How To 

How To Use Photoshop’s “Content-Aware Scale” Command

If your image’s dimensions do not fit the aspect ratio of your canvas but is too complex for a simple “Content-Aware Fill” correction, then the “Content-Aware Scale” command might be your best option. The command analyzes pixel data adjacent to the edges of an image and allows you to expand them to your heart’s content. This is how it works.

1. Create a new Photoshop project with your desired dimensions.
To make this process easier, we’re going to create this project with dimensions of 4K video from the jump. To do this, we’ll hit “File > New…” and open a “New Document” dialog box. From there, we’ll click the “Film & Video” tab at the top and select the option for “UHDTV/4K 2160P”, which will set our project’s dimensions to 3840 by 2160. With this all set, we’ll hit “OK”.

2. Paste your image and adjust the size.
Having copied our image already, we’ll click “Edit > Paste” to paste the image as a new layer. We’ll then open the “Free Transform” tool by hitting Cmd+T (or Ctrl+T in windows) and adjust the size so that the entirety of the image fits within the center of the canvas.

3. Open the “Content-Aware Scale” command.
With our new image layer selected, we’ll hit “Edit > Content-Aware Scale…” to open the Content-Aware Scale tool.

4. Extend the edges of the image.
By holding shift, we’re able to extend the width of the image independently of the scale as a whole. We’ll do this to both the right and the left sides our image, so that Photoshop “fills” in the empty space with a generated extension of the ocean water and coastline.