by Julieanne Kost

 Comments (6)


February 2, 2011

When using the Image Size dialog box in Photoshop, there are several different resampling options including those used most by photographers — Bicubic Sharper, Bicubic, and Bicubic Smoother. These different options have an impact on the perceived sharpness & smoothness of the resulting image. When changing image size relatively small amounts (say scaling up or down less than 10%), it may not be necessary to change the default setting of (Bicubic), but when making large changesbe certain to choose the appropriate option for the maximum quality. For example, if you have a high resolution scan and need a low resolution version to place on the web, make sure to use the Bicubic Sharper option. If you have a low resolution capture from your phone and want to resize it to print as a poster, use the  Bicubic Smoother option.


  • By Rob - 8:40 AM on February 2, 2011  

    This is very handy to know. It also suggests a “suggest” feature PS could have – if resizing pictures up or down it changes or suggest a change of the resampling option.

    (oh, and it would be handy for this form to let us know that email is required before submissions..!)

  • By Jim Hoerricks - 9:54 AM on February 3, 2011  

    Try this to resize an image:

    Create a New Document in Photoshop at the final output size and resolution (e.g. 18″x24″ @ 240 dpi). This will just be a blank page at first.

    Make sure that Bridge/Photoshop chooses ACR to handle your jpeg/tiff files and that they open as Smart Objects.

    Choose File>Place and select your image.

    Follow the prompts through until your image is placed in the new Photoshop document. It will be in a box with an X through it. You’ll notice that the new layer has the Smart Object icon.

    Hold the Shift key down and drag the corner of the box to fill the new document area with your image. The Shift key locks in the aspect as you resize.

    Your image resizes without any additional blurring.

    Because the Smart Object references the original file, the original remains intact and safely locked away (non-destructive resizing). The Smart Object is just a representation of the original and thus gets resized – up, down, and up again – without any damage to the original – unlike standard interpolation techniques.

    Try this one for yourself and see what fun you can have with your images.

  • By Phil Scarsbrook - 1:29 PM on February 3, 2011  

    I would love to have the ability to change interpolation methods in the options bar of the crop tool.

  • By Nathan - 1:29 AM on February 7, 2011  

    Interesting and very useful tip. 😀

    Thanks Julieanne. 😉

  • By Pan - 2:49 AM on March 22, 2012  


    I would like to add that, (best for reduction) and (best for enlargement) are critical for the output image.

    • By Julieanne Kost - 4:45 AM on March 22, 2012  

      Great point! And now with Photoshop CS6 Beta, Photoshop automatically chooses the correct interpolation when in Free transform and Image size (it’s a general preference!).