Resize image canvas in Photoshop CS6

Did you know that  you can use the Crop tool to resize the canvas in Photoshop CS6?

In addition to Cropping images, and performing a Perspective Crop, you can also resize the image canvas using the new and improved Crop tools in Photoshop CS6.

Resizing the image canvas is probably one of the most frequent tasks you do in Photoshop. It’s fairly easy too, and works in all versions of Photoshop. Choose Image > Canvas Size ( or press Alt+Ctrl+C) and enter the new values.

Photoshop CS6 introduces one more method. And a fairly cool one, I think.

Resize canvas using the Crop tool

Resize canvas using the Crop tool

1. Choose the Crop tool. The Crop handles appear on the edges of the picture.

2. Drag the handles outwards to resize the canvas. (Press Alt/Option to resize from the center)

3. Press Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac OS) to commit the changes.


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  1. #1 by backlord on July 26, 2012 - 1:41 am

    wooow cs6 very good

  2. #2 by Gary Grubb on October 4, 2012 - 2:32 am

    I just purchased CS6. For some reason “Canvass Size” isn’t working the way it did in CS3. I always set it to “pixels”. If I were to add 10 pixels in both height and width I would then be able to select the color of the border I was adding to the image. In CS6 I have to change it from “inches” to “pixels” every time. I can then input the amount of pixel width and height I’m adding to the image… but it doesn’t allow me to select a color… and it adds the pixels only on the “width” and not the “height”. What do I need to change to make it work the way I am used to in CS3?

  3. #3 by Pat Irwin on October 20, 2012 - 8:12 pm

    @ Gary,

    I was looking for the answer to the very same question as you. I have a client who frequently sends me dozens upon dozens of images for his website that need canvas size adjustment; as trivial as it seems, switching from inches to pixels is one more step in an already tedious process. What is inconsistent is on the “image size” selection, THAT defaults to pixels.

    I think if you have a workspace which is obviously for image manipulation for web, then everything should default to pixels and not inches. Conversely, if the workspace is set for “Photography”, then have everything set to inches. Maybe a suggestion to Adobe is due, unless there’s some setting that is hiding on me…

  4. #4 by Alex Jackson on October 31, 2012 - 5:37 am

    I’ve been using this tool like crazy lately. I set it to “pixels” as well.

    • #5 by sayan on August 29, 2016 - 10:01 pm

      i also

  5. #6 by Corrie on May 10, 2013 - 8:24 am

    @ Gary and @Pat

    If you show the rulers, then change the measurement unit from Inches to Pixels, the next time you use the Canvas Size tool, it will default to pixel units as well.

  6. #7 by Anton on September 2, 2013 - 7:17 pm

    The whole Image Size and Canvass Size concept in PS is inconsistent. I still havent figured out whats really going on but if you do edit>transform>scale it will select your image in a blue box (thats the real Image). Set the size to say 400px by 400px then go to Image>Image Size, the size will be whatever the Canvass Size is. Go Figure! I dont think PS has made up its mind whats an “image” and whats a “canvass”. Oh but not to let me forget the “document”.

  7. #8 by Jeff on November 26, 2013 - 1:52 am

    Just learning PS–I have portrait photos I need to display in landscape-so I need to add white space to the width; keeping the height the same. Any tips?

  8. #9 by Cleo at Cyprus 101 properties on April 6, 2014 - 9:54 am

    I have had PS now for a week and I am just now learning how to do things right. I can’t wait until I can create nice images for my blog but I guess like everything else it will come in time.

  9. #10 by Debbie on October 27, 2014 - 8:13 am

    I am creating faux matted boarder around my image. I want to have the jpeg to print on a (canvas) 8.5×11 with image size as 9×6. The canvas will have a white fill. The reason why I am doing it this way, I am sending the image to Kinko’s to print for me. For some reason I can not separate canvas and image in CS6

  10. #11 by John on November 20, 2014 - 4:39 am

    There is an area where you can set your preferences.
    I’m using a Mac and under the Photoshop menu there is a menu called “Preferences” here you can change the rulers measurement to pixels.

  11. #12 by Erik on February 3, 2015 - 6:47 pm

    You could do this in earlier versions of Photoshop too, so this is in no way a new feature. The only thing they changed since CS5 is that it used to wait for you to press enter before updating the canvas. IMO they ruined the tool, by making the canvas more around too much while you’re dragging, and now you actually have to press cancel or accept to escape the tool. It used to be you just hit the shortcut for a different tool and the crop tool would cancel, but now they made it much more annoying. Another wonderfully terrible design choice from Adobe.

  12. #13 by Manuel on May 13, 2015 - 8:56 pm

    I can do this on Photoshop CS2.

  13. #14 by hemensitemolsun on July 27, 2015 - 6:43 pm

    I think it’s best CS6

  14. #15 by hazirwebsitesi on December 19, 2016 - 3:00 am

    I can do this on Photoshop CS2.

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