Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Cropping redefined, part of Photoshop CS6 for Photographers New Features.
Cropping inside a Photoshop has been completely redefined. So what I want to do here is dig in to how we can work with the Crop tool and the new settings and features that we have available to us when we are interested in cropping or recomposing or straightening our photographs. Well, the first thing that we'll want to do is we want to select the Crop tool. To do so you can press the C key, or you can click on the tool in the Tools panel. Now once you do that, you'll notice that you have different options up here in the Options bar. You'll also notice that you have these icons which show on top of your image.
Well, how could we start to work with this photograph? Let's move through this menu up here in our options. One of the first things that we can do is we can specify a particular aspect ratio. We could choose Unconstrained if we wanted a free-form crop, or perhaps, if we want to choose a crop that's a square, we could choose this option. Let's go ahead and choose that option and see what happens. Now once I do that all of a sudden it shows me the crop area. It also shows me this area which is grayed out. Well, this obviously doesn't work.
So what you can do is click on your image and reposition the image. Notice that the crop is staying in the same spot. It's just the image that's moving. If I want an even tighter crop, we'll just hover over one of those handles and then click and drag to reposition that. Then go ahead and click and drag to reposition the photograph. Now in doing this, you're noticing something really interesting. As I crop, all of a sudden we have this grid which shows on top of the image. Well, what's that about? Well, if you move down the line in your options, you have the ability to show on top of your crop area these different items.
If you have Auto Show Overlay on, that will only show up when you click on the Crop tool. When you let go, it will disappear. Another option is to choose Always Show Overlay. In this way, you'll always see those overlay elements. Let me zoom in a little bit so you can see those a bit more clearly. Well, here what we can do is press the O key in order to scroll through or toggle through these different overlay elements, and this works in different crop aspect ratios. For example, let's go back to another aspect ratio, say, the Original.
Now in doing that, you can see those overlays. Again, let me zoom in here so you can see that a little more clearly. And as I press the O key, I can toggle through those different overlays. If ever you have an overlay which has kind of a lean or specific orientation, like this one, you can always flip it by pressing Shift+O. You can see how I'm alternating that. All right. Let me zoom out a little bit here. And as I zoom out, one of things that I realize that might be fun is to change the overall crop from a vertical to horizontal.
We can do that by using this icon here. If you click on it, it will then alternate between horizontal and vertical. All right. Well, let's say that I want to apply this crop. We know that this grayed out area will be cropped off of this picture, and in previous versions of Photoshop, you would lose all of that data. It would be gone forever. Well, new to this version is this check box. If you leave it off, Delete Crop Pixels, well, then it will save all of that information.
Let me show you what I mean. Well, here I'll go ahead and press Enter, or Return, to apply that crop. But then I decide I don't like it. We'll just simply click on the Crop tool, it will reactivate the Crop tool, and here you can see I have accessed all of that information. I'll go ahead and click and drag this out, and then I'm going to zoom out a little bit here, just so that I can see everything and bring this back, say, to right about there and then press Enter, or Return. Another thing that we can do with our Crop tool is we can straighten our photographs.
You'll notice there is this Straighten button here. If you click on it and then drag across a horizontal or vertical line that you think should be straight, it will automatically rotate your image and create a crop which will work to fix that problem. To apply that just press Enter, or Return. All right. Well, there's even more. And as you can tell, they've really revamped this tool. One of things that we can do--as you've seen--is we can click on any of these handles and recompose our photographs. And as we do that, we can see the image, but sometimes all of these items, well, they might be a little bit too distracting.
Well, you can change this back to the way that it looked previously by clicking on this Gear icon. Here we have a number of different options. One of them is to Use Classical mode. When you do that, you notice that these icons change. We can also turn this off and we can change the option in regards to showing this cropped area, and there is a shortcut associated with that, which is really helpful. By turning this off, again, you can see that it hides all of that grayed out area.
You can turn it back on by pressing the H key, or by clicking on this icon. Now what about the Crop Shield? Well, the Crop Shield shows us the shaded area--shows us what's been cropped out. If you prefer to disable that, we'll just turn off that option. Or, if you want to make it perhaps even darker, you can click on that option, and then you could crank up the opacity here, and you can see that now it's becoming even darker. It's hiding that area even more clearly. All right. Well, let's go ahead and click out of this dialog here.
Now that we've dialed in all of those different options, what I want to do is crop this image. So here, I'll go ahead and click and drag one of my handle points up a little bit and just reposition this image. Next, I'll press Enter, or Return, in order to apply that crop. And the last thing that I think that you'll want to do is in order to really evaluate the photograph, you'll want to hide or get rid of all of these handles. The easiest way to do that is to select another tool on your Tools panel. For example, you can press the V key in order to select the Move tool.
That then removes all of those elements, so that you can then evaluate the way that you've cropped your photograph without all of those distracting elements.
- Getting familiar with the new interface
- Exploring improvements to Bridge and Mini Bridge
- Recovering highlights and improving exposure with Camera Raw
- Making precise raw adjustments with the Point Tone Curve
- Grouping, filtering, and finding layers
- Correcting distortion with Adaptive Wide Angle controls
- Working with the new Content-Aware tools
- Making better selections
- Performing perspective cropping
- Getting started with video in Photoshop
- Making picture-perfect prints with the Print dialog
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 12/11/12. What changed?
A: We added an additional chapter, "Creative Cloud Updates December 2012," to cover the new features rolled out with the Creative Cloud subscription model for Photoshop, including the Blur Gallery and Smart Filters' new impact on still images, and the abilities to blur video, change image size and resolution with the Crop tool, and use conditional actions to add watermarks to your images.