How Do I Stretch an Image in Photoshop Without Distorting it?

When you are making a picture ready for upload on social media or for other purposes, you may need to stretch it by editing. Stretching an image is significant sometimes for adding extra room in the image or trying to fit with the frame; as you all know, every social media platform has a specific resolution and frame ratio. 

So, if you want to upload your full photo, you need to either stretch it or crop it. In the case of stretching the photo, you may face some distortion in your photo. In this article, we will give you a guide on how to stretch an image in Photoshop without distorting it. Surely, it will help you a lot in your daily life, as uploading images on social media is now a day-to-day task for most of us. Although, you may utilize it for other purposes as well. So, without any further delay, let’s get into the discussion. 

How Do I Stretch an Image in Photoshop Without Distorting it?

You may have already noticed that the photo you capture in your phone or camera rarely fits the frame you need. You either have to crop it or stretch it. Here we are giving you the easiest process of stretching an image in Photoshop without distorting it. Note that, the process may not work perfectly with all the photos. 

Actually, all photos are not perfectly stretchable. However, you will get the best result by following this process in the images with simple edges. Anyways, now let’s start the process. At first, you obviously need to open your Adobe Photoshop. However, in some new editions of Photoshop, like Lightroom, you can easily start editing by right-clicking on the photo and clicking on the “Open in Photoshop” option.

Unlock the Canvas:

After opening Photoshop, to stretch the image, you first need to unlock your image layer. You will find the unlocking option with a tiny lock icon on the layer in the Layers panel at the bottom-right. You can easily unlock the layer by clicking on the unlock icon twice and pressing the OK option. After that, you also have to make sure that the layer is not a smart object. 

You can easily do it by right-clicking on the layer and then clicking on the “Rasterize Layer.” By doing these, your smart object option will be turned off. Once all of these tasks are done, and you are sure that the layer is unlocked and not a smart object, you can go to the next step. 

Expand the Canvas:

Now, in this step, you need to expand the size of your canvas. As you want to stretch your image, you need to enlarge your canvas according to your preference. To stretch your image vertically, you have to expand your canvas vertically. On the other hand, you have to expand it horizontally if you want to stretch it horizontally.

For doing so, you have to click on the “Image” option from the drop-down menu at the top of the window and then click on the “Canvas Size” option. After clicking on it, you will see a new pop-up window from where you can easily make your canvas according to your preference. 

Set the Width and Height according to your requirement. After that, you have to click on the OK button to confirm it. You will get your canvas extended to work perfectly by doing all these. The canvas will be enlarged from the edge of the image. 

Stretch the Edges:

Now, it is time to stretch your image according to your requirements. For doing that, you need to select the marquee tool from Photoshop and select the edge of your image. Other tools might be needed for some images, but the marquee tool is most appropriate. You need to select enough edge of the image so that it doesn’t look unrealistic. The more you can select, the more realistic it will look. Here, obviously, you have to make sure the selected part is not so closer to the main object of the image. 

Now, you have to turn on the “Content-Aware Scale” option. This is an amazing tool of Photoshop, which gives this type of image very realistic and natural. Although it may not work for some images, make sure that you have turned the option “On.” If the tool works, you will get a fantastic result. 

Well, if you want to turn this tool on, you need to click on the “Edit” option from the top left of your window and after that, just click on the “Content-Aware Scale” option. After that, you need to make sure that the image’s aspect ratio is not locked by unchecking the tiny “Link” symbol at the top. 

Now, it is actually the time to widen your image. For doing that, click on the edge of the selected part of the image and drag it to the edge of the canvas. One side is done, and now it is time to do the same thing for the other edge of the picture. We hope you will easily be able to do it. You can do it both horizontally and vertically, and the process is obviously very easy as you have read it right now. 

Clean Up the Image:

Your image stretching process is almost done. Now you just have to clean up a few things to make the image more natural. Here, you need to check the whole image thoroughly and find out spots that can be created by stretching the image. If you notice anything like this, the best option for you is the “Spot Healing Tool.” Just clean up the image with this tool; your image will be fixed. This tool is only needed when the “Content-Aware Scale” option doesn’t work for your image. 


Well, by doing all these steps, your image should be perfectly stretched without distortion and ready for upload. Anyways, here in this article, we have conducted a detailed discussion on how do you stretch an image in Photoshop without distorting it. Hopefully, this guide will help you in many purposes and make your photos more customizable and natural at the same time. Thanks for reading. 

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