Your final image can’t be any bigger that your canvas, which you can scale via Image > Canvas Size. In fact the main reason to use the Transform method is to crop and zoom an image while keeping its borders within fixed dimensions.

Can you resize an image in Photoshop without losing quality?

Yes, to an extent. You’ll want to use the Image Size option and make sure Resampling is enabled. The latter should almost always be set to Automatic, since Photoshop tends to do a good job of matching resampling methods to content and scale.

If you want finer control when enlarging, the best options are Bicubic (smoother gradients) and Preserve Details (enlargement). The first is slow, but produces smoother output. Preserve Details is mostly self-explanatory, but offers a unique Noise Reduction slider.

For shrinking an image, we recommend Bicubic Sharper (reduction), since it attempts to preserve detail. Should that oversharpen, you can use the regular Bicubic method.

Read more: How to remove the background in Photoshop and make it transparent