Apply transform operations

Learn how to scale, skew, distort, and apply perspective when working with Photoshop on the iPad.

Transform is one of the basic tools in Photoshop and lets you easily modify your document by performing scale, skew, perspective, distort, rotate, and horizontal/vertical flip transformation operations.

Read on to learn how to transform your document just the way you want!

Apply transformations to your document in Photoshop on ipad
Apply transformations to your document in Photoshop on the ipad.

How to select an object to transform

  • To transform a layer, tap a layer from the Layer panel in the taskbar to make the layer active.
  • To transform a selection, select the Lasso tool from the toolbar and make a selection on the layer you desire. 

You can now simply apply your transformations to the selected object.

Apply basic transform operations

You can apply transform operations to an active layer, or a selection.

  1. Tap  from the toolbar to select the Transform tool.

  2. In the Transform mode, do any of the following:

    • To select a transformation, tap an icon from the transform options panel to select—scale, skew, perspective, and distort
    • To select rotate transformation, tap the three dots () icon to access Transform settings and set a rotation angle. You can also drag the handle hanging off the bottom of the bounding box to rotate your selection.
    • To flip your selection, tap the horizontal flip () or vertical flip () icons at the top of the transform mode.
  3. Simply drag any of the handles of the bounding box that appears to apply your selected transformation. You can also drag the center of the transform bounding box to move your selection on the canvas.

    Note: Drag the corner handles to transform proportionally, and non-corner handles to transform non-proportionally. You can use the pinch gesture within the transform bounding box to scale the selection, or to rotate the selection. Use the pinch gesture outside the layer bounding box to pan or zoom the canvas. 

  4. Tap the undo () icon to revert to the last transformation action performed. Tap redo () to restore the undone transformation action.

  5. Tap Done at the top of the transform mode to save your applied transformations. Tap Cancel to exit the transform mode without saving any of the applied transformations.

Use touch shortcuts

Touch shortcuts for Brush tool
Left: Primary touch shortcut. Right: Secondary touch shortcut.


  • If you are using corner handles while scaling, activate the primary touch shortcut to scale non-proportionally, and activate the secondary touch shortcut to scale from the center.
  • If you are using non-corner handles while scaling, activate the primary touch shortcut to scale non-proportionally from the center and secondary touch shortcut to scale proportionally from the center.
  • By default, the scale tool lets you transform proportionally about the reference point.

While rotating, you can activate the primary touch shortcut to snap rotation in every 15°. 

To learn more about touch shortcuts, see Touch shortcuts and gestures.