In Photoshop, when you change the canvas size, is there a way to move the anchor point using only the keyboard?

cmd+alt+c opens the Canvas Size dialog, and I can tab to the dimension fields and change the values by typing new ones.

But can I move the anchor location (defaults to centre) without touching my mouse? enter image description here

  • The only conceivable way of doing this would be to program a macro. You'd have to record a macro for each anchor position (e.g. using the keypad numbers). But I haven't tried this. So I don't know if it's possible to record a macro that only opens the resize canvas dialog and sets the anchor position without actually resizing it. However, it's most-likely possible via Photoshop scripting as a last resort. At worst, you just generate 2 prompt() input dialogs to request the height and width, and then feed that to the resize canvas action after setting the anchor position. Apr 9, 2012 at 16:02
  • do you realise you can just use the crop tool (keyboard shortcut C) to crop your canvas larger in the magical world that is Photoshop?
    – user42276
    Apr 14, 2015 at 8:00
  • I do know that, but I want to be precise to exact numbers and I want to only use the keyboard. Apr 14, 2015 at 16:00

4 Answers 4


If you really need this functionality it could be possible to achieve the effect you looking for with jsx (the scripting language for photoshop) but my programming knowledge of that script is too limited to make that happen for you. There is a full documentation online and i have a basic understanding of how to use it. YOu can try asking people at stack overflow to help you design a script that will do it or even ask people here (although you have higher chances on stack overflow since it requires programming knowledge)

Hope this helps :)

  • Hi, I'm actually a programmer so I plan to look into this at some point. I was hoping they might introduce control of this in CS6 but they haven't. May 20, 2012 at 10:54
  • also a programmer here. Here is the jsx reference for CS6: here You can also go into your photoshopFolder\Presets\Scripts for examples of scripts. I hope you'll figure it out. If you do post an answer here so i can read it and learn a little bit about jsx functionality
    – Xitcod13
    May 20, 2012 at 21:21

Acorn now supports this function so I use that instead.

You can use CMD + numeric pad number keys. Examples:

  • CMD+8 will move the anchor to the North position
  • CMD+3 will move the anchor to the South East position
  • CMD+5 will centre the anchor again

My question would be - why? The Canvas Size dialog is set up to allow you to precisely scale a canvas without scaling the contents or to precisely add pixels to one or more sides (e.g., move the anchor to the left / right / top / bottom and add pixels on the opposite side).

A quick Google search through "keyboard shortcuts Photoshop" yielded many useful shortcuts, but it would appear that there's little to no keyboard control over this built into Photoshop.

You could create a custom shortcut using these instructions, but I'm not sure if you'd actually be able to create a shortcut for this since there's no initial way to control it using the keyboard (hitting "tab" in the dialog box just moves you between the W and H measurements).

  • Why? I want to streamline my workflow to use keys only. Apr 22, 2012 at 22:22

I had the same problem converting 650 newspaper clippings. I just created an action and assigned a keyboard shortcut. If you need different sizes you can create different shortcuts but it worked great!


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