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Making the canvas bigger with the Crop tool

From: Photoshop CS5 Essential Training

Video: Making the canvas bigger with the Crop tool

So let's say you wanted to print this image on a gray background or a white background or a black background and you wanted the canvas behind this image to be larger than the image, so you see this extra solid color in the background. Well, how would you go about doing that? Well, it turns out that there is kind of a hidden secret trick about the Crop tool. We typically think about using the Crop tool to make an image smaller. It turns out you can actually use the Crop tool in Photoshop to add to an image, to add canvas to an image. So I'm going to press the letter C to get to the Crop tool. Then I'm going to go ahead and just leave the Width, Height and Resolution fields blank.

Making the canvas bigger with the Crop tool

So let's say you wanted to print this image on a gray background or a white background or a black background and you wanted the canvas behind this image to be larger than the image, so you see this extra solid color in the background. Well, how would you go about doing that? Well, it turns out that there is kind of a hidden secret trick about the Crop tool. We typically think about using the Crop tool to make an image smaller. It turns out you can actually use the Crop tool in Photoshop to add to an image, to add canvas to an image. So I'm going to press the letter C to get to the Crop tool. Then I'm going to go ahead and just leave the Width, Height and Resolution fields blank.

The trick is to go ahead and start by creating a crop boundary the size of the document. So just drag all the way from one corner to the other. Then let go to set the initial crop. I'm going to use my Zoom keyboard shortcut to zoom out one notch. I'm going to go Command+Minus or Ctrl+ Minus on the keyword, just so I can see more of the outside area. Then all you have to do is grab a handle, and make the crop area larger than the image. Let me escape this to cancel, hit the Escape key. By default, when you first drag out a boundary, you can't go beyond the image size itself.

It stops and won't let you drag further. So the trick is just to let go, grab a handle and drag again. Now, by default, if I drag a corner, it's dragging the width and height at the same time. It stays anchored at the opposite corner. All right, so I'm dragging the right bottom corner. It's staying anchored from the upper left. What I want to do is actually add canvas extra area equally on all four sides as I drag. So to do that, you hold down what I call the make-better key in Photoshop. It just makes Photoshop better. You should just tape the key down. It's the Option key on the Mac or the Alt key on Windows.

I'm going to hold that key down. As I drag, you'll see it's adding it from all four sides in an equal amount. So, that looks about right, I want that much border or canvas to be added to the outside of the image. Then I want the bottom say to be just a little bit taller to make it a little bit asymmetric so that the Rule of Thirds composition. You can see that horizontal line is lining up right on her eye there to make it a little bit better composition of where this image is going to be placed on "the card" or the background that we're placing this on. All right, so I've got it positioned correctly.

I'm going to hit the Return key or the Enter key. You'll see that, by default, it adds the background color to the image, because we're working with a Background layer. So whatever the background color happened to be, the default was white, so the new pixels that got added to that image were filled with that white color, the background color. I'm going to go ahead and undo that. Let's say that you want to control the color that's going to be used for this background. If that's the case, you may actually want to end up with the Background being a separate layer.

So the solid color is a separate layer. The image is on a different layer. So you can edit them independently in a more free-form way. So to do that, what you need to do is convert this Background layer to be a non-Background layer, a layer that supports transparency, before you actually do the Add Canvas trick that I just showed you. So the way to do that is just double- click on the name Background in the Layers panel and click OK. To get my Crop tool again, press the letter C. Drag from one corner to the other. You can't drag farther at first. You let go.

You grab a handle again and start dragging again by pressing and dragging. Hold down the Option or Alt key to drag out equally all four sides. Then I'm going to drag out the bottom handle after letting go off the Option key to right about there. This time, when I press Enter or Return, instead of the new pixels that got added to the file being filled with the background color, they are said to be transparent, because I'm not on a Background layer anymore. I'm just on a regular layer. What we want to do now is add an additional layer behind this image layer, so that I can fill that with whatever canvas color I want, whatever color I want the Background to be.

