An Unrivaled Guide on How to Stretch an Image in Photoshop

Learning how to stretch an image in Photoshop is easier than you think. Let's look at this article for instructions! Extra tips are also in coverage.


If you are a Photoshop user, image sizes are important. Sometimes, we will want to adjust the dimensions to fit our project. These guidelines will show you how to stretch an image in Photoshop.

Photoshop is a flexible app, so you can use many different ways to tweak its settings, such as rotate text, pirate, or deselect. But this article will introduce two stretching methods to choose from:

  • Method 1: Use Image Size to Increase The Height or Width

  • Method 2: Use Distort Setting with The Transformation Tool

How to Stretch an Image in Photoshop

There are two methods. Let's break down each one!

Method 1: Use Image Size to Increase The Height or Width

The canvas boundaries - Source: Flickr. 

Are you looking to stretch the picture? Then remember that a small canvas will crop your image. (if its stretch exceeds the canvas boundaries). 

Still, fixing this issue poses no challenges. You may increase the image size and canvas size. And both happen at once when you use the Image Size instrument!

Here are some steps to do so: 

Step 1. Open the files you wish to stretch.

Step 2. Navigate to Image - Image Size. There will be a new window. 

Step 3. Click the left-side Link icon to ensure you have not turned it on. Otherwise, the picture width will change automatically to suit its height value. (or vice versa). That is image resizing, not stretching!

Step 4. Choose "Percent" from a drop-down list next to Height and Width. Next, insert your preferred width or height increased values into the box. (ex: 150%. It means the canvas height will be 50$ greater than its width after the stretch). 

Do not forget that the value must exceed 100% for image addition. Otherwise, values below 100 will curve your image inward.

Step 5. Click OK. The image will stretch based on your set percentage.  

Related post: Complete Guide on How to Whiten Teeth in Photoshop

Method 2: Use Distort Setting with The Transformation Tool

Distort Settings - Source: Flickr

This transformation tool presents numerous usages. It can scale, rotate, or distort your image. Hence, we suggest using Distort settings for image stretches in all directions. (even appearance warping is possible!)

So how can we do this? Let's look at the guides. 

Step 1. Open new documents. A "New Document" window will show up. 

Step 2. Ensure the canvas size is larger than the image. Otherwise, the image will get cropped beyond the canvas boundaries. 

Our ideal ratio is 20x20 centimeters. Still, you can experiment with all sizes to ensure they work!

Step 3. Now, let's add the photo to your canvas. Drag and drop that image from the computer galleries. This move will assign your image as a brand-new layer. (instead of a background layer). 

The image has to lie separately from the background. After all, the Transformation tool does not work on background layers. These layers stay locked!

You may argue that unlocking those layers is possible. Still, dragging and dropping your image to existing projects is easier. 

Step 4. Now the image importation has finished. Make sure to select it in your layer panels. 

Step 5. Choose (V) (Move Tool). Then navigate to Edit - Transform - Distort. 

Step 6. Tap and drag anchor points of the transformation box to stretch the image. Distort settings allow vertical, diagonal, and horizontal stretches in all directions.


1. What Is The Definition of The Stretch's Scale Factor? 

A scale factor is a value to multiply or shrink figure lengths into similar images. Scale factors larger than "1" will make the figure bigger. Factors between "0" and "1" will minimize the figure.

2. How Do Resizing and Stretching Differ? 

Resizing and stretching differ - Source: Flickr

Upon image stretching, the image pixels get damaged and become more blurry. 

Meanwhile, resizing makes the picture larger by amending the image pixels. Thus, the photo stays the same after resizing the photo to a larger size. And there is no blurriness. 

3. Does Image Resizing Reduce Its Quality?

The picture may not seem blurred, but its quality does reduce. Let's look at an example.

Suppose you resize the image to smaller dimensions before sizing it back again. The image will look less clear now. You may argue that the image has been back to its original size. Still, it is far from the original image you had in the first place.


This article has shown you how to stretch an image in Photoshop. There are two methods to do so, and both are easy. Please read our guidelines to choose the best way for you. 

Remember that stretching and resizing are not necessarily similar. With resizing, the height and width ratio stays fixed. But an image stretch will change that ratio. It can also exceed the canvas boundaries, so ensure to cater to that! 

Do you still have questions? Then let us know your concerns. We are always ready to help our readers with any issue!

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