I've thousands of images in various dimensions. I need to center align and rescale them to fit in a predefined canvas size. I'm currently rescaling them manually one by one.

I figured the center align can be done with Load Files into stack. Looking at the thousands of images, I wonder if there is a faster way to automatically scale the images to fit the canvas size?


  • Tried File > Automate > Contact Sheet II ?
    – Scott
    Sep 9 '21 at 7:10
  • @Scott Thanks! I must have not described it correctly. This is not what I'm looking for but really one neat trick! Never knew about this until now! Sep 9 '21 at 10:33

I suppose you could enable the settings:

  • Preferences > General > Skip transform when placing
    • Basically makes it so that when you mass import files Photoshop doesn't ask you to apply a Free Transform after every single image.
  • Preferences > General > Resize image during place
    • "Determines whether to resize images to fit during place"
  • Preferences > General > Always create smart objects when placing
    • Not necessary for this to work, but probably good to have.

...and with those settings drag the image files into your Photoshop document window. That's about as fast as it gets. It only downsizes to fit inside the document. If any files are smaller, they won't get upsized.

It doesn't take a whole lot of effort for anyone to test this, but here's a video.

  • Thanks! It works perfectly! I've a question if you don't mind. The original images are in various resolution from 72 - 200 pixels/inch, the auto scaling works if I set the canvas size to a higher resolution like 300 pixels/inch. If I set the canvas to a resolution like 72, the images do not scale. For this to work, does it require the new canvas to have a higher resolution? Sep 9 '21 at 11:00
  • @CuppaCoffee, I think it's because the setting resize image during place only downscales to fit... It never upsizes. So basically if none of the placed images are overflowing the document/canvas it's working...
    – Joonas
    Sep 9 '21 at 11:16
  • You could make an action to resize images to a big enough width and run them on all images with "Automation / Batch" before you load them in. Sep 9 '21 at 17:10
  • @CuppaCoffee, I got to thinking about this again after Julian's comment and I can't think of many situations that would require you to import thousands of image files into a single Photoshop document... So in case the end goal is to output them as separate image files, I thought I'd also mention File > Scripts > Image processor, which resizes images to fit a certain max size and it also upsizes images if necessary (which usually isn't super ideal). And I guess nothing would be stopping you from then using the Load files into stack if you really need the resized images in one PS document.
    – Joonas
    Sep 10 '21 at 7:46
  • Thanks! I have a workflow where I will export the images individually and saved by their layer names. When I stack them into one single photoshop document, once they are scaled accordingly, i can export them in batch automatically within minutes. I'm still new to photoshop, haven't learned about other ways to work with it. What you and @JulianSteinmann have suggested are great learning. I never knew this can be done in many different ways. Thanks! Sep 21 '21 at 6:31

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