How to Crop Images in Photoshop with the Crop Tool

Learn everything you need to know about cropping images with the Crop Tool in Photoshop, including how to crop images non-destructively ! now updated for Photoshop 2021 .
Written by Steve Patterson .
In this first tutorial in my series on cropping images, I show you how to crop images, how to straighten images, and how to crop an visualize non-destructively with Photoshop. We ‘ll start with the basics and learn how to crop images using the Crop Tool. then we ‘ll learn how to straighten an trope with the Crop Tool. And ultimately, we ‘ll look at a great feature that lets you crop an trope without losing any of the master pixels !

I ‘m using Photoshop 2021 but you can follow along with any late version. Get the latest Photoshop version here .
Let ‘s get started !

How to crop images with the Crop Tool

Let ‘s start with the basics. I ‘ll use this image from Adobe Stock :
The image that will be cropped. Photo credit: Adobe Stock
The original trope. Photo credit : Adobe Stock .

Selecting the Crop Tool

To cultivate an prototype in Photoshop, we use the Crop Tool which is found in the toolbar. The Crop Tool can besides be selected from your keyboard by pressing the letter C :
Selecting the Crop Tool in Photoshop
Selecting the Crop Tool .

The cropping border

adenine soon as you select the Crop Tool, Photoshop places a cropping border around the trope. And if you ‘ve used the Crop Tool on a previous prototype, the bound will initially be set to that previous size .
In the Options Bar, we see that my last persona was cropped as an 8 x 10 :
The previous Crop Tool settings in the Options Bar in Photoshop
Photoshop automatically loads the former Crop Tool settings .
And in the text file, the cropping border appears at that 8 x 10 aspect proportion. We ‘ll look at all of this in more detail in consequence :
The cropping border in Photoshop is set to the previous aspect ratio
The crop molding is set to the former aspect ratio .

How to reset the Crop Tool

Before we go any far, let ‘s reset the Crop Tool to its default settings. In the Options Bar, right-click ( Win ) / Control-click ( Mac ) on the tool icon :
The Crop Tool icon in the Options Bar in Photoshop
Right-clicking ( Win ) / Control-clicking ( Mac ) on the cock icon .
And choose Reset Tool from the menu :
Resetting the Crop Tool in Photoshop
Resetting the Crop Tool .
This resets the aspect ratio to Ratio and leaves the Width and Height boxes empty :
The default Crop Tool settings in Photoshop
The nonpayment Crop Tool settings .
Related : How to reset your tools and toolbar in Photoshop

How to reset the crop border

But comment that resetting the Crop Tool did not reset the crop edge itself, which is still set to that former 8 ten 10 size :
Resetting the Crop Tool options in Photoshop did not reset the cropping border
Resetting the Crop Tool options did not reset the crop border .
To reset the border, choose a different tool from the toolbar ( any tool will do ) and then reselect the Crop Tool .
The cropping margin immediately surrounds the stallion prototype :
The cropping border in Photoshop now surrounds the entire image
The crop surround itself has been reset .

How to resize the crop border

If you look around the boundary line, you ‘ll see crop handles. There ‘s one on the top, bottom, left and right, and one in each corner :
The handles around the crop border in Photoshop
The handles around the crop edge .
Click and drag the handles to reshape the crop border into any size you need. The area inside the molding is what you ‘ll keep while the fade area outside the bound will be cropped away :
Dragging the handles to resize the crop border around the image
Dragging the handles to resize the edge .

How to reposition the image inside the crop border

You can besides click and drag inside the surround to reposition the trope. As you drag, the crop boundary line will remain in place while the image moves around inside it :
Dragging the image inside the crop border
Repositioning the image inside the crop border .

How to cancel the crop

To cancel the crop without applying it, click the Cancel button in the Options Bar. I ‘ll cancel it so we can look at another room to work :
Clicking the Cancel button for the Crop Tool in Photoshop's Options Bar
Clicking the Cancel button .

Drawing your own crop border

alternatively of using the initial crop boundary line that Photoshop places around the trope, you can besides click anywhere inside the visualize and drag out your own boundary line :
Clicking and dragging a crop border manually in Photoshop
Clicking and dragging a snip edge manually .
then drag the handles to resize it, or chink and puff inside the margin to reposition the picture :
Adjusting the crop after drawing the border.
Adjusting the snip after drawing the border .

