How To Resize An Image In Photoshop 2022

Many of us are ready to bow down to the Photoshop application because of how great and life-saving the tool is. For everything you want to do, Photoshop can easily provide you with more than one way to do it. And the same goes for resizing any image.

Photoshop has made it possible to resize images without losing quality. You can resize the image to fit it into a fixed dimension or rescale a layer based on your project. While some can reduce image size and quality, others can work just fine.

Since there are several methods, you need to know how to resize an image in Photoshop to figure out which one works best for you. And this article will be your guide to learning everything you need to know.

What Is Image Resizing? How Does It Work?

Some people think photo resizer and cropping images are the same. But in reality, they are two different photo editing methods. And if it is essential to learn the difference to know what resizing is.

While cropping is changing the photo dimension by cutting sections of it, resizing is the image size changer without cropping any part. Since this tool changes the photo dimension, it naturally changes the image quality and the file size. But why does it affect the image quality?

Photo resizing is about making the image smaller or larger. When enlarged, the image gets added pixels, and making it small reduces its number of pixels. Thus, the resized image loses its quality pretty often.

Still, resizing an image becomes handy for sharing the file using email and other platforms. And the good thing about doing it in Photoshop is you can edit them without losing the image quality.

How To Resize An Image In Photoshop: 4 Methods

Photoshop always allows its users to choose various editing methods. That makes it easier to choose the method that suits your editing flexibility and gives you the expected result. You can resize images in Photoshop in 4 ways:

  1. Resizing The Image To Its Exact Size
  2. Dragging An Image Layer To Resize
  3. Resize The Image With Free Transform
  4. Resize The Image Without Stretching It

Now, if you want to learn how to resize an image in Photoshop, you can try these methods one by one. Make sure to have the Photoshop application installed on your computer and the step-by-step guide to resize images.

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Method 1: Resizing The Image To Its Exact Size

Some would want to resize the image without losing its original size. In that case, you must set specific height, width, and dimension to keep it unchanged while you resize the image

Step 1: Open The Image

Of course, you must start by opening the image on your Photoshop application. To upload the image on the application, go to the menu bar and click on the File panel.

resize an image photoshop

When the drop-down menu shows, select Open from the top, choose the image you want to upload, and resize from the storage. You can also use the shortcut command by pressing CTRL+O on windows or COMMAND+O on MAC.

Step 2: Open The Image Dialog Box

Once the image opens, go to the menu bar again and select Image. Scroll down a bit on the drop-down menu and then select Image Size.

When the Image Size dialog box opens, click on the downward arrow next to the Dimension box, and it will give you several options.

For now, you can choose Pixels for the setting. If you cannot select anything on the Dimension box, look around the lower part of the box and spot Resample. Tick the box on its left if it is unmarked and select Automatic to ensure the Dimension setting works.

Step 3: Change Image Size

Around the middle of the size box, you will find options for setting Width and Height. The number you set here will be based on the image size you are working on. The units next to these options show Pixels, which you can change based on your choice.

You will find a chain link between the Width and Height options. Make sure it is selected because it works to determine the size or ratio between the image height and width. And keeping it selected ensures the image size remains the same.

When the link is selected, if you change the image Width, the Height will change automatically to make adjustments. And not keeping it selected will cause distortion.

Step 4: Set The Resolution

Now, you are left with setting the image resolution. It will be determined based on why you are resizing the image. Let’s say it is not for printing but for website upload only.

Then I recommend keeping the Resolution 72 pixels/inch. You can also set it based on the minimum resolution the image requires to be sharp enough for the audience.

Step 5: Final Setup

Your last step is to check if everything is done the way it should have been.

Edit and change the Width and Height if necessary and then press OK to save the changes. Now, you have resized the image successfully using the Image Size method.

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Method 2: Dragging An Image Layer To Resize

Resizing an image layer is one of the easiest, quickest and different methods of all. Why is it different from other resizing methods? Because here, you resize a layer while the other methods resize the entire image.

Step 1: Open The Image

Launch the Photoshop application on your device and upload the image you wish to resize.

As instructed in the previous method, you can open the image using the menu, click on the File panel, and select Open from the drop-down menu. If you prefer shortcuts, you can press CTRL+O (COMMAND+O on MAC) to open the device storage to select the image.

