The Free Transform tool outline with icon overlaid is used to select the middle of three children playing on a beach

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How to resize a layer in Adobe Photoshop.

Discover how the Free Transform tool can help you tweak a single part of your image without altering the rest.

There are many reasons to resize layers.

In Adobe Photoshop, it’s easy to alter the size of an individual image layer without affecting the overall image size. This functionality has all kinds of applications in graphic design and photo editing.

The Free Transform tool outline is used to select two adults jumping in the park next to a beach

Scale elements for perspective.

Add a palm tree to your vacation pictures and scale it up to fit, or make your head smaller in that awkward family photo.

Text on a photo of a beach house is resized using the Free Transform tool with text icon overlaid

Resize text.

Adding text to your image? Lay out your words on their own layer and adjust the size until they really make a statement.

A sailboat is resized in its own layer and placed in the background of two children playing on a beach

Bring balance to your design.

Whether you’re making a logo or an art piece, you can increase or decrease an element’s layer size to balance your composition.

An image of a sailboat is converted to a Smart Object in Adobe Photoshop with dialog window overlaid

Protect your pixels.

Repeatedly resizing an image can reduce its quality. Using Smart Objects to resize a layer keeps your image clear without destroying pixels.

How do I change the size of a layer in Photoshop?

You can alter the size of a layer using the Free Transform tool in four simple steps.


1. Select it:

From the Layers panel, select the layer or layers you want to resize.


2. Transform it:

Select Edit › Free Transform.


3. Resize it:

While holding the Shift key to avoid distorting the image, click and drag the corners or edges of the Transform border to resize or rotate the content.


4. Finalize it:

Press Enter (on Windows) or Return (on macOS) to finalize your changes.


Is there another way to change a layer’s size?

If you want to make precise adjustments to the size of your layer, use the Free Transform tool to adjust the field values.

1. Select it:

Select the Move tool from the toolbar on the right.

2. Show it:

Select Show Transform Controls from the Options bar.

3. Click it:

Click on the bounding box surrounding the selected layer.

4. Adjust it:

Enter your desired percentages next to Width and Height to scale the layer to a specific value. Right-click inside the percentage field to select a different unit of measurement like pixels, centimeters, or inches.

5. Finish it:

 When you’re done, press Enter or select the checkmark to the right of the menu bar.

Other tips for using layers.

Learn shortcuts and best practices that make working with layers a breeze.

The Free Transform tool outline is applied to a photo of a hiker using a keyboard shortcut with icon overlaid

Use a keyboard shortcut to resize a layer faster.

Press Ctrl+T on Windows or Command+T on Mac to instantly access the Free Transform tool and bring up the sizing handles so you can adjust the size of your layer. 

The foreground and background of a hiking photo is separated into layers and named with window overlaid

Name your layers.

When you’re working on a project with multiple layers, you can rename them to make it easier to identify the one you want to resize. Just double-click the layer name to modify it.

Learn more about layers.

Explore tutorials on how to make the most out of every layer. 

Layer basics.

Layers are a versatile tool for nondestructive editing that you can use to composite images together, add special effects, and otherwise enhance your image.

Layer opacity.

By adjusting the layer opacity setting you can control how much of a layer is visible and how it blends with the layers beneath it.

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