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Feb 13

Photoshop transform handles out of reach

2006 at 06.42 am posted by Veerle Pieters

Did you come across the following situation before? This happens to me several times a day when I’m designing : you want to scale a huge picture that you just pasted in a smaller Photoshop document. The transform handles are out of reach, way off screen. What I normally do is change the ‘Reference point location’ to top left and I enter a value of 10% as width and height and then I drag the handles to achieve size I want. But there is a better, much easier and faster way, namely ‘Fit to screen’ or command/control + 0. Maybe it’s a tip a lot of you already know, or maybe not? So simple and yet I never thought of this before. Well hopefully I’m not the only one.




permalink this comment Phil Balchin Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 09.57 am

This is annoying, I usually work in (f)fullscreen mode, which in CS2 now allows you to Pan way off the edges of the document to track them down. Earlier Versions don’t allow for this so i had to zoom out to 12.5% then start shouting.



permalink this comment AkaXakA Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 09.58 am

Maybe it’s a tip a lot of you already know, or maybe not?

I’d go with the maybe not ;)



permalink this comment Christopher Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 09.59 am

Really? I thought this was something common everyone knew. At least now more people know now. :)



permalink this comment Tony Geer Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.00 am

What I usually do is zoom out, it usually solves the problem.



permalink this comment Lex Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.01 am

Woohoo .. thanks for the tip!



permalink this comment Olly Hodgson Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.02 am

Thanks for that. Yet another tool in the armoury :)



permalink this comment Julian Schrader Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.03 am

I recently saw this technique in the Photoshop Killer Tips podcast of the NAPP - but thanks for your reminder!



permalink this comment Diane Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.03 am

Great tip, one I wasn’t aware of. While I sometimes zoom out, I will often just use the toolbar at the top and put in a percentage to scale it down to where I can grab the handles.



permalink this comment Shano Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.04 am

Good tip.



permalink this comment Joran Aerns Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.05 am

You can also choose free transform and move your cursor over the W(idth) or H(eight) letters up in the toolbar and click and drag to the left or to the right until the handles are visible again.

If you lock the aspect ratio then you can drag the width and height at the same time.



permalink this comment Jennifer Apple Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.06 am

If you have a Mighty Mouse (or mouse with wheel), go to Prefs, select “Zoom with Scroll Wheel” and everything happens very fast. Just scroll to zoom out and the handles appear.



permalink this comment Chris Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.06 am

Xcellent ! I knew about the Ctrl + 0 shortcut, but always thought it would only fit the canvas to screen ...
Very useful, thanx.



permalink this comment ziepe Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.08 am

Kick ass tip! Thnx—- Ziepe



permalink this comment Stephane Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.08 am

Thanks for the tip, it does happen to me all the time and I always curse Photoshop. I have to try the scroll wheel tips also.



permalink this comment mearso Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.09 am

Nice one! Cheers Veerle

I usually zoom out, but using keyboard shortcuts make me feel like a special power user.



permalink this comment John Arnor G. Lom Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.11 am

Jennifer: What would I scroll with, then?! :P



permalink this comment Jennifer Apple Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.12 am

JOHN: Use the spacebar/mouse click to scroll. Also, here’s an extra tip—when using the scroll wheel method, some will complain that it is hard to get back to 100% view without jumping above and below that target number. Just hold SHIFT while you scroll and watch the jumps go incrementally, making 100% an easy target!



permalink this comment Chriztian Steinmeier Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.13 am

Oh yeah - that was changed from v5.5 to v6.0 - I’ve been absolutely hating that single change since… very nice to now know how to achieve 5.5 with a keystroke :-)



permalink this comment Evan T. Smith Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.14 am

Oh Please someone help me.  What is up with CS2’s new layer setup?  I use to be able to make a selection (everything in a layer) by control clicking it.  I can’t do that anymore. Also, where are the links so I can pull layers around at the same time?  I use smart objects, but I can’t figure out how to break them back down into their individual layers.



permalink this comment jordan Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.15 am

- ctrl+click on the little preview in the layer palette and you’ll have the selection
- the link button is at the bottom right of the layers palette. Click it again to unlink.
- I’m fairly certain you can’t unlink smart objects, but I’ve never used them

As for the tip: I’ve known it for some time, and it’s mildly confusing to me because Firefox uses ctrl+0 to return text to default size (aka 100%) after adjusting up or down. My mind tells me it’ll do the same in Photoshop, but of course it doesn’t work that way.



permalink this comment Baldo Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.16 am

nice tips.

before this tip, I moved the center of big image in the center of canvas and than CONTROL+T and resizing changing numbers in the resize by % palette..



permalink this comment Evan T. Smith Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.16 am

Thanks so much Jordan… That was killing me for the longest time.
As for Ctrl-0,  I knew it would fit to my screen which I didn’t like because normally I’d have my image and I like to see it at 100%  However, I didn’t know that it would expand to a transform handle box.  That is excellent and it beats my CTRL + or -  zooming
Thank you.



permalink this comment Jacky Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.18 am

It’s a very old tip…but very useful



permalink this comment Jackie Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.19 am

I use the full-screen mode too, from the buttons at the bottom of the toolbar.

Also if you have an image that is large but not totally unmanageable, under the View menu, you can view the actual pixel size, to get a good idea of how much you really need to shrink it back. Sometimes it can be deceptive if you don’t realize how large the picture actually is, especially if you’re preparing it for the web, because you’re looking at a smaller percentage of the actual size, like at 75% or something of the real size. I think the full-screen mode works best for me on the PC, since the MAC short-cuts obviously don’t work.



permalink this comment Gary Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.20 am

I’m really surprised that so few people know this. Kinda makes me feel good about myself.

Another good tip would be… When you drag a layer in from another document it becomes aligned to the center of the document based on it’s alignment in the source file. So if you drag from a dimensionally larger project I.E. ( dragging from 1600X1200 to 800x600). The layer might not be visible, it’s in your layers window, but you can’t see it.

However if you select the “invisible” layer, and hit cmd/control + T (transform) then cmd/control + 0 (fit screen) you’ll be able to see it’s bounding box to drag it into the viewable pane.

Please excuse my markup, I just started using standards and haven’t gotten to my site yet.



permalink this comment Collin Allen Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 10.22 am

I run into this an awful lot, too. Thanks for the great time-saver! I used to just zoom out half a dozen times. This way is much much quicker.



permalink this comment Gatan Sun Mar 5, 2006 at 05.00 pm

The better I know in this situation is to use the height and width values (at the top toolbox) to reduce the layer first and then have the handles back in the canvas.



permalink this comment nev Mon May 8, 2006 at 03.38 am

Thanks for the great tip!

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