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In Photoshop CS5 Essential Training, author Michael Ninness demonstrates how to produce the highest quality images with fantastic detail in the shortest amount of time, using a combination of Photoshop CS5, Adobe Bridge, and Camera Raw. This course shows the most efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, Michael shares the secrets of non-destructive editing, utilizing and mastering Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, layers, adjustment layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.
This video is kind of a bonus tip. It's the difference between Hide versus Delete in the Crop tool. Now, most people don't realize that in Photoshop, you don't actually have to delete the pixels that you crop. You can choose to hide them instead, but there is a little bit of nuance to how you get that set up. So, first of all, why would you want to do that? Well, I drag out a crop boundary here. I've got a preset set of values here in my Width and Height fields and Resolution. So I'm going to hit the Clear button to empty those out. Let's just say I want a long, narrow crop boundary here.
I'm not quite sure -- I don't want to commit to actually that this is the final composition. I may want to move this image around within this new rectangle that I'm creating. By default, since Crop is set to delete the pixels that are outside the crop boundary, I'm going to lose that flexibility. If I hit Return or Enter, those pixels are now gone. They're out of the file. If I do a Save, and I'm going to save over the original version, which, hopefully, you don't do, those pixels are gone forever. If I do a Save As and keep the original, I'd had to go back to the original file to get those pixels back.
So, there is actually an option of the Crop tool that makes it a lot more flexible. So I'm going to undo this. I can just go to File > Revert to get back to where I was when we first opened this file. The trick though is in order to be able to hide the pixels that are outside the crop boundary as opposed to delete them you have to be using a layer that supports transparency. If you take a look at the Layers panel, there is only one layer currently in the Layers panel. It's named Background. Background is a very special type of layer. You can't delete it.
You can't delete partial pixels on that layer or have it be partially transparent. So we need to convert this layer, the Background layer, to a layer that does support transparency. Now the quickest way to do that is just simply double-click on the name of the layer. You can choose to give it a new name if you want. I'm just going to click OK. It's now called Layer 0. This now converts it from the special type of core Background layer into a layer that can support transparency. So I'm going to get the Crop tool again. Press the letter C if I haven't done that already. So I've got my Crop tool.
I'm going to go ahead and drag out a crop boundary. Again, just kind of freeform shape any way I want it. But before I hit Return or Enter to actually apply that crop, now that my layer is not a Background layer, it's called Layer 0 over there. If you look in the Crop tool Options bar, you'll see there is a new choice available to me called Hide. I'm going to go ahead and turn on Hide. Press the Return or Enter key. Then at first, it looks like I did the exact same thing as using the default Delete. But now if I switch to my Move tool, I'm going to press the letter V on my keyboard to switch to the Move tool and start clicking-and-dragging, you'll see I'm able to reposition, reposition that image within the canvas rectangles.
So those pixels are still there. I didn't delete them. I just hid them. They're hiding outside that canvas rectangle. So, pretty cool! All right, so if you want to reposition your image within the crop, it's just simple as clicking-and-dragging. As long as you don't go too far and reveal the transparency check board, there are no pixels here anymore, you have a lot of freedom to reposition this image and change the overall composition while maintaining the aspect ratio that you wanted. Okay, to summarize, you actually have the option to hide or delete when you're doing your crop.
The trick is to make sure you convert that layer from a Background layer to a layer that supports transparency. That's as simple as double-clicking on the layer name and clicking OK.
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