Auto crop layer in Photoshop

I’ve been googling this subject and also searched in this forum, all I found were posts about removing semi transparent pixels, ie. not what I have a problem with.

Basically, I’ve added a layer to my image that has the same size as the image. Then I add something to the layer, way smaller than the entire image. Now I want a quick way to “auto crop” the layer so that the layer only spans over the pixels that actually contain something.

In GIMP I choose Layer -> Auto crop layer. But there doesn’t seem to exist such an action in Photoshop. Does anyone know where I can find this tool?

EDIT : Ok this is pretty much the scenario.

I have an image that consists of a lot of layers. On a certain part of that image I want to create a magnifying effect. So

  • temporarily I flattened the image
  • copied a circled area
  • undid the flattening
  • pasted the copied circle on to a new layer

now I want to use: Filter -> Distort -> Spherize to give it a magnified effect. However, the spherize effect affects the entire size of the layer and not only where the content of the layer is. This makes the circle that I pasted not the centre of the sphere but rather the lower right corner of the sphere, resulting in a totally different effect than wanted.

I hope this clears the issue up.


If I understand Photoshop layers correctly, I can assert that a layer is always the size of the canvas no matter what. A square inside of a layer may be smaller, but when it comes to effects, it’ll be relative to the size of the canvas unless you make a selection.

If you want to achieve your effect, either paste that flattened circle into a new image, do your effect, and then paste it back in the original, or run the Spherize filter on the pasted layer while the item is selected (Ctrl-click the thumbnail in the Layers palette) and it should work the way you expect.

If you’re looking for Auto Crop in Photoshop, I believe that Image > Trim... is what you want. But that crops the entire canvas, not individual layers.

Source : Link , Question Author : AndroidHustle , Answer Author : Brendan

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