Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the aspect-ratio crop overlay, part of Lightroom 5 New Features.
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If you use Lightroom to crop your photographs, you'll definitely appreciate the new feature that we're going to highlight here. And this is a feature which allows us to crop our images to particular aspect ratios. You know in previous versions of Lightroom, in order to do that it was guess-work and it was near impossible. Now it's much easier and let me show you how. In order to work with this new feature, what we need to do is to activate the Crop tool. So navigate to the Develop module and then go ahead and click on this icon here, which is located in the tool strip.
Now when you do that, you'll notice there is an overlay. We have seen this overlay before. To show or hide the overlay, press the H key. Press it once to hide, press it again in order to bring it back. Now you may also know another valuable shortcut, which allows you to change the overlay. Now this is a shortcut that you're going to need to write down. It's the O key. When you press the O key, it cycles through different overlays and often we can use these in order to crop and recompose our photographs. So far, we've seen all of these overlays in the previous version of Lightroom until now.
Take a look at what we have here. Right here you can see that we have the ability to crop to these different areas. We have some guides. These thin gray lines and these ratios are showing me that if I were to change my crop to that particular size, well I could crop this to the ratio of 8.5 x 11 or 16 x 9 or 1 x 1. How can we actually work with these aspect ratios and also how can we change what we're seeing here? When we're going to change the aspect ratios that we have, we can navigate to our tools pull down menu.
Next, we want to go to the Crop Guide Overlay. Here you can see I'm viewing these Aspect Ratios. I actually want to choose different aspect ratios to display. To do that, click on this option. Next in this dialog, you can see that I have a few options. What I need to choose is 8.5 x 11 and also 4 x 5. So here I'll go ahead and click on those options in order to choose those two and then click OK. In this way, you can see that I have these little guides. Next what I can do is click and drag my outer crop area in order to line up with those gray lines.
Now again, you want them to line up with the option that you want. Now in this case, seeing this 4 x 5 aspect ratio in the middle is a little bit distracting, so I'll go to tools>Crop Overlay>Choose Aspect Ratios and I'll turn off the 4 x 5 view. Here click OK. Now I'm just focusing in on this 8 .5 x 11. Sometimes you'll need to do that, you'll need to turn off those other options so that you can see this crop. Now that I've moved my Crop tool through the guides, next I'll click and drag in order to recompose and then here, I can double-click in order to apply that crop.
So in this way, you can see that you can use the Crop tool in order to crop to specific aspect ratios very easily. Again, to reiterate how this works, first you select the Crop tool. Next, you cycle through the overlays by pressing the O key and you cycle through until you get that view, which shows you the different aspect ratios. Then to customize what you're viewing here, navigate to Tools>Crop Guide Overlay and then Choose Aspect Ratios. Again, turn on whatever options that will work for you in your own workflow.
Next, crop and resize using the Crop tool handles and then press Enter or Return in order to apply the crop.
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