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Cropping a photo eliminates content at the edges of the photo. You may want to crop a photo because someone has wandered into the edge of a photo or there's some other unwanted content at the edges. Or maybe you want to change the aspect ratio of a photo so that it fits in a particular frame if you go to print it. Or maybe you just want to change the composition to make it more pleasing. Whatever your reason you have several places that you can crop a photo in Elements. You can crop in any of the three editor work spaces or you can crop a photo from right here in the Organizer using the Crop tool in the Photo Fix options, and that makes sense because cropping is often one of the first things you'll do, and you'll often first see an image here in the Organizer.
If you do want to use the Crop tool in the Photo Fix options, you have to open those options in the Organizer, by clicking the Instant Fix icon in the Task pane at the bottom of the Organizer, as I've already shown you. To crop this photo, I'll select it in the media browser in the Organizer, and then I'll click the Crop tool in the Photo Fix options. That opens a separate window, the crop photo window, with a bounding box in the center of the photo. By default, I can move any of the edges of this crop bounding box. I'll hover over an edge until my cursor changes to a double pointed arrow and then I'll drag to move that edge.
I'll do the same here and here, for example. If I want to see how the image looks with that particular crop bounding box, I'll come down to the Preview button and I'll click, and that gives me a preview. If I'm happy with that result, I could click down here. If I want to go back and tweak it further, I'll click Reset, which I'm going to do now. The reason that I can move each of the edges of this bounding box is that, by default the Ratio menu at the bottom of this window is set to no restriction. Let's see what's else is in this menu. The items with numbers represent common photo aspect ratios.
Like eight by ten, five by seven, four by six, and so on. Now, these are not inches, these are just ratios of width to height. So if I were to choose four by six here, and then I were to make a print of this image, it wouldn't necessarily print at four inches by six inches. Instead, I would be able to choose whether to print a four inch by six inch, or an eight inch by twelve inch, or even larger at the same aspect ratio, if there are enough pixels, or enough information in the image. If I want to crop to the same aspect ratio as the original photo, then I'll choose Use Photo Ratio from this menu.
And now if I move my cursor over one of the corners of this bounding box and drag in or out, the crop bounding box will always be in the same ratio as my original photo. Notice that I can't move the edges independently of one another; I can just click and drag at the corners. I also have the option here to make a square ratio, which is a one to one ratio. I think that will look nice on this image and it will eliminate that unwanted content at the edges. So I'm going to drag out the corners until the crop bounding box is just the size that I wanted.
I'll click inside of the box and drag to position it where I want it in the image. I'll preview by clicking the Preview button and if I'm satisfied with that result I'll click the Done button. That closes the Crop Photos window and takes me back to the media browser in the organizer. As I explained earlier, when you use any of the photo fix options, including the Crop tool, the Organizer automatically saves the changed version of the photo, which you see here, in what's call a version set with the original.
The original is underneath the changed version in this version set. If I want to see them both, then I'll click the arrow to the right of the version set, and that expands the version set to show the original on this side and the changed version over here. In this case the cropped version looks larger then the original because I've changed the aspect ratio. So when you want to crop a photo consider doing it here in the Organizer where the Crop tool is simple to use and the program automatically saves the change version for you
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