Transforming Layers in PhotoshopTransforming Layers in Adobe Photoshop

Transforming allows you to scale, rotate, skew or warp a Photoshop image. Transformations may be applied to entire layers, layer masks, and paths. The Edit > Transform window allows you to transform pixels, while the Select > Transform Selection allows you to transform a selection.

Transforming pixels does alter the quality, but transforming a path or a Shape layer is non-destructive. You may also flip vertically or horizontally.

You may transform Layers with the Command (Mac) or CTRL (PC) + T keyboard shortcut. But you may also transform a selection by choosing Edit > Transform Selection or Right + Clicking on any selection.

Transforming Tips

  • Drag one of any of the handles to make the layer, shape layer, or path larger or smaller.
  • Drag corner handles with the Shift key down to keep it in proportion.
  • To rotate: While in Free Transform, move your mouse outside the bounding box until you see a rounded arrow icon. This enables you to rotate the layer or path.

Rotating Photoshop Layers

To Transform using Edit > Transform

Choose Edit > Transform and choose the transformation you need, such as Rotate. Note that holding down the Shift key in any transformation will constrain your proportions.

You may either manually move the reference point (the point of rotation) or choose it from the upper left side of the Options Bar.When you are happy with your transformation, either hit the Enter (Win) or Return (Mac) key. You may also double-click within the bounding box as long as you are not clicking on the Reference point.

Edit > Free Transform, Or Command (Mac) CTRL (PC) + T enables you to use all the transform functions with a key command.

To Transform using Command or CTRL + T

After you press Command or CTRL + T, you can scale or rotate your layer right away. If you want to access other options, such as Flip Horizontal, right-click your mouse to see more options.

Transforming Tips when in Free Transform:

  • Hold down Command (Mac) or CTRL (PC) and grab a corner point and you can switch to Distort.
  • Clicking outside of the image and dragging the mouse will rotate. Clicking inside of the image and dragging will move the whole image around.
  • Holding option while dragging a corner point will scale from the center point of the image.

Distort and Skew in Photoshop


So if you want to rotate, scale, skew, distort, apply perspective, or warp a layer, the Transform options in Photoshop enable endless capabilities.

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