How to reset the crop border

To reset the bound without canceling the crop completely, click the Reset button in the Options cake :
Clicking the Reset button for the Crop Tool in Photoshop
Clicking the Reset button .

How to lock the aspect ratio of the crop border

By default, Photoshop lets us resize the craw frame freely without caring about the aspect proportion. To keep the original view ratio of your double, press and hold the Shift key on your keyboard as you drag any of the corner handles. This locks the aspect ratio in place :
Locking the original aspect ratio of the crop in Photoshop
Hold Shift and drag a corner cover to lock the expression ratio of the molding .
I ‘ll click the Reset button again to reset my crop :
Clicking the Reset button .

How to resize the crop border from its center

To resize the molding from its center, press and hold the Alt ( Win ) / Option ( Mac ) key on your keyboard as you drag a handle .
here I ‘m dragging the leave side manage while the right side wield moves along with it :
Resizing the crop border from its center in Photoshop
Hold Alt ( Win ) / Option ( Mac ) to resize the cultivate border from its center .
I ‘ll click the Reset button to reset it :
Resetting the crop in Photoshop
Resetting the crop .

How to lock the aspect ratio and resize from center

And to lock the aspect ratio and resize the margin from its center, hold the Shift key and the Alt ( Win ) / Option ( Mac ) key as you drag the corner handles :
Locking the aspect ratio and resizing the crop border from center in Photoshop
Hold Shift plus Alt ( Win ) / Option ( Mac ) to lock the view ratio and resize from center .

How to crop an image to a specific aspect ratio

If you need to crop to a particular aspect ratio, like 5 x 7 or 8 adam 10, you can set the view proportion in the Options Bar .

Choosing a preset aspect ratio

For common aspect ratios like 8 ten 10, click the Aspect Ratio option :
Opening the Aspect Ratio menu for the Crop Tool in the Options Bar
Clicking the Aspect Ratio choice in the Options Bar .
And then choose from a list of presets, like 1:1 for a square, or 8:10, 4:6, and sol on. I ‘ll choose 8:10 :
Choosing 8x10 from the Aspect Ratio menu in Photoshop
Choosing 8:10 from the Aspect Ratio menu .
Photoshop enters the aspect proportion into the Width and Height boxes. In my case, it entered 4 adam 5 which is the lapp as 8 x 10 :
The preset aspect ratio is entered into the settings
The preset is entered into the settings .
And arsenic soon as I select it, my cropping edge jumps to the 8 x 10 proportion :
The crop border switches to the 8 x 10 aspect ratio in Photoshop
The crop boundary line instantaneously switches to the choose aspect proportion .

Swapping the crop orientation

To swap the Width and Height values, click the swap icon ( the two arrows ) between them :
Swapping the Width and Height values for the Crop Tool's aspect ratio in Photoshop
Swapping the Width and Height values .
This lets you easily switch between Portrait and Landscape mode :
The crop border has switched from Portrait to Landscape orientation in Photoshop
The crop boundary line updates with the raw orientation .

Choosing a custom aspect ratio

If the view ratio you need is not found in the presets, you can enter it manually .
Let ‘s say I want to crop my image as an 11 x 14 and I want it to be in Landscape manner indeed that the width is larger than the height. I ‘ll click inside the Width box and insert 14. then I ‘ll press the Tab key on my keyboard to jump over to the Height box and I ‘ll enter 11 :
Entering a custom aspect ratio for the Crop Tool in Photoshop
Entering a custom aspect ratio .
Photoshop instantaneously resizes the crop edge to the 11 x 14 proportion :
The crop border is now resized to the new aspect ratio in Photoshop
The customs view ratio .
With a specific aspect ratio entered, there ‘s no need to hold Shift as you drag the handles to lock the expression proportion in place. But you can still hold the Alt ( Win ) / Option ( Mac ) keystone to resize the bound from its center :
Resizing the 11x14 crop border in Photoshop
Resizing the crop border .

How to save a custom crop preset

If you ‘ll need the same aspect ratio again, you can save it as a custom preset. Click the Aspect Ratio option in the Options bar :
Clicking the Aspect Ratio option .
And in the menu, choose New Crop Preset :
Choosing the New Crop Preset option for the Crop Tool in Photoshop
Choosing “ New Crop Preset ” .
Give the preset a appoint. I ‘ll name mine “ 11 ten 14 Landscape ”. then snap OK to close the dialogue box :
Naming the new custom preset for the Crop Tool
Naming the new preset .
The adjacent clock time you need the preset, good click the Aspect Ratio option and choose it from the list :
The new custom aspect ratio preset for the Crop Tool in Photoshop
The fresh custom crop preset .