Now I could click the New Layer icon. I'll go ahead and do that. Then you'll see the new layer got created above my current layer, which isn't what I wanted. I want that layer to be behind, below the image layer, which is fine. I can drag Layer 1 and drag it below Layer 0, okay, or I'm going to go ahead and delete that layer, while I'm here, I'm going to go ahead and hit Yes. I'm going to show you a trick. Instead of clicking the New Layer icon, the default behavior puts the new layer above the active layer. Just hold down that Command key on the Mac or the Ctrl key on Windows.

Now when you click that New button, it adds the new layer below the current layer. So it just saves you the step of having to drag the new layer that got created below the layer, to get it where you wanted it. Okay. So here we have this new empty layer. We want to fill it with a specific color. We're going to go to Edit and choose Fill. Then the default is the Foreground Color, which is black. That's fine, if that's what you want. You can choose Background Color, which is currently white, or I can choose, in this case, 50% Gray. I'm going to go ahead and click OK. There, I've done it.

I've added a background to this image where this image can now kind of float above it and print that out as my photo card if you will. I've got a much different way to present the image. For adding kicks, I might add a little white border to the outside of the image. So I'm going to select the image layer. Right now, it's called Layer 0. At the bottom of the Layers panel, there is a little fx icon. I'm going to click on that and choose Stroke as my effect to add to this layer. The default color is black. I'm going to make the size quite a bit bigger.

You see as I drag that Size slider, you see that Stroke being added to the composition there in the background. You'll note that it's rounded corners, by default, because the Position has been set to Outside. I'm going to change it to Inside. That's how I get nice, sharp corners instead. I want the color to be white, so I'm going to click on the Color chip. That brings up the color picker. I'll click in the white area of that dialog there. Click OK. You can see I've got a white Stroke added to that to finish off the effect. I'll go ahead and click OK. There is my final result, things you didn't know you could do with the Crop tool.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 Essential Training
Photoshop CS5 Essential Training

