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Photoshop: Free Transform - ability to set Maintain Aspect Ratio as default

33 Votes
Engaged ,
Apr 04, 2012 Apr 04, 2012

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In Photoshop, it would be nice when "free transforming" a layer that the "maintain aspect ratio" lock button would maintain the previous setting, or some other way to set the default mode. I'm frustrated that I have to click it each time I'm resizing a bunch of items individually. Thanks.

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Adobe Employee , Oct 15, 2018 Oct 15, 2018
Hi Everyone, Thank you for contributing to this discussion. Proportional transform is now the default behavior on Photoshop 20.0 with all but vector graphics. Photoshop 20.0 is available for download today. Please open the Creative Cloud app, download the update and let us know how it goes for you. If you do not see the update immediately, sign in and sign out of the Creative Cloud. Thank you, Hannah

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Explorer ,
Feb 18, 2013 Feb 18, 2013

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Or, at the very least, set the toggle permanently for all objects or, even, that object. Setting a default might be too much, but switching back after every single transform commit is idiotic.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 19, 2013 Feb 19, 2013

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I guess adobe had to pick one of the modes as a default, but you can always hold the shift key down to constrain the proportions.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 19, 2013 Feb 19, 2013

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The OP referred to a »Numeric Free Transform«, what good is the shift-key there?

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Engaged ,
Sep 05, 2013 Sep 05, 2013

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Seriously Adobe, your users are asking for this feature for 10 years... http://www.webmaster-talk.com/general...

We have to click this little button EACH TIMES we wants to resize something with fixed dimensions.

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New Here ,
Oct 10, 2014 Oct 10, 2014

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Totally agree... having this would make life abundantly easier.

This should also be a very simple feature add: We're talking just a check-box in Preferences -> Interface that says "Keep aspect ratio by default for free transforms", set an internal variable to reflect this value and include this when saving/loading the preferences. Then, do a simple check when you enter free transform pseudo-code: if user-preference-set-for-aspect-ratio-freeze then activate-link-button. Total lines of code should be less than 10.

Sometimes, it's the small enhancements that really can make a big difference.

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New Here ,
Oct 11, 2014 Oct 11, 2014

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Sadly Adobe seem more interested in adding things like tree, flame and frame filters than adding simple workflow quick wins these days

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Engaged ,
Oct 30, 2014 Oct 30, 2014

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PS CS6, make it possible to choose constrain proportions when using the move tool to resize selections or layers, like it is in PSE. Have asked in this thread:

http://forums.adobe.com/message/44966...

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 30, 2014 Oct 30, 2014

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When I use the tranform controls to resize an element is there any way to say always resize with the same aspect ratio as the original other than holding down the shift key? The vast majority of the time I simply want my element to be simply resized, not distorted.

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Explorer ,
Apr 16, 2015 Apr 16, 2015

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PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE fix this! I too have to click this dang box EVERY time I transform an object, which is many, many times a day. When does an object NOT get transformed in Photoshop and WHEN would we NOT want it to have the aspect ratio maintained?! I would have paid an upgrade price just for this ONE improvement. You could save us more time than a faster program with this fix. Please make it a priority for an update!

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Engaged ,
Apr 16, 2015 Apr 16, 2015

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If you are dragging, then you can use the shift key to maintain the aspect ratio. The button is mostly needed when entering the transform sizes numerically.

And many transformation do not preserve the aspect ratio of the original object.

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New Here ,
Apr 16, 2015 Apr 16, 2015

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Since you have a CS background, you know the difference between implementation semantics and usability. That is, you can build something a number of difference ways, all of which provide the same functionality. But, some implementations are inherently more user-friendly than others.

By the same token, highlighting additional steps to access a feature is an argument based on pure semantic equivalence and ignores usability. The request in this thread is to eliminate these additional steps. Adding a global preference would significantly improve usability, especially for those of us that are asking for it.

Also, given that the cost of implementation should be minimal, there's really no good argument against this.

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Engaged ,
Apr 16, 2015 Apr 16, 2015

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I was responding to specific points by Suzanne.

You may also notice that at no point did I say "no", or "that's not a good idea", or any other phrase that might in any way indicate that I don't agree with the request. I simply responded to a few issues in Suzanne's post.

