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Transformations are an important function in Photoshop, especially when you're combining elements from different pictures. It's often necessary to shrink or enlarge an object or the entire image. Use the Image size and Canvas size dialog boxes to adjust the size of the image or work area, respectively. Photoshop also lets you transform selected objects by stretching, distorting, or applying perspective to them. You can do any of these by simply applying a menu command to place a box around the object and then dragging the sides or corners of the box. Spend some time practicing the transformations. They'll be very useful later on.


Q1: How do you know when to skew, when to distort, and when to use perspective? They all seem to do similar things.
A1: When you know that a transformation is needed but you aren't sure what kind, use Edit→Free Transform. You can also access it by pressing Command+T (Mac) or Control+T (Windows). This command places a similar box around the object to be transformed, but it lets you rotate, distort, and drag the object in any direction, or do whatever seems necessary.
Q2:I saw type that seemed to have been set standing on a mirror. The letters were reflected backwards. How can I do that?
A2: Set the type, make a copy of it, and flip it vertically. Slide the reflection into place under the original type, select it, and apply perspective until it looks right.
Q3:What happens if I make a number of transformations and then change my mind about them later?
A3: Using Photoshop's History menu, you can go back and undo some or all these operations. Just go back to the state before the transformations. If you're unsure about what you're doing, it's always a good policy to work on a copy of the original picture. That way, you've always got an unspoiled version if something unexpected happens.
Q4:How can I tell when I've straightened the horizon enough?
A4: The horizon should be level, so dragging a guide from the ruler at the top of the picture will give you something to judge it against. Remember, you can use fractions of a degree by typing their decimal equivalents. Half a degree is 0.5, and so on.



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