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Regardless of who you are, whether you're a photographer or a designer or what have you, you need to be able to crop and straighten images inside Photoshop. That hasn't always been the best experience inside the program. You don't really get great feedback, sometimes you end up deleting pixels, oftentimes you're better off cropping inside of Camera RAW. Well, not anymore. Adobe has completely reengineered the Crop tool in a way that I think is going to fairly amaze you. Notice I'm working inside of a flat image, so I've got this single background item in the Layers panel.
I'm going to switch over to the Crop tool, which you can still get by pressing the C key. Now, I can set about immediately dragging inside the image as I would have in the pas,t in order to establish a base crop boundary, but I already have one available to me here. You can see it's surrounding the perimeter of the image. So, I'm just going to go ahead and drag it and notice that Photoshop is giving me this amazing feedback on the fly, so that I know exactly what my crop is going to look like. Also, Photoshop is going to apply a nondestructive crop by default.
So, notice up here in the Options bar, we've got this checkbox, Delete Cropped Pixels. You can turn it on if you want those pixels to go away permanently. Chances are good though that you'll want to leave it off, so that you keep those pixels. Now, notice that this image is crooked and what I'd normally do is drag outside the crop boundary in order to rotate the boundary. Now, when I drag outside the boundary I rotate the image so I can see if I have the degree of rotation right. And if I don't, after I release, if it still looks a little bit crooked I can continue to modify and get that real-time feedback.
Now, at this point I'm going to tug down a little bit just to expose a little more of that rock down at the base of the image. Let's say about here, I like what I see and I'll go ahead and press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac, in order to apply that crop. Now, in the old days you would see the cropped damage and you might like it or you might not. If you didn't like the crop that you achieved, then you would probably go up to the Edit menu and choose the Undo command. The problem with undoing a crop though was that you had to start from scratch. You weren't presented with your previous crop boundary at any point in time.
Now, you don't need to undo at all. You are presented with your previous crop boundary. There it is, and if you want to modify it just set about modifying it some more while the Crop tool is selected, and then, again, press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac to accept that change. All right, notice over here in Layers panel, I now have a floating layer, so all of my cropped pixels are still part of this image. I'm going to go ahead and switch over to the Move tool, so that we can see the benefit is that I can drag this guy around inside of the crop boundary to get him exactly where I want him to be. All right! Let's take a look at another approach.
Let's say we just want to straighten the image. I'll go up to the File menu and I'll choose the Revert command in order to restore the original flat image. Couple of different ways to work. You can still go ahead and grab that Ruler tool as in the old days and you can drag along the horizon like so and then you can go ahead and click on the Straighten layer button. So that's one approach, and it is a nondestructive modification and it works in tandem with the Crop tool. So, if I now select the Crop tool I can see that crop boundary and I can go ahead and modify it as desired like so.
Or yet another approach. I'll go ahead and press the Esc key, go up to the File menu, choose Revert. Another way to work is to select the Crop tool and then go up to the Options Bar and select the Straighten tool, which works just like the Ruler tool actually and drag along that horizon and then just release, and when you release Photoshop goes ahead and automatically straightens that image for you. All right! I'll go ahead and crop this guy just a little tighter and then press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac, in order to apply my change and go ahead and zoom on in. And that's how you work with a new nondestructive, better feedback Crop tool here inside Photoshop CS6.
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