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How To Crop in Photoshop CS6

crop-images-photoshop-initial
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Hello guys I am Somil and this article is on how to crop in Photoshop CS6. If you deal with large PSD Files, then you might have faced problem with storing such large files or maybe delivering it to your clients. Check out the previous article where I have discussed about 5 techniques to reduce the size of the PSD. Cropping is an integral part of Photography and it can be used to add focus certain part of an image. A good crop can result in a perfect image while a bad one could simply ruin it. Photoshop CS6 has incorporated a new Crop feature which is much better than its earlier versions. The Crop Tool in Photoshop CS6 is very flexible providing its users with the immense power to crop and straighten images easily. Here is a tutorial on how this feature works for Photoshop CS6.

Image Credit: http://grosnez.deviantart.com/art/Landscape-258641884

Initial image

crop-images-photoshop-initial
crop-images-photoshop-initial

Find the Crop Tool

The Crop Square

crop-images-photoshop-initial
crop-images-photoshop-initial

In the newer version of Photoshop CS6, the software itself seats a box also called as crop box around the image. The Crop box has handles (total 8 handles at the edges) around the box, at each of the four corners and 4 other sides namely top, bottom, left, and right hand side of the box. The work done by these handles is same as done by the handles in the previous versions of Photoshop. The main difference between the previous version and Photoshop CS6 is that the Crop Tool automatically places this square box.

2. Photshop automatically seats a crop box
2. Photshop automatically seats a crop box

Handle the Crop Box

It’s easier to figure out the area to be cropped (the area of the image we would keep) as this would be easily visible while the unwanted or the extra area of the image will be darkened. The handles around the Crop Box helps to resize and reshape the crop area by simply placing he mouse button held down and dragging it around. Whatever is inside will be kept while the outer part will be cropped and removed.

Please note that you can reshape and resize the image by holding down the mouse button and dragging the handles. The choice whether to use the initial crop handles that the Photoshop CS6 places around the image is yours. The handles are given for user’s ease. This step is very similar to what was there in the previous versions of Photoshop.

3. Drag this handle to resize
3. Drag this handle to resize

Decide on your Aspect Ratio

The crop box can be dragged freely in any direction. This is the simply the default crop box in Photoshop. However if you need any specific or standard frame size like 4 x 6 or 8 x 10 or 8.5×11, you could look for the Options Bar in the far left top of the screen. You could see the Aspect ratio option there, by default kept as Unconstrained. Clicking on the “Constrained Values” lets you choose your standard Aspect ratio form a drop down menu with various aspect ratios. I have chosen 4 x 8 (8 x 16 ) as an example.

4. Choose your preset Apect ratio
4. Choose your preset Apect ratio
5. The Crop Box switches to the 4 x 8 aspect ratio
5. The Crop Box switches to the 4 x 8 aspect ratio

 

Note: Constrained cropping would only allow you to crop image images in a specific aspect ratio. The ration between your height and width of your image remains constant at any given instance.

Photoshop locks in the aspect ratio and then places the crop box back onto the image. Knowing that the aspect ratio securely locked you can resize the box by dragging the handles.

Cannot find your Aspect Ratio?

You can create your own custom, less common Aspect Ratio. Enter the values for the width and height of the boxes straight to the right of the list. That is all you need to fix your aspect ratio. Now you can also save the custom aspect ratio. Go to –> Option box –> Click on the aspect ratio menu –> Click on save as crop preset.

6. Enter values of your custom aspect ratio
6. Enter values of your custom aspect ratio

Choose your Orientation

You can choose from two different orientations namely Portrait orientation or the Landscape orientation. In the Options Bar –> Click on the rotate icon. This would switch your crop box quickly from portrait (vertical) to landscape (horizontal) or vice versa.

Here you can see I’ll jump back and forth form portrait to landscape mode by using the rotate icon. On clicking the icon my crop box changed from the landscape orientation to the portrait orientation. Pressing the letter X from the keyboard would also do the same job. It’s an easy shortcut. It does save a lot of time.

Image Reposition inside the Crop Box

Click inside the Crop Box –> Hold the mouse button down and drag the image.

This is a new feature in Photoshop CS6. In the earlier versions you would notice that dragging the mouse would reposition the crop box around the image. Image remains static. It is entirely opposite in the newer version. The crop box remains still while the image could be moved and positioned.

7. Click and drag to reposition image
7. Click and drag to reposition image

Overlay in the Crop Box

As per the newer versions of the Photoshop CS6 the Crop Box has a grid overlay inside it. It shows us 3×3 grid, also called as the Rule of Thirds. What is Rule of Thirds? The Rule of Thirds simply states that while cropping image the main subject in the image should lie on one of the intersection points of the horizontal and the vertical grid lines. This rule is not applicable for all images.

To change it Go toà View Option in the Option bar. You would find various other overlay patterns.

