How to Easily Revert to Old Free Transform Behavior in Photoshop

How to Easily Revert to Old Free Transform Behavior in Photoshop

Transform proportionally by default for some type (most types) of layers is introduced in Photoshop 20.0 release. Along the way, engineers have provided a way to revert to legacy or old behavior where Shift key needed to scale proportionally. The offered solution is not complicated nor pleasant for some users so guys from Adobe decided to introduce a new option in Preferences for easy reverting or preventing proportional transformation by default.

In this post, I want to inform you about a new option in Preferences dialog which you can use to prevent proportional transformation or scaling by default when using Free Transform in Photoshop 20.0.5 and later release.

Turn on Use Legacy Free Transform to transform non-proportionally by default

New option in Preferences is Use Legacy Free Transform. It will revert Photoshop's Edit > Free Transform mode to old, legacy behavior where by default scaling or transformation is non-proportional what means you can distort or harm image while transforming!

Why revert to old, legacy behavior?

Now comes the question: why to revert function which prevents you from making the mistake of distorting image what is not desired result 99% of the time? The are two main reasons:

  • Behavior is not consistent for all types of layers. Shape layer or paths will act in legacy style what means you must hold down Shift to transform proportionally. Simply speaking it is an inconsistency problem.
  • The second reason lays in the fact that old users have engraved Shift key in their memory when using Free Transform command and it is hard for them to change that muscle memory.

How to turn on Use Legacy Free Transform

To revert free transform to old, non-proportional transformation by default do the following:

  • Open Preferences dialog > General (Ctrl/Cmd + K)
  • Check Use Legacy Free Transform.
  • Restart Photoshop
Use Legacy Free Transform option in Photoshop's preferences dialog



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