Scaling or rotating a selection outline

In case you fell asleep during the last two sentences, let me repeat the important part: Selection outlines stay independent — and entirely changeable — as long as a selection tool is active. In addition to moving a selection outline, you can transform it by choosing Select ^ Transform Selection.

When you select this command, Photoshop displays a transformation boundary framed by eight handles, as shown in Figure 8-23. You can drag the handles to adjust the outline as described in the upcoming list. If you display the Options bar (press Enter), you get access to a slew of mysterious option boxes, as shown at the bottom of the figure. These options take the place of those formerly accessed through the Numeric Transform dialog box. You can enter specific values to relocate, size, rotate, and skew the selection outline precisely.

The handles and Options bar controls work just as they do for the Edit ^ Free Transform command, which I cover in gripping detail in Chapter 12. To save you the backbreaking chore of flipping ahead four chapters, though, here's the short course:

* Scale: Drag any of the handles to scale the selection, as shown in Figure 8-23. Shift-drag to scale proportionally, Alt-drag to scale with respect to the origin (labeled in the figure). You can move the origin just by dragging it.

Alternatively, enter a scale percentage in the W (width) and H (height) boxes on the Options bar. By default, Photoshop maintains the original proportions of the outline. If that doesn't suit you, click the Constrain Proportions button between the two boxes.

See that little replica of the transformation boundary near the left end of the Options bar? The black square represents the current origin. You can click the boxes to relocate the origin to one of the handles. Use the X and Y values to change the position of the origin numerically. Click the triangular delta symbol, labeled in Figure 8-23, to measure positioning relative to the transformation origin.

* Rotate: Enter a value in the Rotate box or drag outside the transformation boundary to rotate the selection, as in the second example in Figure 8-23. The rotation always occurs with respect to the origin.

Tip To rotate the outline by 90 or 180 degrees, right click the image window and choose the rotation amount you want from the resulting pop up menu.

* Flip: You can flip a selection outline by dragging one handle past its opposite handle, but this is a lot of work. The easier way is to right-click inside the image window and choose Flip Horizontal or Flip Vertical from the pop-up menu.

* Skew and distort: To skew the selection outline, Ctrl-drag a side, top, or bottom handle. Or enter values in the H (horizontal) and V (vertical) skew boxes on the Options bar. To distort the selection, Ctrl-drag a corner handle.

Drag outside to rotate

Drag a handle to scale

Drag a handle to scale

Skew

Position

Set origin point

Figure 8-23: After choosing Select^ Transform Selection, you can scale the selection outline (top) and rotate it (bottom), all without harming the image in the slightest.

Transformation origin

Relative to transformation origin

Constrain Proportions

Position

Skew

Set origin point

Figure 8-23: After choosing Select^ Transform Selection, you can scale the selection outline (top) and rotate it (bottom), all without harming the image in the slightest.

When you get the selection outline the way you want it, press Enter or double-click inside the boundary. To cancel the transformation, press Escape.

Alternatively, click the check mark button near the right end of the Options bar to apply the transformation or click the X button to cancel out of the operation.

Photoshop Secrets

Photoshop Secrets

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