When an image is scaled, each individual pixel is squashed or stretched, and if scaled in only one direction, rather than proportionally, the image is distorted. Content-aware scaling attempts to analyze the image, based on user-specified criteria, and preserve areas of detail. Content-aware scaling can be applied to RGB, CMYK, and gray-scale images. It doesn’t work on layer masks, adjustment layers, 3-D layers, or Smart Objects.

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