One of the assumptions that is made when we use the Image Size dialog box to resize our images is that the file has already been cropped to the correct aspect ratio and that you want to use all of the information within that image. But that's not always true. Sometimes you might have an image that is at a different aspect ratio. Let me show you what I mean. If I go into the Image menu, and then choose Image Size, if I wanted to print this say at four by five inches, at 300 pixels per inch, when I enter in five inches, you'll notice that the height changes to three, because it's not the correct aspect ratio. Again, if I change the height here and try to enter in four, well, then I don't get five inches for my width.
So, when you use the Image Size dialog box to resize an image, you need to make sure that it's at the correct aspect ratio before you enter in the image size. I'll cancel out of here and we're going to do this a different way, and that's by using the Crop tool. So I'll tap the C key to get the Crop tool. And let's go ahead and clear out any values that might be here. Your Crop tool might be set to a ratio, so you might only see two options. Again, we'll go ahead and clear those. What I want to do is I want to switch it from the ratio to the width, height and resolution because now I can enter in the exact aspect ratio as well as the final size that I want the image.
There are some presets right down here but we're going to go ahead and create our own. So we'll choose width, height, and resolution. And then I'm going to enter in five by four, at 300 pixels per inch. Now not only am I cropping at the correct aspect ratio, meaning that obviously, I'm going to be throwing out these pixels outside of the crop marquee. But, it will also resize it to the final size that I want. And, I don't have to include the entire image.
If I need to crop this a little bit tighter, I can go ahead and click and drag to readjust the crop. Then when I tap Return or Enter or click on the check mark, not only does Photoshop crop that image, it also resized it for me and we can double check that by going to Image and then Image Size. You can see that it's exactly five by four at 300 pixels per inch. I'll go ahead and click Cancel. And then, I want to show you how to save this as a preset. Since we've already typed in all the values, I just select this dropdown menu and choose New Crop Preset.
Photoshop will automatically name it for me. I can rename it if I want. But, I'll just leave it exactly as it is, and click OK. Now, I can always access this preset from the larger list. You might be wondering why I've cropped this image, and yet I can still see the areas that were outside of the crop marquee. Well, that's because I had the option to not delete cropped pixels. If I don't want to see the area outside of the crop marquee, all I need to do is tap the H key to hide it. And toggle it on again by tapping the H key.
I'll go ahead and click the check mark in order to apply that crop. The benefit to this method, of course, is that we were able to crop to the correct aspect ratio and resize the file. And actually resize the crop down so that we weren't including the entire image. The only drawback is that we weren't able to see how much information was in the original file and if Photoshop had to resample up or resample down the image. Still as you become more advanced, this can be an excellent way to save time when you're preparing your images for output.
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