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One of the lesser known features when using the Crop Tool, is it's ability to add additional canvas area around your image. I think most of the time we typically think of dragging the crop handles into the image in order to remove unwanted information. Lets go ahead and take a look at this feature, by tapping the C key to access the Crop Tool. Now I'm not sure what values you might have in the options for the Crop Tool. So in order to reset it, just right mouse click on the icon for the crop up here in the options bar.
And then we'll select reset tool. Now the tools been reset, you can see but it's set back to ratio, there's no values entered here and we've got the delete crop pixels turned on. Now before we start cropping we actually want to zoom out a little bit. So I'm going to use the Cmd key on the Mac, Ctrl key on Windows, and then tap the minus key. Now we have a little bit more room in order to work with our image. If I were to crop outside of the image area now, because this is a flattened image with just a background. Photoshop would add my background color, which happens to be white, in the area that I add.
I don't want it to do that, instead I want it to add transparency, so I'm going to un-check the delete crop pixels. You'll notice that I can start clicking and dragging outside in order to add canvas. And in fact, I get the checkerboard which designates trasparency in Photoshop. But now I would have to drag out the other side and sort of guess at the spacing around the image. So what I'm going to do instead, is I'm going to click on the reset icon here which will reset the crop boundaries to the edges of my image. And this time before I drag, I'm going to hold down the option key on the Mac, and that's going to allow me to drag from the center of my image out, and if I wanted to constrain the aspect ratio, I could also add the shift key. So now we can drag out and when we release the mouse, we can that Photoshop has added the same amount of spacing in proportion around the image. Now, if this image was square, that would be perfect. But, in this case, I actually want to drag a little bit more space along the bottom.
And maybe a little bit more along the top so that the spacing here and here is even that there is a little more spacing on the bottom. When I click on the checkmark or tap enter or return, you can see that Photoshop has converted the background into a layer in order to have this transparency. If I wanted to this background area with a color, I could add a new layer on my layers panel by selecting Layer. And then New Layer. We'll go ahead and call this Color Fill. Click Okay.
You can see that PhotoShop added that new layer on top of layer zero. So on the layers panel, I'll click on the Color Fill layer and drag it down til I see that solid gray line. When I release the cursor, I now change the stacking order, so that this layer, the one I want to fill is underneath the photograph of the Iceberg. Then I can select Edit and Fill. I can use either my foreground color or we can select a background color or any color that we want. I also have the option to quickly choose from black, 50% gray or white. Let's go ahead and select white.
And then click OK. So now we can see that the background is filled with white if I want to add a little bit of separation between the image and the background, I can click on the layer that has the photograph on it in my layers panel, and then I can add a stroke by using the effects icon at the bottom of the layers panel. I'll choose stroke from the list. I'll move it out of the way so that I can see the stroke that it's adding around the outside of my image. And if I want to, I can increase the size of the stroke, but you'll notice when I do that, it actually rounds the corner of the stroke. So, I'm going to change the position from outside.
To inside, so I get a nice pointed corner and then I'll click Okay in order to add that stroke. Now the benefit of adding the canvas and making that canvas transparent is that at any point in time now, I can move the photograph without moving the background. So if I selected the Move tool and I want to reposition the image within my canvas. I can simply drag in order to do so. So adding canvas size to a photo using the crop tool might not be the most intuitive feature in Photoshop, but it certainly is a great one.
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