Click Rule of Thirds or the overlay you would like to choose –> Select the correct overlay pattern form the drop down menu.  In the screenshot below I have selected the grid Pattern. Shortcut –> Press the letter “O” for the keyboard to toggle though the various overlays list.

8.The view option in the option bar
8.The view option in the option bar
9. Select from the various overlays
9. Select from the various overlays

Additionally you could see few other options that control the appearance of Overlay.

ü  Always Show Overlay – Overlay remains on the screen all the time

ü  Auto Show Overlay – Shows overlay only when you are resizing the crop box or repositioning the image. Hides when you are not making any changes to the image.

ü  Never Show Overlay – Hides the overlay permanently. You can select the other two options when you would want to see it.

10. Choose whther to show your overlay or not
10. Choose whther to show your overlay or not

Photoshop CS6 lets you decide on whether to show the overlay or not.

Rotate the Image

Move mouse outside the crop box. You will see the cursor change to a curved line with open ended arrow. Click outside the Crop Box. Hold down the mouse button. Now simply drag the mouse to rotate the image. The crop box remains static while the image rotates.

11. Click and drag outside the image to rotate the image
11. Click and drag outside the image to rotate the image

Straighten the Image

While you rotate the image the grid overlay inside the crop box acts as the reference for straightening the image. A simpler method will be Clicking and Selecting the straighten option from the option bar.

Now Select a starting point –> Click your mouse –> Hold down the mouse and drag it to the end point.

The starting point and the end point would be something that appears straight in the image. Photoshop automatically straightens the image upon releasing the mouse button.

12. Staraighten by clicking on the option menu
12. Staraighten by clicking on the option menu
13. Click and drag along something that is straight in the photo
13. Click and drag along something that is straight in the photo

Note: Using this tool you can give angle to your image.

Undo your action

Made a mistake then simply correct it by Going to –> Edit menu in the Menu Bar
(on top of the screen) –>
 Click on Undo or do as shown in the screen shot below.

Keyborad Shortcut –>  Ctrl+Z (Win) / Cmd+Z (Mac).

 

Reset Your Action

Click on the Reset button to revert back to the original image. Its resets every change you would have made.

14. Reset button resets the crop box, rotation and aspect ratio
14. Reset button resets the crop box, rotation and aspect ra

Cancel Your Action

Changed your mind have you?  Go to Options bar –> Click Cancel or simply press the Esc key.

15. Cancel button to escape out of the image cropping
15. Cancel button to escape out of the image cropping

Delete Cropped Pixels

Clicking on this from the options bar would permanently delete your cropped pixels. This is also known as destructive edit. That means you would not be able to revert back to the earlier pixeled image. Best is to keep the Delete Cropped Pixels unchecked.

16. New Delete Cropped option in Photoshop CS6
16. New Delete Cropped option in Photoshop CS6

Some more Crop Action

Use Classic Mode: Turn this on if you have problem using the newer version Photoshop. This would change your cropping method as per the older versions

Auto Center Preview: Turning it on, Photoshop automatically place the exposed area at the center of the window

Show Cropped Area: Turning this on would show you the cropped area

Enable Crop Shield: When turned on, allows the darkened unwanted part of the image to be shown.

Color: Controls the color of the shield.

Opacity: Controls the opacity of the shield.

17. additional crop actions
17. additional crop actions

Confirm and apply the Crop

On the Options Bar –> Click the check mark. Shortcut à Press Enter (Win) / Return (Mac) on your keyboard.

18. Confirm your Crop
18. Confirm your Crop

Did you notice that the Crop box and the crop handles are still visible even after you have cropped your image?

To hide them Go to Tool Box –> Choose a different tool or simply press letter V (switches you to the move tool) on your keyboard.

Edit the Crop

As explained earlier once you have kept the delete cropped pixels checked then you wouldn’t be able to re-edit the image. However if you have kept it unchecked then you could simply select the Crop tool from the tool box and start cropping again. Change anything you would like, reshape or reposition the image. If you save your image to .PSD file then you could edit the image anytime you would like. However you should know that PSD files occupy large storage space. Do read our tutorial on 5 Simple Techniques to Reduce PSD Size. Now Confirm by clicking the check mark in the Option bar to finish your cropping.

The Final Image

Below is our final cropped image

crop-images-photoshop-final
crop-images-photoshop-final

If you are beginner you might want to read my tutorial on : How To Set The Preference For Your Photoshop.

Finally you would have now learned how to crop and straighten images using Photoshop CS6. Do subscribe to us for amazing tutorials.

We would be here soon with a new tutorial. Stay tuned.

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Written by Somil Bhargava

Founder @FinancialTalkies, @Smuggbugg | Blogger | Content Marketing | He has a knack for analysis and has a keen eye on upcoming startups across domains. He is inclined towards entrepreneurship, philosophy and startups, not necessarily in that order. He likes connecting the dots, breaking news, nose and beliefs – ‘To wake up in life one must fall asleep’.

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