Clearing the aspect ratio

To go back to resizing the crop frame freely after entering a specific view ratio, clear the aspect ratio by clicking the Clear clitoris :
Clearing the Crop Tool aspect ratio settings in Photoshop
Clearing the current view ratio settings .
You can then drag the handles independently :
Resizing the crop border without setting an aspect ratio in Photoshop
Resizing the crop boundary line without being locked to an aspect ratio .

How to crop to a specific image size and resolution

indeed far, we ‘ve been cropping to a general view proportion, or a cosmopolitan supreme headquarters allied powers europe. But the Crop Tool can besides be used to crop your image to a specific size and resolution. To do that, open the Aspect Ratio menu :
Opening the Aspect Ratio menu .
And then choose W x H x Resolution ( Width, Height and Resolution ) :
Choosing W x H x Resolution for the Crop Tool in Photoshop
Choosing “ W x H x Resolution ” from the menu .
rather of cropping my image to an 11 ten 14 aspect proportion, let ‘s say I want to crop it so that it will print at a specific size of 11 adam 14 inches. Since I want the width to be larger than the stature, I ‘ll click inside the Width sphere and I ‘ll enter 14. But rather of just entering the count, I ‘ll besides enter “ ïn “ ( for “ inches ” ). then I ‘ll press the Tab key on my keyboard to jump to the Height field, and I ‘ll enter 11 in for the altitude :
Entering a specific width and height, in inches, for the Crop Tool in Photoshop
Entering a specific size for the width and stature, in inches .

The Resolution value

Notice that we now have a one-third box as well, and this is where we enter a Resolution rate. Since the industry standard resolution for high quality printing is 300 pixels per column inch, I ‘ll enter 300 into the box, and I ‘ll make certain that the measurement type is set to px/inch ( pixels per column inch ) :
Entering a print resolution of 300 pixels per inch for the Crop Tool in Photoshop
Entering a photographic print resolution of 300 pixels per column inch .
With my settings entered, I ‘ll resize the crop border :
Cropping the image to a print size of 11 x 14 inches in Photoshop
Cropping the image to a print size of 11 ten 14 inches .

How to commit the crop

then to snip the prototype, I ‘ll click the checkmark in the Options Bar. You can besides crop it by pressing Enter ( Win ) / Return ( Mac ) :
Cropping the image with the Crop Tool by clicking the checkmark in the Options Bar
Cropping the visualize by clicking the checkmark .
And Photoshop crops the image :
The image has been cropped in Photoshop
The image after accepting the cultivate .

Checking the image size

To check the size and settlement of your cropped image, go up to the Image menu and choose Image Size :

Opening the Image Size command to check to crop size in Photoshop
Going to Image > Image Size .
And in the Image Size dialogue box, we see that Photoshop has in fact cropped it to 14 x 11 inches at a settlement of 300 pixels per column inch. Click Cancel to close the dialogue box :
Confirming the cropped image size in the Image Size dialog box in Photoshop
Confirming the new cultivate size in the Image Size dialogue box .

How to undo the crop

To undo the crop, go up to the Edit menu and choose Undo Crop. Or press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Z ( Win ) / Command+Z ( Mac ) :
Undoing the crop in Photoshop
Going to Edit > Undo Crop .
This returns the visualize to its original size :
The trope is rear to its original size .

The crop overlay

Before we move on to learning how to straighten an image, let ‘s look at one more handy feature of the Crop Tool, and that ‘s the crop overlay .
I ‘ll click on my image with the Crop Tool to bring up the snip border. And notice the 3 x 3 grid that appears inside the surround. This grid is known as the Rule of Thirds :
The Rule of Thirds grid for the Crop Tool in Photoshop
The 3 adam 3 “ Rule of Thirds ” grid inside the craw border .

The Rule of Thirds

The estimate with the rule of Thirds is that you can create a more matter to composing by placing your capable at, or near, one of the spots where the grid lines intersect :
Composing the crop using the Rule of Thirds grid in Photoshop
Composing the crop using the rule of Thirds grid .