Step 2: Select And Unlock The Image Layer

This step is necessary if the image you want to resize is in a locked or background layer. To ensure the layer is unlocked, go to the Layer panel and double-click on the layer you want to resize.

You can also right-click on the layer to get the drop-down menu and then select Layer from Background. A New Layer dialog box will pop up where you can change the layer name.

Choose any name as convenient so you can instantly know which layer you are working on. Then press OK/Enter/Return Key to confirm the change.

If there is a lock icon at the right of your layer’s thumbnail, it means it is a locked layer. If so, you need to click on the lock icon. The layer will be unlocked if the icon disappears, and you can now resize the image.

Step 3: Change Image Size

Go to the Toolbar on your left-side screen and select Move Tool. It looks like four arrows facing four different directions. If you cannot see the tool on the Toolbar, you must ensure the Show Transform Control option right below the menu bar is selected.

If not, click on the empty box on its left and leave it marked to get the Move Tool.

Then take the pointer/Move Tool to any side or corner of the image and drag it to resize it. And as you increase or decrease the size, you will notice the layer’s changed Width and Height are also changing.

Step 4: Confirm The Change

So how do you know if the layer size has changed? You can double-click on the canvas image to confirm that.

You can press Enter or the Return Key to save the change. Alternatively, you can click on the tick mark you can see on the options bar to confirm the transformation.

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Method 3: Resize Image With Free Transform

It is hectic to measure a photo’s width and height and then calculate its overall dimension for resizing it. But what if you can resize an image by percentage rather than going through the measurement trouble? In that case, you will prefer using the Free Transformation method to resize the image.

Step 1: Open The Image And Unlock The Layer

This step is similar to one first 2 steps of the previous method I mentioned. So open the image from the menu bar by clicking File and selecting Open from the drop-down menu.

You can also use shortcuts by pressing CTRL+O (COMMAND+O on MAC). Once that leads you to your device storage, click on the image you want to resize and press OK.

After that image is uploaded to the Photoshop application, you must ensure the image layer is not locked.

You cannot work on a locked layer, which requires unlocking first. So go to the Layers panel and right-click or double-click on the layer to open the drop-down menu. Then select Layers from Background to open the New Layer dialog box.

Name the layer, select OK, or press the Enter key to save it. You can also unlock the layer by clicking on the lock icon and making it disappear.

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Step 2: Change The Image Size

Go to the top menu bar and click Edit, and you will get a long drop-down menu. Look a little below the middle, and you will find Free Transformation.

Click on it, and you will get some options right below the top menu bar. Here you can change the image’s percentage value to change the image size.

The Free transformation option allows you to change the image size freely rather than measuring the dimension.

Step 3: Confirm The Change

Once you have set the transformation percentages and are sure about the new size,

you need to confirm the transformation. You can double-click on the image when it is on the canvas or select the tick icon below the menu bar to save the changes.

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Method 4: Resize The Image Without Stretching It

Resizing an already cropped image is nothing but a hassle. Let’s say you need to increase its width or height, but a part of the portion is missing. So when you set it up for a particular size, the image seems to miss a section on the canvas.

If you try to fill that area with a solid color, it will look unrealistic. On the other hand, if you try to fill the missing area with pixels, it will take a lot of time and effort. Moreover, if you try to stretch it, the subject will appear out of shape and unattractive.

So how do you resize the image without losing or cropping out any more parts? Well, here is how you can resize an image without stretching it.

Step 1: Open The Image

First, open the image on your Photoshop application by going to the File panel on the top menu bar.

And then click Open to select the image from your device storage. You can also open storage and select an image by pressing the shortcut common CTRL+O (COMMAND+O on MAC).

Step 2: Select The Image Subject

Selecting the subject or the important image area is essential if you do not want it to distort when you resize the image. So select the image layer you want to resize and make sure it is unlocked.

Then go to the top menu bar and select the Windows panel. After that, select Properties from the drop-down menu. Below the Pixel Layer and Align and Distribute, you will find a section that says Quick Action.

Click on the expanding icon and change the setting to Select Subject, and it will automatically create a selection around the image subject.

Step 3: Save Selection

After that, you must save the selected areas. Go to the top menu bar and select the Select panel. Once the drop-down menu pops up, scroll to the bottom and select Save Selection, and it will show you a dialog box. You can rename the image or directly clickOK to save the selection.

