In graphics editing, the larger your original image, the better. Sometimes, however, you end up stuck with a small image that needs to be larger and no way of getting your hands on a larger copy of it. The only solution, then, is to stretch the small image to the required size, something that can negatively affect the quality and clarity of it. Adobe Photoshop includes a variety of resampling methods that will help you make the best out of a bad situation and ensure the enlarged image looks as good as possible.
- Skill level:
Launch Adobe Photoshop and open the image you want to stretch.
Click "Image" and select "Image Size" to open the Image Size window. This window offers various resampling options and includes a preview frame showing what the image will look like once resized.
Ensure the "Constrain Proportions" option is set correctly. If you want to enlarge the image while keeping the same proportions, the option should be enabled; if you want to deform the image, the option should be disabled. You can toggle this option by clicking the chain icon -- when the icon is surrounded by a dark grey square, the option is enabled.
Type your desired measurements for the image in the "Width" and "Height" text fields. By default, the measurements are in pixels; you can change them to a different unit of measurement, such as percentage or centimetres. If the "Constrain Proportions" option is active, you only need to type one measurement -- the other will automatically adjust accordingly.
Select a resampling method from the "Resample" drop-down menu. Usually, the "Preserve Details" option is likely to give the best result, as it was designed especially for the purpose of enlarging images; when you select it, an adjustable slider appears that you can use to reduce the amounts of noise in the image. Try various methods and settings and observe the changes in the image preview. When you are happy with the result, click "OK."
Tips and warnings
- Information in this article applies to Adobe Photoshop CC. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions.
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