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One of my frustrations with the old Crop tool was that if you didn't get everything exactly right, then you have to press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac and effectively start from scratch. That's not the case anymore. If your first attempt at cropping isn't everything you hoped it would be, then there is no need to undo and start again. You just start from where you left off. I've saved my progress as Semi- destructivecrop.psd, so-called because even though I didn't clip away any pixels, Photoshop had to rotate the layer and rewrite the colors of all the pixels.
Let's say though that, even though the image is now straight, I'm not entirely satisfied with the framing. Rather than undoing I would just switch back to the Crop tool most easily by pressing the C key. There's my crop boundary. Now at this point it looks like the image has been clipped. But as soon as I start dragging one of the corner or side handles, I once again see the entire rotated image. I also have the option of maintaining the original aspect ratio. If I right-click anywhere inside the image window, you can see that I have the option of using the Front Image Aspect Ratio.
Now if I choose that command I'm going to see the aspect ratio up here in the Options Bar. It's quite arbitrary, because a Crop tool is going from the last crop applied as opposed to the original image. Another option that's available to you by the way is to Use the Front Image Size & Resolution. Take care on that one however, because that is going to end up re-sampling the image because you're changing the image size which is a destructive modification. Now I just happened to know that the aspect ratio of this image is 2x3, better known in the business is 4x6.
And so, I'll go ahead and call up that one and the ratio automatically changes as you can see. And now even if I drag a side handle, or either the top or bottom handle, I'm going to change both the height and width of my crop boundary. That looks pretty darn good, we'll go ahead and press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to apply that crop. And again, if I don't like anything about it, I can just sit in dragging the crop boundary again and I'll re-enter the Crop mode and I'll see the entire image.
And notice, you can also drag the image directly inside the crop boundary much as if you were dragging the image inside the canvas using the Move tool. My only warning at this point is once you straightened the image, don't drag outside the crop boundary again in order to further rotate the image. I stress that each and every pixel is always an upright square, so if the orientation of the image changes each and every pixel has to be re-written. Fortunately, I have one level of undo when I'm working inside the Crop mode so I can press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that last rotation.
And once again, press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to accept that new canvas size. And then I'll press the M key to switch back to the Rectangular Marquee tool and hide the crop boundary. And that's how you edit an existing crop using the Crop tool in Photoshop CS6.
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