Choosing a different overlay

While the Rule of Thirds can be utilitarian, it ‘s not the only overlie that ‘s available to us. To view the others, click the Overlay picture in the Options bar :
Clicking the Overlay icon in the Crop Tool options in Photoshop
Clicking the Overlay icon .
here we can choose from several overlays, like Golden Ratio :
Choosing the Golden Ratio grid overlay for the Crop Tool in Photoshop
Choosing the Golden Ratio power system overlie .
The Golden Ratio is like to the Rule of Thirds, but the intersection points are closer to the center which much creates a more natural result :
Composing the crop using the Golden Ratio overlay for the Crop Tool in Photoshop
Composing the craw using the Golden Ratio overlie .
You can bicycle through the overlays from your keyboard by pressing the letter O. And you can flip the orientation of certain overlays, like Triangle and Golden Spiral, by pressing Shift+O .
ultimately, another way to commit the crop is to precisely double-click inside the crop molding :
The image cropped using the Golden Ratio in Photoshop
The image cropped using the Golden Ratio .
Related : How to crop images in a circle !

How to straighten an image with the Crop Tool

So that ‘s the basics of how to crop an picture with the Crop Tool in Photoshop. Next we ‘ll learn how the Crop Tool can besides be used to rotate and straighten an visualize .
here ‘s an image I shot myself, and poster that the horizon agate line is crooked :
A crooked image that needs to be straightened with the Crop Tool in Photoshop
The horizon line shows that the persona is slanted .

Selecting the Straighten Tool

To straighten an image, we can use Photoshop ‘s Straighten Tool. The Straighten Tool is lone available when the Crop Tool is active, and it ‘s very more of a feature than an actual joyride .
first, select the Crop Tool from the toolbar :
Selecting the Crop Tool .
And then in the Options Bar, select the Straighten Tool :
Selecting the Straighten Tool in Photoshop
Selecting the Straighten Tool .

How to use the Straighten Tool

Look for something in your image that should be straight, either vertically or horizontally. In my case, it ‘s the horizon cable. Click on one end, keep your sneak clitoris held down, and drag over to the other end .
Photoshop draws a path between the two points, and it uses this path to determine the angle that the double needs to be rotated :
Dragging a line across the horizon with the Straighten Tool in Photoshop
Dragging a line across the horizon with the Straighten Tool .
Release your mouse button, and Photoshop rotates the trope to straighten it. And because rotating the picture created some diaphanous areas in the document ‘s corners ( indicated by a checkerboard traffic pattern ), Photoshop besides resized the crop bound to keep those transparent corners out of the result :
Photoshop straightens the image and resizes the crop border
Photoshop straightens the visualize and resizes the snip bound .
You can then resize the molding if needed by dragging the handles. Hold Shift and drag a corner handle to lock the original view ratio, or drag inside the margin to reposition the double :
Manually resizing the crop border after straightening the image in Photoshop
manually resizing the snip border after straightening the trope .
To accept it and craw the visualize, click the checkmark in the Options Bar, press Enter ( Win ) / Return ( Mac ) on your keyboard, or double-click inside the crop frame :
How to crop and straighten images in Photoshop
The straighten and cultivate image .
And that ‘s how to straighten an persona with the Crop Tool. I cover more ways to straighten an picture in a separate tutorial .

How to crop images non-destructively

finally, let ‘s switch over to a third base image so we can look at a great feature of the Crop Tool that lets us crop our images non-destructively. I ‘ll use this trope from Adobe Stock :
The image that will be cropped non-destructively in Photoshop
The original image. Photo credit : Adobe Stock .
Again, I ‘ll select the Crop Tool from the toolbar :
Selecting the Crop Tool .
In the Options Bar, I ‘ll choose the 8 x 10 view ratio preset :
Choosing the 8 x 10 preset .
And then I ‘ll resize my crop bound by dragging the circus tent manage down. I ‘ll hold Alt ( Win ) / Option ( Mac ) as I drag to resize the margin from its center :
Resizing the crop border in Photoshop
Resizing the crop margin .
To snip the persona, I ‘ll press Enter ( Win ) / Return ( Mac ) on my keyboard :
An image cropped as an 8 x 10 in Photoshop
The initial 8 x 10 crop .

