I'm a Photoshop newbie, and I was wondering how or IF I could adjust the starting orientation of the free transform-"box" (Ctrl+t) in Photoshop?

I'm not good with words, so I'll try my best to explain it using a simple example.

The local orientation of the blue rectangle I wanna transform is shown in red and green "axes." and the orientation of the free-tranform-handles, is shown in purple and blue "axes."

I wanna adjust these axes so they're parallel to each other like in the 3rd pic BEFORE the free-transform takes effect. (hopefully I can also scale it to fit the blue-rect as in the 4th pic) The result is that now I can transform the blue-rectangle along its axes - like in the 5th pic, where I have scaled its width after aligning the axes - instead of like in the 2nd pic where the blue-rect has been distorted.

enter image description here


  • Can't you simply rotate the shape back to an upright orientation - then take the transform from there?
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Aug 16, 2017 at 10:27
  • yes..that's how i do it. it's just not a very ideal solution. causes quite a bit of blurring.
    – Zac
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 8:40

1 Answer 1


You can not get what you want. The objects transformation is a intrinsic feature of the underlyinglayer orientation. Altough if you want then you can circumvent this woth two nested smart objects and a lot of work, or a,little bit of matrix math.

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