Also, you really don't know my background. So setting up a straw man argument based on bad assumptions of my background really doesn't help.

(also, your prior assumptions on the complexity of code needed to implement this - are pretty far off)

It would be far more helpful to describe why you need such a feature, and how it would save time/effort. That would make it much easier for me to justify to the product managers while I'm trying to figure out how to implement it with appropriate UI and without a lot of hassle.

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New Here ,
Apr 16, 2015 Apr 16, 2015

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Dear Chris,

I'm not trying to be belligerent, but I think the reasons for why we are asking for this feature are adequately documented in this thread already. Just look at Suzanne's post, the essence of which is repeated throughout the thread. While it is true that you did not deliberately call it a bad idea, your response of using the shift-modifier has been offered a few times in the thread already. It gets a little frustrating when the nature of the request keeps getting ignored.

Since you ask for detail, I will offer you how it affects me... I use Photoshop a lot for layout tasks, and that frequently involves placing all sorts of elements (pictures, text, etc) and resizing them. 100% of the time, "resizing" means "maintain aspect ratio." My pictures are product images, which I've photographed. But the photographs typically have one item and usually are done at different times (as new product is released), so the camera setup is always different. That means I have to size-correct my images as part of doing layout, so all the items in one series that are 10" tall are actually the same final size. Similarly, other items on the page that are smaller/larger need to be proportionally adjusted. The free-transform drag to resize just doesn't work for me--I need the precision of pixels. And, yes, it is a pain to always have to check the same "maintain aspect ratio" box every time I select one of the 30-40 images on my page (multiply this by 30+ pages in my case). I can only imagine that the other commentators in this thread also find themselves constantly going back to check this box, hence their frustration.

My request is for a global preference, but you say that this is significant work. You're right that I don't know the Photoshop code base. Another poster suggested just keeping this box checked once selected, similar to how one can change the scaling from "%" to "px" and this is retained between selecting other layers. Both of these suggestions would solve the problem, which is that I have to check this same box repeatedly and often. If you can find another solution, that would be great, but let's leave shift-drag aside as it just won't do.

Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions.

Thx.

-ml

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Engaged ,
Apr 16, 2015 Apr 16, 2015

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Suzanne's post is similar to others here that are lacking in the needed details. I responded to start a conversation in order to get details.

Thank you for providing more details about your work. Yes, a photo layout workflow would involve more aspect ratio preservation than, say, a web or phone design workflow (which is more about arbitrary sized rectangles and rounded rectangles). And if you don't have preset grids/guides to follow, you would need to use numeric entry to scale the photos to all match in size.

Having the aspect ratio button sticky (like units and other items) might work - but I actually do have to take all the common workflows into consideration before making such a change. So the more we know about the workflows, the better.

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Engaged ,
Apr 16, 2015 Apr 16, 2015

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Web design is arbitrary?

In my workflow, I use it all the time and the two main reasons are 1) to consistently resize things; 2) I often place a large image on a small canvas and use the numeric transform to resize (usually with the arrow keys and not numbers).

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New Here ,
Apr 17, 2015 Apr 17, 2015

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Agree with jod-z regarding web-design... I don't touch it as often, but essentially the same pain-points exist, especially when placing a large source image to a smaller canvas (typical when doing web stuff). Bottom line is that resizing almost always involves preserving the aspect ratio. The only time I do not need it is when I try to adapt backgrounds between different size media, like developing a web-banner using the background graphics from our catalog. That's really the 1% of the time I need to stretch and distort. The other 99% of the time, I always need to preserve aspect ratio.

Also, on my layout workflow, ascribing the fundamental issue to a lack of guides misses the point. Firstly, I use plenty of guides as-is. Secondly, (a) my product sizes vary between items; (b) overall sizes vary between pages; (c) grid-style layout is boring; therefore, creating a guide grid is usually not practical. Thirdly, even if I use guides, I still have to either manually check the "preserve aspect ratio" box or use the shift-modifier. The ask is that I don't have to repeatedly do this with every object I select, guides or no guides.

Thx.

-ml

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New Here ,
Apr 17, 2015 Apr 17, 2015

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For me it's all about the Reference Point Location during a transform.

Having to manually set it to the top left for every transform (as that's what i do 99% of the time) for me is an even bigger issues than the locking of the aspect ratio.

