How to Resize an Image in Photoshop

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, resizing an image in Adobe Photoshop is one of the most commonly used skills. However, with so many tools available to you, it might be quite daunting to learn for someone who is just getting started.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to resize an image in Photoshop and all the necessary steps along the way.

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

What You’ll Need

I used the following photo to complete this project:

You can also use an image of your own choice. Find more resources on Envato Elements!

1. How to Open Your Image

Step 1

To open your image in Adobe Photoshop, you need to go to the top menu bar and select File > Open. Select the image file from your hard drive and click Open.

Open new image

Step 2

This will create a new file where you can edit your image.

New photo image

Step 3

As an additional step, you may want to create a Photoshop layer using the image. To do this, you need to double-click on the ‘Background’ layer in the Layers panel, which opens the New Layer window. Rename the layer to a suitable name and click OK.

Create layer from photo

2. How to Resize an Image

Step 1

Go to the top menu bar and select Image > Image Size.

Image size

Step 2

This will open a new window which will display the current size of the image. To ensure that we maintain the proportions of the image, make sure the chain icon has been selected (it connects the width and height measurements together).

Image size window

Step 3

Select the measurement unit you would like to use for resizing from the drop-down box. For this tutorial, we will use Pixels.

Choose pixels from menu

Step 4

Select the resolution you would like to use for the resized image. 300 pixels/inch creates a large image file and is usually used for printing. 72 pixels/inch creates a much smaller file size. Once you’ve done that, click the OK button to finish resizing your image.

For this tutorial, we will resize the image to 900 x 599 px at a resolution of 72 dpi.

Resize photo

3. How to Resize an Image and Save

Step 1

You can also resize an image in the save menu of Photoshop. This could be useful if you only want to resize the output file and not the original image. 

To do this, go to the top menu bar and select File > Export > Save for Web.

Select save for web

Step 2

This will open up a new window with some options for you to play with. If you’re just getting started, the main options you’ll be using to resize your image are listed below:

  1. The drop-down menus will allow you to choose from a selection of file options (PNG, JPEG, and GIF). The presets at the top will allow you to choose a file type with varying degrees of quality settings (e.g. high, medium, low).
  2. By choosing a JPEG file type, you can automatically choose the quality setting (high, medium, low).
  3. You can also manually choose a quality value, which will allow you greater control over the size of your file.
  4. Here you will find the image size options, where you can specify the exact pixel dimensions of your saved image.

Once you have finished using the options, click on the Save button at the bottom right of the window to save.

Change the save for web settings

4. How to Resize a Layer in Photoshop

Step 1

Now you are going to learn how to resize a layer in Photoshop. In the Layers panel, select the layer containing the image you want to resize.

Select the photo layer

Step 2

Go to the top menu bar and select Edit > Free Transform.

Select free transform

Step 3

A border will appear around the layer, which will enable you to change the size of the image. Hold the Shift key to keep the proportions of the image (otherwise the layer will distort) and drag the edges or corners until you reach the size you want.

Resize the photo layer

Step 4

Once you have reached the desired size of your layer, click the checkmark in the options bar at the top or press the Enter key on the keyboard to finalize.

Select the check mark

5. How to Create an Action

Step 1

You can also create a Photoshop action for resizing your image or layer. Creating an action in Photoshop will allow you to automate the steps quickly and easily. 

Navigate to the Actions panel or go to Window > Actions. Click on the Create New Action button in the Actions panel. 

Create new action

Step 2

Once you’ve clicked on the Create New Action button, you’ll be prompted to fill in a few options first. These settings can be useful when creating your new Photoshop action and can help you identify it more quickly.

  • Name: Choose a suitable name for the action.
  • Action Set: Choose default.
  • Function Key: This allows you to map an action to a keyboard key so that when you press that button it will perform the action (for example, F3).
  • Color: You can assign a color to the action to help you identify it more quickly.
Create new action

Step 3

Once you are happy with the initial action settings, you can click on the Record button. When you click on this button, everything that you do in Photoshop will be recorded as part of the action. The small button on the Actions panel will also change to a red dot to let you know that you are recording.

Record new action

Step 4

Now that we are recording, decide what type of resizing you would like the action to automate and perform it. For example, one of the following:

  • Resize the Image/Canvas: Select Image > Image Size and change the image dimensions to the size that you want. Then click the OK button to commit the changes (for more detail, see 2. How to Resize an Image).
  • Resize the Saved Image: Select File > Export > Save for Web and change the settings in the Save for Web window. Then click the Save button to commit the changes (for more detail, see 3. How to Resize an Image and Save).
  • Resize the Layer: Double-click on the layer to remove the lock icon. Select Edit > Free Transform. Use the mouse to change the dimensions of the layer and press the Enter key on the keyboard to finalize (for more detail, see 4. How to Resize a Layer in Photoshop).

Once you have finished recording, click on the Stop Playing/Recording button. The action is now saved and can be found in the list of actions in the Actions panel.

Save new action

Step 5

Excellent! Now we have created an action to resize our image. You can test that the action works on another image by opening up a different image. Select the action from the Actions panel and then click on the small grey Play button at the bottom. 

This will repeat the resize action effect on any photo! 

Play new action

6. How to Resize an Image Without Photoshop

Step 1

You can also use Placeit to resize and crop your images! Placeit is a free online tool which can be used when you don’t have Adobe Photoshop handy on a computer.

Go to the Placeit site and then simply drag and drop your image file into the center or click on the Upload button.

go to the placeit website

Step 2

Once you’ve done that, simply click and drag the scale tool at the bottom to crop the outer parts of the image equally. 

crop your photo

Step 3

Or use the mouse to click and drag the image within the viewfinder to specify the part of the image you would like to crop. 

move your photo

Step 4

At the bottom, you have a wide range of presets to choose from that will change the dimensions of the crop.

Similarly to Photoshop, just choose Custom and enter the exact pixel dimensions that you want to resize. Once you’re done, click on the download button to get your newly cropped and resized image.

resize and download your photo

Awesome! You’re Finished!

Congratulations! You have successfully completed this tutorial. I hope you found this tutorial helpful and that you’ve learned many new tips and tricks that you can use for your future designs. See you next time!

Resize cat image

Learn More Photoshop Actions & Photo Manipulation!

If you liked this and are looking to learn some Photoshop actions or photo manipulation skills, check out the tutorials below! Expand your expertise by going through these in-depth guides. Happy designing!

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