While I am on a role, here is a shortcoming in the transform tool that I have to work around about 5 times a day. With the transform tool you can rotate an object, but then the expansion box permanently defaults back to "square" with the program window when used on the same selection again. Now with crazy different aspect ratios on just about everything today, there is no way of adjusting the width or height of something alone and on it's natural axis, after the fact, without re-rotating it back to square first and then closing and restarting the tool to make the adjustment and at a guess. Once you close the tool the first time, you are screwed ! Then when you do rotate the object back to "square" to make the change, the center point changes and the object has to be re-positioned when rotated back to it's original position.
The transition tool needs to have an override to allow rotation of the transition tool expansion/rotation box, without rotating the "selection" inside of it until the override is turned off. Then the object heigth and width can be adjusted on it's natural axis, and in it's actual position, to adjust for an aspect ratio of the object being worked on so it will look correct on it's intended end-viewing device, and not too thick of thin, for example.
I'm very surprised that in this day and age, no simple way of doing this exists. It's something that is done every day !!!
I once had a chemistry teacher who answered every fracking question the same -- convert to smart objects. (convert to smart object).
You are so right. I really thought there had to be a way, but I just could not figure it out. And believe me I tried because this comes into play all the time. I have a new I-Inc-28 and it has a non-adjustable and odd ball aspect ratio (16-10). I really never thought about trying it on a smart object, which I use all the time. I usually don't use smart objects for anything except zoom retention.