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

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  • Updated 4 months ago
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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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Rocky Bomgaars

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  • frustrated

Posted 6 years ago

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Matt McDaniel

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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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Len Goforth

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Use the shift+alt key!
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Markus Lankeit

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Read the past thread as to why this won't work!
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Robert H Paige

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Dear Mister Smarty Pants, first of all, shift+alt key doesn't even work. Whenever you try to do a free transform, the percentage at the top is never equal to each other even using shift+alt. It's always off by either a 1% and sometimes that's can distort logos and icons that are very small. The only way to resolve that problem is by clicking the chain.

I ask you to try this yourself and if by miracle you can get the H & W the same exact percentage without hitting the chain, I will come to your house and lick your fingers for magical essence. Because there's zero way you are helping this forum by commenting silly known solutions, than understanding the problem.
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IAH1

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Sorry Len Goforth, please get better out of this thread, if you are not interested. It's just making angry to listen to your unconsideted comments. If you haven't the experience right now to understand what's going on in many peoples practice, you will not get it here by long explanations. I'm deep in photoshop since 1994 and there's nothing new you could tell me... shift Key... LOL...
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IAH1

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p.s. The transform has also a bug since 20 years(!): If you come too close to the borders of the canvas the transforming frame starts rapidly increasing itself and destroys your adjustment process... I think everybody knows this issue, but seems not to be worth to fix it for adobe...
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Dan Smith

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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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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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

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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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Markus Lankeit

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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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Rob Corradi

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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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Ulf Laursen

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Photoshop: Constrain proportions in free transform.

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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Jeremy Alderton

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Default tranform option - maintain aspect ratio.

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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Suzanne Hemphill

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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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Chris Cox

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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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Markus Lankeit

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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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Chris Cox

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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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jod-z

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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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Markus Lankeit

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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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Rob Corradi

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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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Chris Cox

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

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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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Chris Cox

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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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Suzanne Hemphill

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No, not MOST of the time but ALL of the time. When have you ever had a client ask you to distort their logo or product?!? This is the MOST frustrating issue with Photoshop and would make me the most happy if it changed. Please make it STICKY!
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Suzanne Hemphill

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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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grauenwölfe

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled PHOTOSHOP - Transform / Scale - Maintain Aspect Ratio default.

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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grauenwölfe

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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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cat fyn

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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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grauenwölfe

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Free Transform / Scale: The maintain aspect ratio saga continues....

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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Suzanne Hemphill

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Simply making this STICKY would make EVERYONE happy! PLEASE, I thought this latest update might fix this CONSTANT problem for us design professionals! I am sick to death of having to click this button!

Is anyone listening to those of us using Photoshop since version 1.0?!?!?
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IAH1

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Good idea... 99% of all transformations use maintain aspect ratio. if you have a working day with 100 internet pictures, this would save time and concentration.
All recurring workflow processes could use shortened workflows by option (save JPG/TIFF as.... quality...comprimation). The image size window creates a time-robbing preview of the picture (must be made for beginners and is absolutely ennoying if you are under time pressure).
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grauenwölfe

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Chris, John, anyone?

Will you take a second to respond in some manner?
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Chris Cox

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It's on the request list - there's nothing more to say for now.
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grauenwölfe

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That's all that needed to be said! Great news, thanks!
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Robert H Paige

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I click on this annoying chain, 142 times a day.
I waste exactly 11 mins a day clicking this on.

Adobe, why do you change the interface for usability. But not for saving designers time?
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grauenwölfe

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Please just add the ability to "stick" to what it was last set to, just like every other option in the program. I can't imagine why this is such an obstacle for you guys to implement.

We don't have to chose "Point Sample" and "All Layers" for example, every time we click the Eyedropper Tool. We don't have to click the "Current & Below" evey single time we use the Clone Stamp Tool. We don't have to select "Path" every single time we use the Pen Tool, and so on and so on. No, they stay what they were last set to as does every other tool option in the program. It just doesn't make any sense, who could it possibly offend to have it stay where it last was?
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Len Goforth

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Speaking of annoying problems, I have four emails that say there's a response to this thread. FOUR. Now I have Unfollow every thread that I post something in. THAT is painful. I don't need 4 emails that advise me that someone replied to this thread. I ONLY NEED email notificationss when someone replies to my question or answer. Nor do you!

Talk about a waste of time! Adobe certainly doesn't have a grip on this aspect ratio 'problem', nor a grip on mulitple replies that don't even concern me!  Why don't you bitch about that?
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grauenwölfe

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Why not just allow the Scale command to lock aspect ratio then. Scale should probably be seperated from all of the other Transform sub-menu commands since they are all used for altering proportions.

As far as my grasp of English and general terminology, "scaling" something up or down is understood to be proportional. If anyone were to ask for a 1/80 scale model of a building complex for example, they would expect it to not be skewed or distorted. They would expect it to be identicle in every aspect except for it's size.

Just think about it at least.
(Edited)
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T. H.

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MY god, how has this not been fixed yet??? SO OBVIOUS, YET SO DIFFICULT! Nothing a client loves more than an accidentally bastardized logo!
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Collin Burton

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Ditto to all of these requests. I've been using Photoshop for around 18 years now. In the position I've held for the last three years, we make vehicle advertisements for the internet; so lots of logos, photos, and text that needs to be scaled quickly and proportionally.

Of course, I use the shortcut key (command-t, in my case) to quickly enter transform, and I've long been in the habit of holding "shift" while dragging a corner, but no, it's not precise.

It also doesn't help if the corners I need to drag are outside the screen area, at which point I need to:

- zoom out
- find a corner
- shift/drag the corner (or option-shift drag if you want it to shrink into the center)
- zoom back in to the previous view

Or:

- go up to the bar
- toggle the button
- enter a 30% or so value to get the image small on the screen
- grab a corner and scale it as needed

What I prefer to do is scrub the width or height number in the top bar. Much faster, but it also requires the click to get it to stay proportional.

Not a big deal, until you've done it 20-30 times in the last hour.

In the past month I worked on approximately 2881 images. At a safe guess, at least 2000 of them required proportional scaling of at least one layer, and as many as there are layers in the file. Lets go with a conservative average of 5 objects scaled per image.

If it takes one second to redirect my cursor and click the proportional button, that would be (1 click) x (5 layers) x (2000 images), for a total of 10,000 seconds = 166 minutes = 2 hours 46 minutes. Spent clicking a button. A button that could be set, by a preference, to a preferred state.

It's wasted time and I'm glad to hear that it's on the request list, as of 9 months ago. I just hope it actually shows up, and I wanted to add my voice and viewpoint to the debate.
(Edited)
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grauenwölfe

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If it really is on a request list shouldn't this topic be listed as "Under Consideration" rather than "Idea"?