photoshop tip: how to expand or crop canvas to fit a new layer

Ah, it’s been too long since I posted a photoshop tip! I’d originally envisioned growing a database of quick and dirty tips but alas, it was not to be. Anyway, I just found this out today, and I can’t believe I’ve been using photoshop for years without knowing this tip! Namely, how to crop/trim or expand a canvas to suit the size of a new layer!

So imagine you’re working on a piece of canvas with established dimensions. Perhaps a constrained A4 dimension for that poster you need to rush? So, perhaps you find a nice stock image which you stick into the canvas. (There are some really amazing stock images on this site: http://sxc.hu – best of all, they’re free, although some do have rights restrictions, or require you to write into the photographer for permission before use. Don’t worry it’s not a scam, they’re a genuine free stock image sharing website, which I’ve used multiple times for my design projects. I must give back soon by uploading my better photos!)

Just plunking the image in might result in cropping as it is too large for the canvas. So you could just hit Image->Reveal All. This would magically expand the canvas to fit the new layer perfectly. Amazing! Feel so stupid for only learning this now!

ImageTo do this in reverse (i.e. if your canvas is too large and you want to fit it to your image), click Image-> Trim. You can then crop out transparent pixels, or pixels corresponding to the top left most pixel. Hope this is useful!

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