Proportional Transformation in Photoshop CC 2019

Proportional Transformation in Photoshop CC 2019

One of the new features in Photoshop CC 2019 (ver 20.0) is new default behavior when transforming most of the layer types (pixel based, type layers, placed Smart Object layers). This means you do not need to hold the Shift key when transforming to constrain proportions, Photoshop will maintain original aspect ratio by default.

For longtime users this sounds crazy. Some users actually have a problem with new behavior. The good news is the ability to revert transform behavior to previous where Shift key was required to constrain proportions.

Proportional transformations by default

As previously mentioned proportional transformation is the default when transforming some of the layer types: pixel-based layer, type layer, bitmaps, placed Smart Object layer.
Transform proportionally Photoshop CC 2019
To transform proportionally pixel-based layer, type layer, bitmap or Smart Object just press Ctrl/Cmd + T to enter free transform mode and drag handles without to hold down Shift key what was the traditional way to transform proportionally in Photoshop.

If you want to distort (transform non-proportionally) pixel based, type layer or Smart Object layer then hold down the Shift key.
Transform non-proportionally in Photoshop CC 2019
To transform non-proportionally pixel-based layer, type layer or Smart Object you must hold down the Shift key while transforming.

Proportional transformation is not default behavior when transforming shape layers and paths, you still need to hold down Shift to constrain proportions.
Transform proportionally shape layer in Photoshop
To transform proportionally shape layer or path in Photoshop CC 2019 you must hold down Shift key in transform mode.

Proportional transformation without Shift is not available when using the Crop tool unless dimensions or aspect ratio is defined in the Options bar.

Revert to normal (Shift + drag) behavior

If you find new behavior strange and annoying for you, Adobe is providing a quick fix for which you need some technical knowledge. Here are the steps also described on the official page.

 Step 1  Use any plain text editor like Notepad, Notepad++ and so on.

 Step 2  Type the following text: TransformProportionalScale 0
type text in notepad

 Step 3  Save the file as PSUserConfig.txt to Photoshop CC 2019 settings folder:
  • Windows: [Installation Drive]:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2019\Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 Settings\
  • macOS: //Users/[User Name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 Settings/
 Note:  you must create and save brand new file named: PSUserConfig.txt, do not waste time searching for such file to modify it. On Windows, you may also need to check Hidden Items on View tab to be able to see AppData folder.
show hidden items on windows
In order to see AppData folder, you must check Hidden items on View tab

Product used in this tutorial:
Adobe Photoshop CC 2019

What's new in Photoshop CC


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