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I have a selection I want to enlarge using nearest neighbour. I don't want to scale the whole image, just a selection. Is this possible?

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Is there a particular reason why you want to use nearest neighbor instead of one of the higher quality interpolation algorithms? AFAIK, aside from speed (though these days, even browsers use bilinear or bicubic interpolation for live resizing of images) the only advantage of using nearest neighbour interpolation is to preserve edges in pixel art. – Lèse majesté Jan 9 '12 at 15:56
I don't think so. I've always cut-n-pasted into new file, scaled the entire image via nearest neighbor, then pasted that back into the original. – DA01 Jan 9 '12 at 16:16
@Lèsemajesté Yes. Quality or speed don't come into it, I'm enlarging a small area of a screenshot to a large size to show pixel-level detail. Enlarging with bilinear makes the result a fuzzy mess. – fredley Jan 9 '12 at 16:37
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Ok, I've worked this one out. Photoshop has a single, global setting to determine the scaling algorithm used, for everything. It is in Preferences > General > Image Interpolation. Setting this will make all image scale transforms use this algorithm.

So set this to nearest neighbour, perform the scale, change it back, is the rather tedious solution.

UPDATE FOR CS6: In order to change interpolation in Free Transform mode, one must select it from the options bar when transforming. The setting in preferences now has no effect on Free Transform.

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You're right. You should accept your answer so that the question shows as answered. – Alan Gilbertson Jan 9 '12 at 19:27
I will, but I have to wait 2 days... – fredley Jan 9 '12 at 23:28
Note that the CS6 method does not work for Smart Objects. For those, the Preferences > General > Image Interpolation method is needed. – supertrue Mar 20 '14 at 5:10

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