Resize A Photo With
Photoshop Elements

To make sure that we're all on the same page, let's assume that we want to keep the photo oriented the same way. In other words we want the width to be less than the height.

If you want to resize a photo from 11x17 to 8x10 it does not work out proportionally and something has to give.

But you do have a couple different options.

  1. You can make one dimension the desired size, and let the other dimension become whatever it needs to be to maintain the correct proportion (as long as it's LARGER).

    But then you would need to be willing to crop away some of your photo to make it the desired size of 8x10. Or...
  2. Make one dimension the correct size and let the other dimension become whatever it needs to be to maintain the correct proportion (as long as it's SMALLER).

    But then you would need to expand the canvas to make it the desired size of 8x10 and fill in the extra space with white or some other color of your choosing.

So to sum up the compromise of each option:

  • With Option 1 you have to crop away some of the photo.
  • With version 2 you have to add extra space to either the height or to the width.

Let's see how to do the first option.

Here's my 11x17 inch photo:


Step 1. - Open The Resize Image Dialog Box.

Go up to the Image Menu and choose Resize>Image Size.

The Image Size dialog box will appear.


Step 2. - Check The Settings.

In the dialog box make sure that the "Resample Image" box is checked so that your resolution doesn't change.

Also make sure that the "Constrain Proportions" box is checked. As you probably guessed that's the box that will keep your photo proportional.


Step 3. - Change Width Or Height To Target.

At this point we just have to pick either the width or the height to change and see what size the other dimension becomes.

Our target size is 8 inches wide by 10 inches high. Let's change the width to 8 inches and see what size we get for the height when we do.

Go to the Document Size section of the dialog box. Double-click on 11 in the Width box to highlight it. Now enter 8.

When you do, the Height will change from 17 to 12.364 inches. That's because we checked the "Constrain Proportions" box earlier.

As long as the height is larger than our target height (which in this case is 10) we're okay.

Why?... because now we have our new width of 8 inches and we have more than we need for our new height which is 10 inches.

Since we have more than 10 we have room to crop it down to exactly 10 inches. So now we can click OK to accept our changes and the Image Size dialog box will close.

If it had changed to less than our target height, the photo would have just been too small.

You can see that in the box below.


What If We Had Changed The Height Instead Of The Width

Let's open the Image Size dialog box again by going up to the Image Menu and choosing Resize>Image Size.

This time let's leave the Width at 11 inches but change the Height to our target height of 10 inches.

To do that, double-click on the number 17 inside of the Height box to highlight it and then type 10.

You can see that in order to maintain the original proportions, that the Width automatically changed to 6.471 inches. And of course that is less than our target size of 8 inches for the width.

This would not be acceptable for this technique, so now we know that we need to change the Width instead.

And because of that you would click Cancel and then re-open the Image Size dialog box and double-click on the 11 in the Width field and type in the target width of 8 as we did in Step 3 above.

Let's get back to our tutorial.


Step 4. - Activate Crop Tool And Set Options.

Now all we have to do is crop it down to the final size.

Go over to the Toolbox and click on the Crop tool to make it active. In PSE 11 it's located in the "Modify" group of tools.

In the Tool Options area there is a drop-down menu with some common sizes to choose from. Click on the field to see the choices.

If the size you want is listed there, click on it to choose it.

Or you can type the size you want into the W and H fields.


Step 5. -  Crop Your Photo.

Now move your cursor over your photo in the live work area. Your cursor will change into the crop icon.

I like to be able to see my whole photo when I'm cropping and I like to have plenty of space around it too. So I need to zoom out.

To zoom out, hold down the Command key while you press the Minus key on a Mac. On a PC, hold down the Control key while you press the Minus key.

Each time you press the Minus key while holding down the Command or Control key you will zoom out more.

Now place your cursor just outside the top-left corner of your photo and click-and-drag diagonally down and to the right.

Once the full width of the photo has

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