154 video lessons · 94729 viewers

Michael Ninness
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 6m 10s
    1. Welcome
      1m 47s
    2. What is Photoshop?
      2m 49s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 34s
  2. 28m 29s
    1. What is Adobe Bridge?
      1m 54s
    2. Getting photos from a camera
      3m 39s
    3. A tour of the different workspaces in Adobe Bridge
      4m 58s
    4. Customizing how thumbnails are displayed
      3m 35s
    5. Changing obscure camera file names with the Batch Rename command
      2m 36s
    6. Adding basic metadata to every image with metadata templates
      3m 36s
    7. Creating and applying keywords to images
      4m 6s
    8. Viewing images in Full Screen Preview mode
      4m 5s
  3. 23m 4s
    1. Using Review mode to filter out rejects
      5m 27s
    2. Protecting the keepers by saving them in collections
      3m 18s
    3. Rating images
      3m 15s
    4. Using the Filter panel to view different subsets
      4m 43s
    5. Viewing final choices in a slideshow
      2m 12s
    6. Organizing groups of images into stacks
      4m 9s
  4. 30m 50s
    1. Raw vs. JPEG files
      5m 13s
    2. Why you should start in Camera Raw instead of Photoshop
      5m 9s
    3. A tour of the Camera Raw user interface
      6m 44s
    4. Previewing before and after adjustments
      4m 2s
    5. Toggling onscreen Shadow/Highlight clipping warnings
      2m 37s
    6. Choosing output settings
      2m 45s
    7. Saving a copy without going to Photoshop
      4m 20s
  5. 41m 34s
    1. Eliminating red-eye with the Red Eye Removal tool
      1m 13s
    2. Improving composition with the non-destructive Crop tool
      3m 33s
    3. Correcting a rotated horizon line with the Straighten tool
      3m 5s
    4. Fixing color casts with the White Balance tool
      2m 13s
    5. Fixing blown-out highlights with Recovery
      2m 36s
    6. Revealing hidden shadow detail with Fill Light
      1m 47s
    7. Reducing distracting color noise with Noise Reduction
      5m 37s
    8. Removing color fringes with Chromatic Aberration
      2m 36s
    9. Sharpening the details
      8m 59s
    10. End to end: Taking a so-so photo and making it great
      9m 55s
  6. 39m 5s
    1. Fixing blown-out skies with the Graduated Filter tool
      4m 34s
    2. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Removal tool
      5m 41s
    3. Making local adjustments with the Adjustments Brush
      4m 28s
    4. Quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity
      4m 33s
    5. Converting to black and white
      3m 36s
    6. Editing images directly with the Targeted Adjustments tool
      4m 18s
    7. Easy sepia and split tone effects
      2m 35s
    8. Adding digital film grain texture effects
      2m 46s
    9. Adding vignettes and border effects
      2m 13s
    10. Saving variations within a single file with Snapshots
      4m 21s
  7. 15m 48s
    1. Copying settings from one file and pasting across another in Adobe Bridge
      3m 7s
    2. Processing multiple files in Camera Raw
      2m 28s
    3. Saving and using a library of Camera Raw presets
      5m 33s
    4. Using Image Processor to batch process multiple files
      4m 40s
  8. 30m 39s
    1. Opening files from Adobe Bridge
      3m 1s
    2. Opening files from Mini Bridge
    3. Customizing the Mini Bridge panel
      2m 57s
    4. Changing Mini Bridge so it auto-collapses
      1m 20s
    5. The Application frame
      2m 16s
    6. The Application bar
      1m 16s
    7. Switching and saving workspaces
      4m 23s
    8. Panel management
      5m 31s
    9. Switching tools using the keyboard
      3m 18s
    10. Customizing the keyboard shortcuts
      3m 9s
  9. 16m 12s
    1. Tabbed documents
      2m 1s
    2. The Arrange Documents widget
      1m 38s
    3. How to stop Photoshop from tabbing documents
      3m 34s
    4. Pan and zoom
      5m 21s
    5. Cycling through the different screen modes
      3m 38s
  10. 36m 59s
    1. File formats
      13m 6s
    2. What resolution does your image need to be?
      10m 15s
    3. Resize vs. Resample
      9m 40s
    4. How big a print can you make with your image?
      3m 58s
  11. 42m 17s
    1. Crop options
      4m 12s
    2. Hide vs. Delete for the Crop tool
      3m 30s
    3. Bringing back hidden pixels with Reveal All
      1m 34s
    4. Making the canvas bigger with the Crop tool
      6m 1s
    5. Making the canvas bigger by a specific amount with Relative Canvas Size
      1m 39s
    6. Correcting perspective with the Crop tool
      3m 5s
    7. Straightening a crooked image
      50s
    8. Scaling, skewing, and rotating with Free Transform
      4m 12s
