Join Julieanne Kost for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Crop tool, part of Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: The Basics.
- [Instructor] There are a variety of different reasons that you might want to crop your image. So, when capturing images, my goal is to fill the frame as fully as possible so that I have the most amount of information so that I can print the image as large as possible, but sometimes the entire frame isn't necessary for the story that I'm trying to tell, and, like in a case like this image, cropping is going to help us to eliminate the unnecessary, or that irrelevant information around the edges, there. So, let's take a look at the crop tool in Photoshop.
I'm going to tap the c key to access the crop tool, but we can also choose it from the toolbar, right here. Photoshop automatically places the crop marquis around the entire image, and you can start by repositioning the anchor points, either on the corners or in the center, or you can simply click and drag out a crop marquis in the image area. From here, we can use any of the handles in order to resize the crop, including the ones in the center, and we can reposition the crop by moving the image within the crop.
You can also change aspect ratios without cancelling the crop. I can either enter in an aspect ratio here, or I can select one from the list. If I choose five by seven, for example, and I actually want to flip that, I can change the orientation by clicking on the arrows here, or by tapping on the x key. If I want to remove the aspect ratio, I can simply click clear. If I want to see a different overlay than the default rule of thirds, I can use this icon and cycle through grid, or diagonal, or triangle.
In fact, if I want to see these quickly, I can just tap the o key. Each time I tap the o key, it cycles through all of those different overlays. I can also change the way that the outside area here is being displayed. If I click on the gear icon, I can either choose to show the cropped area, or I can hide that. We can see that there's a keyboard shortcut, the h key, while I'm using the crop tool, will toggle the show cropped areas. I can also change the opacity for the crop shield.
So, right now it's set to 75, but I can adjust that and make it a little bit darker to really dim back that area if I prefer. In order to dismiss this, I can tap the return key. I have the option to either delete the crop pixels, or keep them in the remaining cropped file. If I choose to delete the cropped pixels, we can see on the layers panel that I get a crop preview, and then a background layer, which is the color of my background color in my toolbar.
If I click on the check mark in order to crop this image, those pixels are now gone, and I'm back to the background layer on the layers panel. This means that, if I were to select the move tool, and then, turn by background into a layer by clicking on the lock icon, when I reposition the image, you can see that everything outside of the image area has actually been cropped off. Now, let's revert the file for a moment.
I'll choose file, and then revert, and then I'll select the crop tool again. This time, when I start dragging the crop, I'll drag into the image area, and then hold down the option key, and when I do that, you can see that it scales from both sides. When I release the cursor, I can still reposition the image within my crop boundary. This time, I'm going to uncheck the delete cropped pixels. In my layers panel, I get a different preview.
I see the cropped preview, but I don't see that underlying layer that was white. When I tap the check mark, Photoshop will transform that background into a layer, and it actually keeps track of all of that information that was outside of my crop. So, if I select the move tool and reposition the image within the canvas, we can see that all of that information is still there. Because Photoshop is holding onto that additional information, your file size might be a little bit larger if you save this as a .psd file or as a .TIFF file, than if you had chosen to delete those cropped pixels.
If I want to show all of the information outside of my canvas area, I can choose the image menu, and then Reveal All, and Photoshop will automatically build out the canvas to incorporate, or to include, the image that I had previously cropped. Just remember, if you do decide not to crop the pixels, and then you save your file as a .jpeg file, because .jpeg files don't save multiple layers, the .jpeg file format will actually throw away all of those extra pixels that are beyond the canvas size, the ones that you cropped off.
Alright, let's change one more time to the crop tool by tapping the c key, and click and drag out our crop. If I ever want to cancel out of a crop, instead of clicking on the check mark, I'll go ahead and click on the cancel icon, or I could tap the escape key. So, there you have it. The crop tools makes it easier than ever to remove distracting elements while preserving cropped information for flexible image editing.
Julieanne Kost reviews the basics of digital imaging, from bit depth to image size, and shows how to use different Photoshop tools to crop and retouch photos, while always maintaining the highest-quality output. She shows the most efficient ways to perform common tasks, including working with layers, making selections, and masking. Along the way, you will learn the secrets of nondestructive editing using Smart Objects, and master features such as adjustment layers, blend modes, filters, and much more—increasing your productivity every step of the way.
- Opening files in Photoshop, Bridge, and Lightroom
- Arranging your workspace
- Modifying keyboard shortcuts
- Changing color mode, bit depth, and document size
- Cropping and straightening images
- Working with layers and layer masks
- Using brushes
- Making detailed selections
- Editing images with the Content-Aware tools
- Using blend modes
- Creating Smart Objects
- Using adjustment layers to change color, tone, contrast, and saturation
- Applying filters