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Transform layers

The Transform tool in Pixelmator Pro lets you easily transform images, text, shapes or layer masks. You can not only use it to resize, position, and rotate layers as you normally would using the Arrange tool, but also manipulate them in a number of different ways. You can slant the objects on your canvas vertically or horizontally, stretch their corners to any direction you want, or change their perspective.

Freely transform a layer
  1. Select a layer to transform.

  2. Choose Edit > Transform (from the Edit menu at the top of your screen) or press Command ⌘ + T on your keyboard.

  3. In the Tool Options pane, select the Resize mode.

  4. To choose whether to resize a layer freely or proportionally select or deselect "Constrain proportions" in the Tool Options pane. Alternatively, you can press and hold the Shift ⇧ key while resizing.

  5. Once the Transform tool is turned on, you'll notice black layer handles appear around the selected layer on the canvas. Drag one of the handles to start transforming the layer:

    • Scale by dragging. Drag the handles of the transform bounding box outward to scale the layer up, or inward to scale it down.
    • Rotate by dragging. Move the pointer outside the transform bounding box until the pointer changes to an angle pointer with arrows then drag to rotate the object. You can also rotate using the Rotation wheel in the Tool Options pane.
  6. To finish transforming and apply your changes, click Apply at the bottom of the Tool Options pane.

Tip: You can use different units, such as centimeters, millimeters, inches, pixels, or percent. Click the Size pop up menu to choose the units, or simply type the units (for example, "1000 px") in the value box.

Skew a layer vertically or horizontally
  1. Select a layer to transform.

  2. Choose Edit > Transform (from the Edit menu at the top of your screen) or press Command ⌘ + T on your keyboard.

  3. In the Tool Options pane, select the Skew mode or press and hold Shift ⇧ + Command ⌘ on your keyboard to temporarily activate the Skew mode.

  4. Drag the midpoint handles to slant two adjacent layer corners at the same time, leaving the other two corners untouched. Drag a corner handle to transform the corner leaving the other three corners locked in place.

  5. To finish transforming and apply your changes, click Apply at the bottom of the Tool Options pane.

Stretch a layer vertically or horizontally
  1. Select a layer to transform.

  2. Choose Edit > Transform (from the Edit menu at the top of your screen) or press Command ⌘ + T on your keyboard.

  3. In the Tool Options pane, select the Distort mode or press and hold the Command ⌘ key on your keyboard to temporarily activate the Distort mode.

  4. Drag the corner handles to stretch the object in any direction. Drag the midpoint handles to any direction to stretch two adjacent corners at the same time, leaving the other two corners untouched.

    To stretch a layer proportionally, press and hold the Shift ⇧ key while dragging a corner handle in the canvas.

  5. To finish transforming and apply your changes, click Apply at the bottom of the Tool Options pane.

Transform layer perspective
  1. Select a layer to transform.

  2. Choose Edit > Transform (from the Edit menu at the top of your screen) or press Command ⌘ + T on your keyboard.

  3. In the Tool Options pane, select the Perspective transform mode. You can also press and hold Shift ⇧ + Command ⌘ + Option ⌥ on your keyboard to temporarily activate the Perspective mode.

  4. Drag the corner handles to change the perspective vertically or horizontally. Dragging handles at the sides of the layer slants it vertically or horizontally.

  5. To finish transforming and apply your changes, click Apply at the bottom of the Tool Options pane.

Important: Changing the perspective of text layers converts them into shape, so you can no longer change their font, typeface, or alignment. To transform a text layer and keep it formattable, you can use the nondestructive Perspective Transform effect.

Pixelmator Pro User Guide