How to Change the Canvas Size in Photoshop CS5

Last updated: January 18, 2017

Learning how to change canvas size in Photoshop allows you to create an image with whatever dimensions you need. If you do a lot of image editing for pictures that ultimately wind up on the Internet, then you have probably encountered a situation where you needed to reduce the size of a high resolution image. But occasionally you may have an image that is not at the correct aspect ratio, so you need to make some adjustments that will get it there.

Changing the image size will not change the aspect ratio of the image unless you elect not to constrain the proportions. If you have ever tried this, then you know it results in a warped image. By instead electing to change the canvas size in Photoshop, you can keep your existing aspect ratio and image size, but have an image with the image dimensions that you require. So continue reading below to learn how to adjust the canvas size in Photoshop CS5.


Editing the Canvas Size in Photoshop CS5

Choosing to modify the canvas size instead of the image size is most common when you need to make your image fit into pre-determined dimensions. For example, if you need to upload a product image to a company’s website, that company may require a specific pixel dimension, such as 2400 pixels by 2400 pixels. Changing the “Image Size” as opposed to the “Canvas Size” might work if your existing image is already at a 1:1 ratio (i.e. 2000 pixels x 2000 pixels), but an image that is not (such as 2056 pixels x 1536 pixels) would be distorted.

Electing to change the canvas size will keep the existing image at its current size and proportions, but will extend or shrink the size of the canvas based on your selections.


Step 1: Open your image in Photoshop CS5.


Step 2: Click Image at the top of the window, then click Canvas Size.

click image, then click canvas size



Step 3: Enter your preferred dimensions into the Height and Width fields. Note that you can change the units being used by clicking the drop-down menus to the right of these fields. Additionally, if you are extending or clipping your canvas, then you will want to select an anchor position if you do not want Photoshop to place the existing image in the center of the canvas. You can also click the Canvas extension color drop-down menu to choose the color of the canvas that will be extended beyond the boundaries of the existing image. Click the OK button to apply your changes.

set the parameters for the new canvas size



If you click the Image option at the top of the screen, then click the Image Size option, you will note that the Image Size should now be the same as the Canvas Size that you just specified.

Summary – How to change canvas size in Photoshop

  1. Click Image at the top of the window, then click Canvas Size.
  2. Adjust the Width and Height settings to the desired dimensions.
  3. Select an Anchor point and Canvas extension color (if necessary) then click the OK button.


Do you have an image that needs a text size larger than 72 pt? Learn how to use bigger font sizes in Photoshop if you find that the max selection of 72 pt isn’t large enough. newsletter
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