by Julieanne Kost

 Comments (9)


May 23, 2012

In Photoshop CS6, the Free Transform command will automatically choose the best resampling method based on the transformation made. If the image is scaled up in size, then Photoshop will use Bicubic Smoother, if the image is scaled down in size, then it will use Bicubic Sharper.  If for some reason you wanted to override this setting, while in Free Transform, you can change the Interpolation option using the drop down menu in the Options bar.

In addition, when dragging the transformation handles, the transformation values appear at the top right of your cursor. This display can be controlled via Preferences > Interface > Show Transformation Values (Top Right, Top Left, Bottom Right, Bottom Left or Never). Because the calculations that are taking place when using Free Transform have been moved to the GPU, there shouldn’t be any lag time when dragging the transformation handles.

The “Bicubic Automatic” option is also available when resampling an image using Image > Image Size. And of course you can still change the default option for resampling throughout Photoshop (if desired) under Preferences > General > Image Interpolation.


  • By Elaine B - 12:21 PM on May 23, 2012  

    Thanks, as always, for the updates on PS CS6!

    A few weeks ago, I think I commented here, or maybe on G+, that I thought I’d go with the Lightroom upgrade. But now I think I’ll go with PS~~I think I will get more for my money :~)

    Also, even though I’ve watched most of your tutorials on LR, I just don’t use it that much, because I became so accustomed to using Bridge before I bought LR3 last year.

  • By philip - 9:18 AM on September 8, 2012  

    I am looking as how to activate image>transform>free transform
    command, no one seems to have this simple information………………….

    • By Julieanne Kost - 10:50 AM on September 10, 2012  

      If you have a single layer file that is a Background (on the layers panel, the layer is named Background), then you have to choose Select > All before you can apply Free Transform. Or, convert the background into a layer (Layer > New > Layer From Background) and then choose Free Transform.

  • By Michael - 2:08 PM on October 17, 2012  

    What resampling method does CS5 use for Free Transform? I don’t see an option to change it. Am I missing it? I’m getting different results in CS6 when set to automatic, so I’d like to set CS6 to free transform like CS5. Thank you!

  • By Lefteris Eleftheriades - 3:45 PM on October 17, 2012  

    Is there a way to change the interpolation method when I Free Transform Smart Objects?

  • By Renee - 10:13 AM on March 15, 2013  

    In cs 5 under “View” there was image size and in my cs6 that is missing??

    • By Julieanne Kost - 1:32 PM on March 15, 2013  

      Could it be that you are looking for Image > Image SIze?


  • By Shai Schcolnik - 8:21 AM on March 20, 2013  

    As part of an automated process I’m using the “File->Automate->Fit Image” command. I was wondering if that command also uses the default image interpolation preference.
    I have it set to Bicubic Automatic, but I think (not sure) that when I use the fit image command I get different (softer) results than when using the “Image Size” command.

    Thank you!