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When you are photographing or when you are scanning a printed photograph, you'll often end up with a crooked image like this one. Fortunately, Elements has tools that will fix your crooked images. There are several ways to straighten. My favorite is to try the Straighten tool, which is located here in the Toolbox. I'm going to select the Straighten tool and then I'm going to try to use it to fix this crooked.jpg, which is located in the 09_01_cropstraighten subfolder in the chapter9 exercise files. Before I apply the Straighten tool I'm going to go to the Options bar and in the Canvas Options field I'm going to click and choose Trim Background. Then I'll go into my image and I'll look for some element in the image that's a straight line, like this horizon. I'll click-and-hold somewhere on the left side of the horizon, it doesn't matter exactly where, and I'll drag over toward the right side of the horizon.
And again, it doesn't matter exactly where I release my Mouse. But when I do, the image is automatically straightened. Now I have to admit that this doesn't always work, and so if it doesn't work for you I want to show you another way of straightening your images. I'm going to undo that change by pressing Ctrl+Z, and this time with the same Straighten tool, I'm going to set the Canvas Option back to Grow or Shrink Canvas to Fit, which is the default. Again, I'll come into the image and I'll click-and-hold and draw out a straight line along the horizon. That rotates the image so that the horizon is straight, but it leaves me with all this untrimmed background.
I'm going to use the Crop tool to get rid of that background. Here's how the Crop tool works. With the Crop tool selected, I'm going to come into the image and draw out a crop box. I want to make sure not to include any of the white background there. So I'm going to click on the anchor point on the top boundary and drag down until none of the white is included. I'll move the left boundary over just a tad making sure not to include any of the white background, and a little bit on the right as well. And when I'm satisfied, I'll click the green checkbox at the bottom of the crop boundary.
I've used the Crop tool to manually crop away the outsides of my rotated image. So those are two ways that you can straighten and crop your images. Before I leave you, I want to mention one other thing about the Crop tool. Cropping can also be useful to fix a composition. So even when you have a straight image, you can take your Crop tool and use it to crop out unwanted things like this little boat on the edge. So I can just take and drag out of crop boundary that doesn't include that edge, click the green checkmark to improve my composition.
Use the Straighten and Crop tools to fix imperfections in your own photos.
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