How to Change the Default Image Size in Photoshop

Sometimes, Photoshop’s default image size doesn’t suit your work. This is important because image size can significantly affect resolution and overall image clarity as well as how the image is printed or uploaded elsewhere. While there is no way to permanently alter your Photoshop default image sizes to affect all future images you can alter individual image default dimensions.

In this article, we will show you how to change your default image size in Photoshop using the methods listed above. Some of these methods will work better than others, depending on your needs.

How to Alter Image Size in Photoshop

The easiest way to change your default image size in Photoshop is to utilize the program’s “image size” menu, where you can customize dimensions and other settings.

To access the image size menu and alter image sizing, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Open the “Image” menu listed at the top of the program
  2. Select the “Image Size” menu option
  3. Click the chain link next to the “width” and “height” boxes to unlock and alter them
  4. Enter your preferred image dimensions into the “width” and “height” boxes
  5. Check the “Image Size” section to ensure it matches your needs
  6. Click “Ok” to save your changes

This will resize whichever image you’ve uploaded to Photoshop. However, because image sizes are specific to each file, these dimensions will only affect the image currently uploaded. It will not force future images on new Photoshop layers or documents to conform to these dimensions as a universal default.

Once you’ve altered the image’s dimensions, you can utilize other settings on this page, such as the “resample” setting, which will adjust the number of pixels within the image proportionally to ensure the ideal resolution.

How to Alter Image Metrics in Photoshop

An important note to keep in mind when altering your image’s size in this menu is metric. Pixels is typically the most accurate option for images and will most likely be the default, but you can opt to have your image dimensions measured in percentage, centimeters, or inches.

To do this for an individual image, you can open the dropdown metrics menu within the “image size” menu mentioned previously and choose your ideal metric.

If you want to set a default metric for all future images, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Open the “Edit” menu listed at the top of the program
  2. Open the “Preferences” menu
  3. Select the “Units & Rulers” option
  4. Set the units to your desired scale
  5. Click “Ok”

If you want, this is also where you can set a default image print and screen resolution as well as column size and point/pica size.

Tips for Resizing Photoshop Images

Altering your Photoshop image’s dimensions is a fairly simple process with the help of the “Image Size” menu. However, you might find this is a bit more complex than simply altering numbers if you are attempting to resize your Photoshop image to meet specific measurements and resolutions.

If this is the case for you, and you need the highest quality image possible for print, future, edits, exportation/importation, etc. then you’ll want to keep these tips in mind.

  1. Use the right metrics for your medium
  2. Keep resample on for faster and more accurate alterations
  3. Try the classic drag and drop method

Below, we’ve expanded on these tips a bit more so you know exactly what to look out for and how to apply these to your everyday Photoshop sessions.

Check Your Metrics

Pixels might be one of the most accurate metrics available on Photoshop for the sake of resolution, but it isn’t the best for all image scenarios.

Most digital artists, photographers, and graphic designers who use Photoshop regularly will tell you that you should stick to pixels for images you intend to use online, while inches or centimeters should be the default images you intend to print.

While you can convert the measurements back and forth (ex 6”x4” is equivalent to 1200px x 1800 px) it is best to stick with the metrics most commonly used for your media type for the sake of image clarity. Oftentimes, sticking to pixels for an image you intend to print will result in a warped or grainy image.

Comparatively, an image measured in inches or centimeters that is used online might not respond well on devices with varying screen sizes, again, resulting in blurry or disproportionate visuals.

Keep Resample On

A lot of experienced Photoshop users understand the necessity of keeping the resample setting on since it is crucial for keeping image dimensions proportional.

Turning off the resample setting in your “image size” menu will allow you to manually enter your preferred measurement into each box and, while this can be helpful if you have specific measurements in mind, this does not always result in the clearest overall image.

By keeping the resample setting on, you can enter your preferred dimension for one metrics and see all of the other measurements change to accommodate it. The result is a quick and efficient tactic for resizing images without sacrificing clarity.

The Drag and Drop Method

Altering your Photoshop image’s size in the “image size” menu is the easiest and most efficient way to resize images on this program, by far. However, if you’ve been using Photoshop for several years, you might know the classic drag and drop method, which is a viable alternative resizing option.

To use this method, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Select the “File” menu option and then “New” to create a new document
  2. Alter your metrics to the ideal unit
  3. Enter your ideal width, height, and resolution measurements
  4. Click “Ok”
  5. Upload and drag your preferred image onto the new document

Once your image is on the document, you can drag and alter it to fit the preferred size rather than altering the image’s specific dimensions.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to quickly and proportionally alter your Photoshop image’s default size, you should be able to alter any image without sacrificing its overall clarity. Remember that the size of your Photoshop image is affected by the pixel dimensions of your image and the size and resolution settings of your monitor, so you’ll want to know your equipment’s measurements as well as what measurements you need for the image before attempting to resize it.