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You might think of a photo that's open in the Editor as sitting on a virtual canvas. You can change the size of the canvas without changing the size of the photo itself. Why would you want to do that? Well, you might want add a little extra space at the bottom of the photo to add a caption or maybe you want a little extra space around the entire photo, so there is room to add a graphic frame or maybe you want a lot of blank space around a photo, so that you can create a scrapbooking page with other graphic and photographic elements on it. Let me show you how to increase the canvas size of this photo without changing the photo size.
I have enabled the rulers by going up to the View menu and choosing Rulers from there. The rulers tell me that without any additional canvas, this image is about 1.5/1 inches and I can see that same information down here in the document information field. If you don't see the document dimensions in your document information field, click the arrow to the right of that field and choose Document Dimensions. Now I'm going to add some canvas on all sides of this photo. To do that, I'll go up to the Image menu and I'll choose Resize and I'm going to choose not Image Size, but rather Canvas Size.
In the Canvas Size dialog box, I'll first make sure that this field Relative is checked. This tells Elements to add whatever I put in this Width and Height fields to the current size of the image. If Relative is not checked, then the Width and Height that I put here would end up being the total size of the image with the canvas around it. I'm going to type 0.25 or a quarter inch in each of the Width and Height fields. Then I'm going to come to this Anchor diagram down here where I'll tell Elements where I want that additional canvas to be located.
By default the box in the center is highlighted and that means that there will be an extra quarter inch around all four sides of the photo, but if I were to click somewhere else, that would change. So, for example, if I click the center arrow in the top row here, then I would get an extra quarter inch of canvas on the bottom of the image and on the right and left sides. If I want to go back and have the canvas all around the image, I'll click this bottom arrow to bring all of the other arrows back. I have one more field to look at and that's the Canvas extension color right here.
If you are working on your own image and this field isn't available, that's because the Canvas extension color is enabled only if the image has a special background layer and that layer is selected, which is the case here as you can see in the Layers panel. I will cover this subject of background layers in more detail in the Layers chapter, but for now know that photographs often do come into your computer with a special background layer like this. So I can choose Canvas extension color in the Canvas Size dialog box. I'll click that menu and I'll see that I can choose either the color that's currently in the foreground color box or the background color box over here in the toolbar or I could choose White, Black, or Gray or if I wanted another color I could click Other, and the color picker would open and I could choose a color from there.
I am just going to choose Black and now I'm done setting up my Canvas Size. So I'll click OK. Now here in the document window, I have an extra quarter inch of black all around the photo. The photo hasn't changed in size. It's still about 1 inch tall and 1.5 inches wide, but because there is an extra quarter inch all around, the total dimensions of the file are now 1.75 inches in width and 1.25 inches in height. So that's how you can increase canvas size without changing the size of a photo.
This comes in handy for making frames like this, for adding room for a caption, and for making collages and scrapbooking.
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