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There are going to be times when you want to add some canvas around your image without changing the actual size of the image. This comes in handy if you wanted to add a matte around all the sides of the image, or maybe you want to add a little bit of blank space at the bottom into which you could type a caption or a title for your photo. To change the Canvas Size you'll go up to the Image menu and choose not Image Size but rather Canvas Size. In the Canvas Size dialog box, you want to make sure to check mark Relative and then type the amount of space you want to add around your image into the Width and Height fields.
I'm going to add a quarter inch or 0.25 inches in Width and in Height. Then I'll look at the Anchor diagram here and make sure that the center box is highlighted in gray. That tells Photoshop to add a little bit of Canvas on all four sides of the image. I can also come in and choose the color that's going to be added around my image. I can choose from White, Black or Gray or whatever colors are in the foreground or background color box in the toolbox, or I can choose Other in which case the color picker opens and lets me choose any color I want.
I'll leave this at Black and I'm going to click OK and now I have this nice even matte all the way around my picture. What if I wanted to have more space at the bottom to add a caption or a title? Then I would go back to the Image menu, choose Canvas Size again and this time with Relative checked, I'm going to click on the top middle square in the diagram. That tells Photoshop to add space only at the bottom, not on the top or sides of my photo. I'm not going to add any width. I'm just going to add about another half-inch at the bottom, so I'll type 0.5 into the Height field, and I'll leave the Canvas color set to Black and click OK.
The important point is that I've added canvas around this image but I haven't changed the image size and I have what I think is pretty nice effect and a place to type in some information about the photo.
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