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How to Resize an Object Within a Photoshop Layer

Updated April 17, 2017

One of the benefits of creating graphic art or editing photographs in Adobe Photoshop is the ability to work in layers. Photoshop layers allow you to separate different elements of a document, making it easier to organise your work and to make targeted adjustments. It is occasionally necessary to make adjustments to specific objects within a layer. Photoshop’s selection tools make it possible to resize and reposition individual objects in a layer without affecting the rest of the layer.

Select the layer containing the object you want to resize from the “Layers” palette.

Select the “Lasso Tool” from the Tools Panel. Click and drag all the way around the object to make a selection out of it.

Switch to the “Move Tool” from the Tools Panel ("Path Selection Tool" if you are trying to resize a vector object). Check the “Show Transform Controls” box in the Tool Options Panel, above the canvas. A bounding box appears around your selected object.

Drag the anchor handles along the bounding box to resize the object. Only this object will change. Any other content within the layer will remain the same. You can also reposition the object by clicking and dragging anywhere within the bounding box. Press “Enter” to commit your sizing and positioning changes.

Save the sizing changes to your document by clicking on “File" and selecting "Save As” from the menu. Designate a name and location for the document, select a file format (such as Photoshop Document or JPEG), and click “Save.”

Tip

If the object you want to resize is in very close proximity to other objects, you may want to use a more precise selection tool, such as the “Quick Selection Tool” or the “Pen Tool.”

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Photoshop software
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About the Author

Paul Kemp is a writer and former political junkie. He has written copy for university publications and professional organizations. He is currently working on a book and screenplay about his time on the campaign trail during the 2008 election and teaches test prep classes.