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Chapter 8. Painting and Drawing > Transforming Shapes

Transforming Shapes

You’re not limited to creating shapes in Photoshop Elements. You can also scale (resize), rotate, and distort them to your liking. Shapes can be altered either numerically, by entering specific values on the options bar, or manually, by dragging their control handles in the image window. Constraint options, such as proportional scaling, are available for most transformations, and a set of keyboard shortcuts helps to simplify the process of adding distortion and perspective.

To scale a shape:

Select the Shape Selection tool by doing any of the following:

  • Choose the Shape Selection tool from beneath the current shape tool in the toolbox (Figure 8.92).

    Figure 8.92. The Shape Selection tool.

  • Press U to select any shape tool and then press Shift+U to toggle to the Shape Selection tool.

  • Select any shape tool in the toolbox, then choose the Shape Selection tool from the options bar (it looks like an arrow).

In the image window, select the shape with the Shape Selection tool.

From the Image menu, choose Transform Shape > Free Transform Shape, or press Ctrl+T/Command+T.

The options bar changes to show the scale and rotation text boxes and the reference point locator (Figure 8.93).

Figure 8.93. Precise scale and rotation values can be entered for any shape.

On the options bar, click to set a reference point location.

The reference point determines what point your shape will be scaled to: toward the center, toward a corner, and so on (Figure 8.94).

Figure 8.94. These rectangles are both being reduced in size by about half. The one on the left is scaled toward its upper left corner, and the one on the right is scaled toward its center.

If you want to scale your shape proportionately, click the lock icon between the width and height text boxes.

Enter a value in either the height or width text box.

The shape is scaled accordingly.

On the options bar, click the Commit Transform button (Figure 8.95), or press Enter/Return.

Figure 8.95. The Commit Transform button scales the shape to the size you define.

Click the Commit Transform button a second time (or press Enter/Return) to deselect the shape and hide the path outline.



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