How to Crop in Photoshop
There are several ways you can crop an image in Photoshop, but the most straightforward method to get a precise crop is by using the Crop Tool. In this tutorial, I will walk you through how to crop your images to standard print sizes, as well as using the Photoshop Crop Tool to optimize your images for Facebook.
Cropping Standard Dimensions
You will find the Crop Tool is located in your left Photoshop tool bar (see below):
Once you have selected the Crop Tool, click on the drop down menu near the top of your workspace to select from a list of dimensions. Here, I have selected Original Ratio so that my image will retain the same dimensions (in this case, the original ratio is 4 inches tall by 6 inches wide - 4 X 6) while allowing me to crop in closer to the subjects:
Move the corners of the image until you are satisfied with the crop. You can also move the entire cropping box around the image by clicking once and holding down. Once you are satisfied with the crop, press Enter or Return. You may also right click and scroll down to Crop:
Here is the cropped version. As you can see, the image has retained it's width and height dimensions. It is just cropped in tighter on the subjects:
This is with the 1x1, or square, ratio selected:
This is with 4x5 (8x10) selected. If you would like to switch out the width and height, you can do so by clicking on the arrows highlighted below:
Here is a diagram of how each crop ratio affects the image:
Cropping Custom Dimensions
If you would like to enter custom dimensions, you can do so by selecting Width x Height x Resolution. This comes in handy when uploading to platforms such as Facebook, which uses standard dimensions for every image:
Since Facebook optimization is 2048 pixels on the longest edge, I have entered 2048 pixels as the width (make sure to enter pixels "px" after the numbers 2048 and not inches "in" or else you will end up with an image that is 2048 inches!), and 72 as my resolution:
How to Create a Crop Preset in Photoshop
If you find yourself using custom dimensions which are not provided in Photoshop's crop preset library, you can create your own. After cropping my image at 2048 pixels at 72 ppi, I created a crop preset by selecting Width x Height x Resolution and then clicking on "New Crop Preset"
You can name the crop preset for easy reference in the future:
If you decide you do not want to keep that particular crop preset, you can delete it. Just select Width x Height x Resolution again and then click "Delete Crop Preset".
Troubleshooting the Photoshop Crop Tool
If the appearance of your Crop Tool workspace is different from what you are seeing here and you would like to change it, here's how:
First, you can change the style of the bounding box. Mine is set to Rule of Thirds, but there are several options. Grid is also very useful, especially if you are trying to straighten your image as you crop:
If you are not seeing the area that you are going to crop out, make sure that you have selected the boxes below, and that the cropped area is set to show at a lowered opacity, in this case, 72%:
If you are more of a visual learner, please watch our Photoshop cropping tutorial video below:
How to Crop in Photoshop - Video Tutorial
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