Deleting the cropped pixels

then far, so good. But now that I ‘ve cropped the effigy, what if I want to change the crop ? For model, let ‘s say I want to change its orientation from portrait to landscape .
I ‘ll go improving to the Options Bar and I ‘ll swap the aspect ratio by clicking the swap icon :
Swapping the aspect ratio width and height
Swapping the width and height of the aspect ratio .
And Photoshop again places the crop boundary line around the image :
The cropping border reappears.
The cropping border reappears .
I do n’t want the prototype to be cropped in thus close, so I ‘ll drag the handles outward to bring rear more of the background :
Resizing the crop border after the initial crop with the Crop Tool
Resizing the molding after the initial crop .
But when I release my mouse button, rather of revealing more of the picture, Photoshop fills the surrounding area with white :
The area around the original crop is filled with white
The area around the original crop is filled with ashen .
The reason is that when I made my original crop, Photoshop deleted the besiege pixels. therefore now that those areas are missing, Photoshop is filling them with my current Background color, which by default is white .
The current Foreground and Background colors are found in the toolbar. The Background color is the penetrate right swatch :
Photoshop's toolbar showing white as the current Background color
The toolbar showing the stream Background color .

The Delete Cropped Pixels option

And the reason why Photoshop deleted those pixels is because the Delete Cropped Pixels option in the Options Bar was turned on, which it is by default :
The Delete Cropped Pixels option for the Crop Tool in Photoshop's Options Bar
The Delete Cropped Pixels option .

Canceling the crop and reverting the image

Let ‘s look at a better way to work. I ‘ll cancel the crop by clicking the Cancel push button in the Options bar :
Clicking the Cancel button .
And then I ‘ll revert the prototype binding to its master size by going up to the File menu and choosing Revert :
Choosing the Revert command from the File menu in Photoshop
Going to File > Revert .
This restores all of those missing pixels :
The double has been restored .
I ‘ll swap the aspect ratio rear to Portrait mode :
Swapping the crop aspect ratio from Landscape to Portrait
Swapping the aspect ratio from Landscape to Portrait .
And then I ‘ll drag the handles to resize the bound, equitable like I did before :
Resizing the crop molding .

Turning “Delete Cropped Pixels” off

But this prison term, before I actually snip the effigy, I ‘ll turn the Delete Cropped Pixels option off by deselecting it :
Turning off the Delete Cropped Pixels option for the Crop Tool in Photoshop
Unchecking the Delete Cropped Pixels choice .
then I ‘ll accept the crop by pressing Enter ( Win ) / Return ( Mac ). And indeed far, everything looks the same as it did before :
Cropping the prototype again as an 8 x 10 portrayal .
But watch what happens if I try to resize the crop. I ‘ll swap the aspect proportion back to Landscape modality :
Swapping the aspect proportion from Portrait to Landscape orientation .
And immediately we see something very different. The stallion effigy reappears, as if it was never cropped at all. That ‘s because when Delete Cropped Pixels is turned off, Photoshop simply hides the crop area. No pixels are ever deleted :
All of the original pixels are still intact, even after cropping the image
All of the master pixels are still entire, evening after cropping the effigy .
I ‘ll press and hold Alt ( Win ) / Option ( Mac ) as I drag a corner handle outward to resize the margin to include more of the image :
Resizing the crop border
Resizing the crop border .
And then I ‘ll accept the crop by pressing Enter ( Win ) / Return ( Mac ) on my keyboard .
so by turning off Delete Cropped Pixels, I was able to crop the image, adjust the crop surround, and then crop the image again without losing a single pixel :
The photo has been cropped non-destructively in Photoshop
The photograph has been cropped non-destructively .

Repositioning the image inside the crop

Since Photoshop is barely hiding the cropped sphere, another benefit of cropping non-destructively is that we can actually move and reposition the persona even after we ‘ve cropped it .
Select the Move Tool from the toolbar :
Selecting the Move Tool in Photoshop
Selecting the Move Tool
then click and embroil on the image to move it about until you ‘re happy with the writing .
here I ‘ve moved my subject more towards the left :
Repositioning the image inside the crop
Repositioning the image inside the cultivate .

How to restore the entire image after cropping it

finally, if you cropped your image with Delete Cropped Pixels turned off, you can restore the integral persona at any time by going up to the Image menu and choosing Reveal All :
Choosing the Reveal All command from the Image menu in Photoshop
Going to Image > Reveal All.

And there we have it ! In this example, we took our first look at how to straighten images using the Crop Tool. In the future example, I show you an even better way to rotate and straighten images !
You can jump to any of the other lessons in this Cropping Images in Photoshop series. Or visit my Photoshop Basics section for more topics !

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