    9. Nondestructive transformations with Smart Objects
      4m 2s
    10. Warping images
      3m 40s
    11. Preserving the important elements with Content-Aware Scaling
      9m 32s
  12. 54m 42s
    1. The Background layer
      5m 14s
    2. Using a layer mask instead of deleting pixels
      4m 12s
    3. Loading multiple images into a single Photoshop document as layers
      1m 30s
    4. Naming, hiding, creating, and deleting layers
      4m 18s
    5. Changing the stacking order of layers
      2m 51s
    6. Selecting layers without using the Layers panel
      6m 28s
    7. Transforming layers
      7m 16s
    8. Aligning and distributing layers
      3m 51s
    9. Changing the opacity of layers
      2m 57s
    10. Organizing layers into groups
      2m 55s
    11. Saving variations with layer comps
      5m 3s
    12. When to merge and rasterize layers
      5m 0s
    13. Flatten vs. Save As (a Copy)
      3m 7s
  13. 1h 4m
    1. Using the Marquee and Lasso tools
      7m 23s
    2. Transform selections
      2m 40s
    3. Quick Mask is your friend
      4m 31s
    4. Converting a selection into a layer mask
      6m 33s
    5. Using the Quick Selection tool
      3m 1s
    6. Re-selecting a previous selection
      1m 35s
    7. Improving a selection with Refine Edge
      4m 21s
    8. Touching up a layer mask with the Brush tool
      12m 7s
    9. Changing the opacity, size, and hardness of the painting tools
      2m 59s
    10. Blending images with a gradient layer mask
      4m 53s
    11. Swapping heads in a family portrait
      3m 53s
    12. Combining multiple exposures with the Blend If sliders
      6m 26s
    13. Replacing the sky in an image
      4m 19s
  14. 1h 1m
    1. Introducing adjustment layers
      7m 57s
    2. Starting with a preset
      4m 25s
    3. Improving tonal quality with Levels
      10m 28s
    4. Increasing midtone contrast with Curves
      5m 4s
    5. Removing a color cast with Auto Color
      5m 56s
    6. Changing the color temperature with Photo Filter
      2m 55s
    7. Shifting colors with Hue/Saturation
      9m 0s
    8. Making washed out colors pop with Vibrance
      2m 46s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      5m 49s
    10. Controlling which layers are affected by an Adjustment Layer
      7m 28s
  15. 11m 32s
    1. Shadow/Highlight
      9m 3s
    2. Matching color across multiple images
      2m 29s
  16. 34m 12s
    1. Removing blemishes with the Spot Healing brush
      6m 21s
    2. Quick technique for smoothing skin and pores
      8m 23s
    3. Taming flyaway hair
      4m 47s
    4. Making teeth bright and white
      1m 43s
    5. De-emphasizing wrinkles
      4m 41s
    6. Removing unwanted details with Content Aware Fill
      4m 26s
    7. Body sculpting with Liquify
      3m 51s
  17. 21m 6s
    1. Creating panoramas with Photomerge and Auto-Blend
      7m 20s
    2. Combining multiple frames of an action sequence
      8m 30s
    3. Combining group shots with Auto-Align
      5m 16s
  18. 25m 36s
    1. Overview of filters
      4m 6s
    2. Applying filters nondestructively with Smart Filters
      4m 45s
    3. Giving an image a soft glow with the Gaussian Blur filter
      4m 41s
    4. Adding noise to an image with the Add Noise filter
      3m 34s
    5. Sharpening an image with Unsharp Mask
      4m 12s
    6. Giving an image more texture with the Texturizer
      1m 17s
    7. Applying a filter to multiple layers
      3m 1s
  19. 30m 44s
    1. Cycling through the blending modes
      4m 43s
    2. Three blending modes you must know
      6m 41s
    3. Adding a lens flare effect with Screen
      3m 33s
    4. Making a cast shadow more realistic with Multiply
      4m 33s
    5. Creating a diffused contrast glow effect with Overlay
      6m 2s
    6. Sharpening an image with High Pass and Overlay
      5m 12s
  20. 21m 39s
    1. Character (point) type
      8m 19s
    2. Paragraph (area) type
      4m 42s
    3. Type on a path
      2m 54s
    4. Clipping an image inside type
      2m 24s
    5. Warping type
      3m 20s
  21. 20m 35s
    1. Adding a drop shadow effect
      4m 43s
    2. Adding an outer glow effect
      3m 13s
    3. Adding a border around an image
      2m 53s
    4. Copying layer effects and applying them to other layers
      2m 3s
    5. Saving layer styles and applying them in other documents
      2m 42s
    6. How (and when) to scale layer effects
      5m 1s
  22. 16m 6s
    1. Creating PDF contact sheets
      6m 41s
    2. Exporting web photo galleries
      6m 8s
    3. Saving for the web
      3m 17s
  23. 1m 19s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 19s

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