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I've been googling this subject and also searched in this forum, all I found were posts about removing semi transparent pixels, ie. not what I have a problem with.

Basically, I've added a layer to my image that has the same size as the image. Then I add something to the layer, way smaller than the entire image. Now I want a quick way to "auto crop" the layer so that the layer only spans over the pixels that actually contain something.

In GIMP I choose Layer -> Auto crop layer. But there doesn't seem to exist such an action in Photoshop. Does anyone know where I can find this tool?

EDIT : Ok this is pretty much the scenario.

I have an image that consists of a lot of layers. On a certain part of that image I want to create a magnifying effect. So

  • temporarily I flattened the image
  • copied a circled area
  • undid the flattening
  • pasted the copied circle on to a new layer

now I want to use: Filter -> Distort -> Spherize to give it a magnified effect. However, the spherize effect affects the entire size of the layer and not only where the content of the layer is. This makes the circle that I pasted not the centre of the sphere but rather the lower right corner of the sphere, resulting in a totally different effect than wanted.

I hope this clears the issue up.

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If no pixels extend beyond the canvas you should be able to select the small element, invert the selection, and then clear (delete). If this does what you want you can make an action and do it with a single click (Button Mode) or assign a keyboard shortcut. Do you mean something else? –  Mr.Wizard Jan 23 '13 at 13:39
    
@Mr.Wizard thanks for the info! I tried what you said, unfortunately it didn't do what I'd hoped for, to be hones I don't think anything happened. I'll edit my question to point out what I'm trying to do and what the problem is. –  AndroidHustle Jan 23 '13 at 13:44
    
Okay, I'll look for that. –  Mr.Wizard Jan 23 '13 at 13:45
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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

If I understand Photoshop layers correctly, I can assert that a layer is always the size of the canvas no matter what. A square inside of a layer may be smaller, but when it comes to effects, it'll be relative to the size of the canvas unless you make a selection.

If you want to achieve your effect, either paste that flattened circle into a new image, do your effect, and then paste it back in the original, or run the Spherize filter on the pasted layer while the item is selected (Ctrl-click the thumbnail in the Layers palette) and it should work the way you expect.

If you're looking for Auto Crop in Photoshop, I believe that Image > Trim... is what you want. But that crops the entire canvas, not individual layers.

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Great answer! I sorted it out before I got to read this, actually using the first method you proposed. I tested out the second method you mentioned as well and that works great also. Thanks for your help! –  AndroidHustle Jan 23 '13 at 16:02
    
Thanks for @trim –  itcouldevenbeaboat Feb 5 at 19:35
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