Step 4: Resize The Image With Content Aware Tool

From the top menu bar, select Edit and then Content-Aware Scale from the drop-down menu. Below the menu bar, you will see the option Protect.

Expand its options and select the name of the saved image. If you have people in the photo, make sure to click on the human icon to protect skin tone during resizing.

Then hold the Shift key from the keyboard and drag the image to fill the rest of the canvas. And you have successfully resized the image without distorting it.

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What Size Image Do You Need?

Now you know how to resize an image in Photoshop in four different methods. But how do you determine if you need to increase or reduce the image size? Let’s go through more about the process to understand if you need to increase or decrease the image size.

Increasing Image Size

In most cases, portrait photographs or model photographs require printing in larger sizes for various purposes. That means you will have to increase the image size using the resizing tools.

You must also consider the printer’s capacity to understand if it is ideal for printing a large resized photo. Some printers have a 360ppi resolution printing capacity, while most others have a maximum of 300ppi. The printer’s highest resolution capacity will help you get the best quality printed photo.

So when resizing an image for printing, make sure to know the photo’s resolution. Then you can enter its height, width, and resolution in the resizing dialog box.

Reducing Image Size

When people reduce image size, it is mostly because it is for data transformation or to upload it on websites and social media platforms. These platforms take longer to transfer and upload images if it has a bigger resolution. Besides, having a photo with an enlarged resolution will not be beneficial here.

But what if reducing the image size lowers image quality? It will not if you resize it correctly.

So when it comes to reducing photo size, you need to know if they actually need size reduction. Know your website page’s dimensions to understand if the photo is bigger or smaller. And most data transfer and social media platforms can easily upload and load smaller images. 

When You Should Resize An Image?

The previous section told you when you reduce or increase image size. But now the question is, when should you resize an image? Because it is not mandatory but a necessity depending on various factors and goals. Here are the main reasons why you will need resizing images.

To Create A Smaller File

Saving an image with a larger dimension and size takes up a big part of the storage. Some people choose to resize because it helps reduce the image size and overall dimension. Thus, it works best to save or free up storage space.

Reducing image size is essential if you want to send it via email. Since the email system allows you to transfer a limited number of file sizes simultaneously, resizing to reduce file size is necessary.

Adjust Photo Size For Websites And Other Medias

If you intend to share larger images on websites, they will take longer to load when someone clicks on them. And if you aim to attract an audience, you will most likely fail here. Besides, larger file sizes take up more bandwidth, which is no help.

And blogs and websites have a recommended size for images you can upload. So you will need to change the image size and dimension based on that.

Importance Of Resizing Images

You understood about increasing or reducing image sizes and resolutions. You also learned when you need to resize images. But why do you need to do it, and why are resizing photos necessary?

Draws Audience

If you have an e-commerce business, you must put images of what you sell on your e-commerce websites. And if you are connecting your audience via ads, you will not want them to wait for minutes just to view an image. That will require adjusting the image sizes to make them compatible with the websites.

Increases Sales

You cannot expect to sell well enough if you cannot attract potential customers. That is why resizing images helps your customers see the product photos and understand details better when you provide them with the right quality image.

Saves Time

Imagine trying to transfer essential image data, but it is taking forever for you to upload and for the other person to receive. It is a waste of time and effort for both parties. But when you make the image compatible with transfer and other media, you save enough time.

Saves Storage Space

Bigger photos take up more space in your device’s storage. You cannot have enough space for everything if you save large-size images. But resizing them and maintaining higher quality can help free up space for saving more data.

Frequently Asked Questions

To resize an image proportionally, open it on the canvas first. Then press and hold the Alt key (Option key on MAC), drag the photo to fill the canvas, and resize it.

If you cannot resize an image or find the resize tool on the Photoshop toolbar, it is likely that you do not have the Show Transform Controls marked. Look right below the top menu bar to find the option unchecked. Click on the box on its left to mark it and find the resize tools.

If you do not want to lose image quality when resizing, make sure the Resample option on the Image Size dialog box is unchecked. It will prevent the pixel numbers from changing and maintain the original image quality.


Whether a professional or just a learner, knowing how to resize an image in Photoshop is handy in many cases. And its image size changer tools work perfectly depending on how you want to change the image size.

But when resizing an image, choosing a high-quality image is best so you can maintain quality more efficiently.

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