Join Jan Kabili for an in-depth discussion in this video Cropping photos, part of Photoshop Elements 13 Essential Training.
Cropping removes content from the edges of a photo. There are lots of reasons that you might crop. Cropping can improve the composition of a photo. You may want to crop if you have a particular proportion or aspect ratio in which you need a photo, like an eight by ten or a four by six. You also might want to crop to remove distracting elements at the edge of a photo, like this tree and this car in this photo. You can crop in any of the Editor workspaces. I'm going to crop here in the Expert Edit workspace using the Crop tool, which you can access from the toolbar over here.
Now when you crop in either the Expert Edit workspace or the Quick Edit workspace, down in the Tool Options bar, you'll see Crop Suggestions. The Crops Suggestions are just some variations that Elements offers about how you may want to crop this photo. You don't have to take any of these suggestions if you don't agree with them. Or you can just use one of the suggestions as a starting place. So the bounding box that we currently see in this photo is the first crop suggestion represented by this thumbnail. If I hover over the next thumbnail, I see another crop suggestion in the photo.
And there's the third, and there's a fourth. If I want to take one of these suggestions, I'll click on its thumbnail, but I still haven't committed the crop. I still have the option to change the position, the rotation, the scale and the proportions of this crop. So if I want to move the crop bounding box, I can click inside of it and drag. If I want to change its proportions, I can move any of the outside boundaries independently, as long as this menu is set to its default of No Restriction. So for example, I might hover over this edge and drag this way.
If I like this aspect ratio of width to height, but I want a smaller portion of the photo, then I can hold down the Shift key to constrain the proportions, move over any of the corner anchor points and drag in or drag out, and that maintains that aspect ratio. Notice that there is a grid on top of the crop bounding box. The default grid is known as the rule of thirds, and it's represented by this icon in the tool options. The idea of the rule of thirds, which is a traditional compositional rule, is that if you divide a photo into thirds horizontally and vertically, then where the vertical and horizontal lines intersect is the place where the viewer's eye is likely to go.
So one theory is that you want to have those intersections on top of interesting parts of the photo. So if you were to follow that rule, then you might click in this bounding box and drag it over this way, so that this intersection is on top of the roses. Now, you don't have to use the rule of thirds. If you don't even want to see the rule of thirds overlay, then you can come down to the tool options and click the None button here. There's also another option here, which is just to see a grid, and sometimes this grid overlay comes in handy if you need to straighten a photo, which you can do by hovering over any of the corner anchor points and rotating that bounding box.
I'm going to set the grid overlay to None for now. Now, before I commit this crop, I want to come over here to show you the drop-down menu. As I said, when this menu is set to its default of No Restriction, you can move the individual edges of the bounding box separately. If you know that you need a particular aspect ratio, say four to six for example, you can select it here, and that will change the shape of the crop bounding box. And you still can move it wherever you want it. You can also resize it, by hovering over any of the corners and dragging. And this time, I don't have to hold the Shift key to constrain the proportions.
It happens automatically because I chose four by six in this menu. And finally, I have the option to type in my own dimensions in the width and the height boxes here. I also can type in the resolution that I want. One thing to be careful of in this menu is that you don't choose so large a size that you'll end up scaling up the resulting cropped area. Because then, your photo may look blurry or even pixelated. When you're satisfied with your crop, you'll click the green check mark and that crops the image. Now, you don't have to worry that you'll be replacing your original image, because you need to save the image.
And when you do, you can go to the file menu and choose Save As. You can save in the same location as the original. You just want to be sure to check Save Inversion Set with Original, because that will automatically add the words edited1 to the name of the photo. And as long as the photo has a different file name, it won't save over the original. I'm going to leave this set to the JPEG format. I'll leave Include in the Elements Organizer checked, so that I don't have to import the cropped version into my organizer. And then, I'll click the Save button. I'll click OK on the JPEG Options box.
And then I'll close the image here in the Editor. And here in the organizer, you can see the cropped version of the photo. You know this is the cropped version because the file name has the words edited1. And there is an arrow to the right of this photo, which means that it's in a version set with another photo. So if I click that arrow, here on the right, you can see the original, the one with the tree on the left side of the photo, and here on the left is my cropped edited version. So I know you'll be cropping some photos here in the Expedited workspace, and those are some options that you have when you make your own crops.
- Importing photos from a camera or drive
- Adjusting lighting and color quickly
- Adding effects, textures, and frames
- Cropping and resizing photos
- Compositing with layer masks
- Adding text to photos
- Content-aware retouching
- Working with raw photos
- Finding photos by keyword
- Making local albums
- Sharing photos