A certain amount of confusion surrounds skewing, distorting, and changing perspective. Which is which? Skewing allows you to tilt any side of an object, selection, or entire layer. For example, you can use skew to tilt a building to the left, and create your own Tower of Pisa. Distortion allows you to pull at the corners of a shape, selection, or layer, and stretch it in that direction. Use distortion to really twist a shape. If you use distortion on the bottom of our building, you can make the bottom seem really wide or really skinny. If you use distortion on a person's face, you can create the kind of effect you typically see in carnival mirrors. When you change an object's perspective, you change where it appears in three-dimensional space. With perspective, you can make a building seem to fall toward you or away from you. You can make a building that was shot straight on seem as if you're viewing it from a corner across the street.
Figure 23.37 compares these three techniques on a simple rectangle. You can apply the skew technique to text as well. To distort or change the perspective of type, you must simplify the layer it is on, which of course makes the type uneditable. To do this, select the type layer and choose Layer, Simplify Layer. You'll learn tips on how to warp text within a shape later in the chapter.
Figure 23.37. Skewing, distorting, and changing perspective are very similar, yet different.
Select what you want to skew: shape, selection, or layer. Then choose Image, Transform, Skew. A bounding box appears, with small handles along its sides. Do not touch any of the corner handles , because that will distort the image instead of skewing it . To skew, drag any one of the middle handles along the side. If you select a building, for example, you can click the handle in the middle of its top side, drag it to the left, and tilt the building toward its left side. To apply the setting, click the check mark button, double-click inside the selection, or press Enter/Return.