Say i've got a bunch of images i need to size and align properly to a grid.

I'll start by putting the top left hand corner of the image where i want it to be, then transform to scale to the size i want it by dragging the bottom right corner of the transform handles.

Having to alway reset the Reference Point Location to the top left is frustrating.

So i'd suggest remembering the last set Reference Point Location and the Maintain Aspect Ratio setting is the better approach.

Remembering these settings is what happens in Illustrator by default, and some unification of workflow across the tools can only help.

Rob

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Engaged ,
Apr 17, 2015 Apr 17, 2015

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The reference point is a different issue, not directly related to this topic.

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Explorer ,
Apr 18, 2015 Apr 18, 2015

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I'm sorry I didn't give enough detail Chris! I am a graphic designer and most of what I bring into Photoshop has to do with package design. 99.9% of everything that I scale HAS to maintain the aspect ratio, such as logos, photos, products, etc. I'd rather uncheck the box for the .1% of the time that I might need to un-proportionally resize a gradient background, etc. Very little of the art I produce in Photoshop is abstract.

I also usually end of scaling my objects numerically instead of shift dragging. Much as Markus relates, I have to scale photos of products by the same value when placed in the same file. Numerically is the best way to do this. I use Smart Objects for this all the time, which is wonderful for being able to see the scale of the object even after it's been scaled. The "maintain aspect ratio" button is CRITICAL!

Having the checkbox be 'sticky' would indeed solve the problem. Much like the crop tool checkbox of "Delete cropped pixels" does. I have gotten in the necessary habit of glancing up to see if it's checked or not, based on my last usage. Glancing takes WAY less time than having to go to check the box every single time I use it.

I can't possibly tell you how much time it would save me! TONS! Plus the irritation of having to check it every single time. Does all of that make sense and can you see how frustrating it would be to check that box hundreds of times a day?

Thanks for listening!

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Engaged ,
Apr 18, 2015 Apr 18, 2015

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That's ok, most people don't include that sort of info we need to justify features to management. I think I understand the needs, but don't know for sure - so try to get some conversation going to get the info and make sure we do understand everyone's needs.

Hmm, yeah, packaging design with signature logos, photos, and product shots is something that really, really needs to preserve aspect ratio most of the time. Yep, makes perfect sense.

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Explorer ,
Jul 23, 2015 Jul 23, 2015

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Well, I'm placing Illustrator art into Photoshop, and it MUST maintain aspect ratio, so I've clicked that checkbox dozens of times today! I would pay anyone a good bit of money if they'd make a plugin just to maintain aspect ratios when scaling. I can't wait for Adobe to see how elementary this request is and please, please, please implement this in the next update. Is it difficult to change this? Please just make it sticky!!! It's especially frustrating when working on a large monitor, which I am. Who do I have to bribe?

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Contributor ,
Jul 23, 2015 Jul 23, 2015

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Please allow us to keep our preference on this. It gets really, really, really old having to select the tiny little link button every single time. Maintaining proportions of an image should be the default anyway.

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Contributor ,
Aug 30, 2015 Aug 30, 2015

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Adobe, you going to do anything at all for this very basic request that shouldn't even have to be requested to begin with?

I mean honestly, how many people did you guys have in your test groups that weren't concerned with maintaining the ratio of their photos and wanted to distort them freely most of the time? This is just a no-brainer.

Oh, and if management deems it OK to provide a feature requested by the people buying thier product monthly now, see if it's not too much to ask that they allow you to fix this all the way back to CC 2014.

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Engaged ,
Sep 05, 2015 Sep 05, 2015

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Apparently adobe has already been a engineering thinking program with a CEO knows nothing about art but marketing, look how flash ends up with adobe. People most time need a picture scaling to main aspect, but adobe doesn't think so, while interested in adding trees flames and frames stuffed into a 2d app to make it a 2G fat freak.

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Contributor ,
Dec 05, 2015 Dec 05, 2015

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If for no other reason to to make me shut up about this after a decade, can someone please explain why you refuse to add the ability for us to lock the maintain aspect ratio when using Free Transform or Scale?

Every other tool remembers their individual settings AND in fact, the Clone Sources panel even remembers your maintain aspect ratio settings!!! So why not the most important one?

Please just explain why you absolutely refuse to incorporate this?

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