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Cream of the Crop: cropping and resizing > Resizing and How to Reach Those Hidd...

Resizing and How to Reach Those Hidden Free Transform Handles

What happens if you drag a large photo onto a smaller photo in Photoshop? (This happens all the time, especially if you’re collaging or combining two or more photos.) You have to resize the photo using Free Transform, right? Right. But here’s the catch: When you bring up Free Transform, at least two, or more likely all four, of the handles you need to resize the image are out of reach. You see the center point (as shown in the photo in Step Four), but not the handles you need to reach to resize. Here’s how to get around that hurdle quickly and easily.

Step One.
For the purposes of this example, open a new document in Photoshop’s default size of 7″ × 5″.

Step Two.
Open a photo that’s larger than your 7″ × 5″ document (in other words, open most any photo from your digital camera because it’ll be larger than that, or download this one from the book’s Web site). The photo shown here is 13.264″ by 8.792″.


Step Three.
Press “v” to get the Move tool and drag this photo on top of your 7″ × 5″ document (the photo that you drag appears on its own layer automatically). As you can see, since the photo you dragged in was larger than the document you dragged it into, it extends off the sides and top quite a bit. So, to make it fit comfortably in this new document, you need to scale the photo down quite a bit.

Step Four.
Press Command-T (PC: Control-T) to bring up Free Transform. Here’s where the problem begins—you need to grab the Free Transform corner points to scale the photo down, but you can’t even see the Free Transform handles in this image (you see the center point, but there’s no way to reach the corner handles to scale the image down to size).

Step Five.
Here’s the trick: Once you have Free Transform in place (and can’t see the handles) just press Command-0 (PC: Control-0) and Photoshop automatically resizes your document window, and your image, so you can reach all the handles (as shown here), no matter how far outside your image area they once were. Two things: (1) This trick only works once you have Free Transform applied, and (2) it’s Command-0 (PC: Control-0)—that’s the number zero, not the letter “O”.



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