Photoshop Tips : How To Crop and Crop To a Specific Size

photoshop tips tricks cropping

In preparing for this new mini-series on Photoshop Tips & Tricks I decided to scour the web for what people are searching for most to do with learning Photoshop.

Along my digital travels I found that people find it difficult to Crop within Adobe Photoshop and so I thought that Cropping would be the best place to start. Each and every one of these upcoming tutorials will be broken down into a blog post and an accompanying video (a short while after the blog post) so that if you want to read the tip then you can follow along on here or if you would prefer to watch it being demonstrated then you can do so on the Daniel James Photography YouTube Channel within the Tips and Tricks Playlist.

So without further ado here’s a quick overview of How to use the Crop Tool in Photoshop.

crop tool photoshop

To start with you’ll need to locate the Crop Tool, this can be found over on the Left Photoshop menu, 5 tools down and is highlighted in the image above. Hovering on this will confirm in a tool tip that it is the Crop Tool, clicking on it will confirm you have selected it and clicking and holding it will reveal a flyout menu which I would advise leaving for now as the tools within it are a little too complicated for a beginners series.

Click on the image to the left for a bigger version.

how to crop in photoshop

Once selected your mouse will change to a crosshair along with the Crop Tool icon within Photoshop, now you can simply start clicking and dragging out on your image to see the area you are selecting highlighted. Release this selection to see which part of the image is potentially going to be Cropped and then use the corner squares of the selection to fine tune your crop before clicking the tick at the top or pressing the return (enter) key to confirm the crop and see your newly cropped version of the image.

Please note you are able to move the crop selection around by clicking and dragging within the crop area (before confirming the crop) and can optionally turn on some artistic cropping helper tools such as the Golden Spiral and the Rule of Thirds.

crop tool rule of thirds photoshop

The Rule of Thirds dictates that within an image, the main part of the subject should intersect 2 of the lines of it when it is split into 9 equal parts as shown in the image to the left and this can be used as an aid when cropping your image within Photoshop. Please note while it’s called a ‘Rule’ all rules are there to be broken and photography and art in general is completely subjective and so it is ultimately up to you and how you want your picture to look.

crop to set size photoshop

This type of cropping in general is sort of ‘free cropping’ where there is no specific size you’re looking for however you can crop in Photoshop with finite control over the size you are looking for which is particularly useful when you’re ordering photographs for prints and you need them to be cropped to a specific size.

To crop to a specific size you will once again need to select the crop tool but this time instead of dragging out a selection, go to the top bar and select ‘W x H x Resolution’ from the drop down. Then you’ll have options to set dimensions which can be added in whatever unit of measurement you choose, Pixels, Centimetres, Millimeters, Inches etc along with the Resolution (for example 6 inch x 4 inch at 300 px/in (pixels per inch) ) once you’ve input them click the Tick to the right or press the return (enter) key and start drawing your crop, this will keep the crop to the settings you have input.

Alternatively you can set the crop based upon Ratio (select from the same menu as the W x H x Resolution), Original Ratio (to ensure the current ratio is maintained), Square and more.

You can also set Custom Crop settings to use in future projects within Photoshop, for example we have one set up in order to accurately crop for our Photo Keyrings, Photo Coasters and our other Photo Gifts to enable quicker crops. To do this, set your custom dimensions in the ‘W x H x Resolution’ and then within the drop down next to it click and at the bottom select ‘New Crop preset’, give it an appropriate name and click to save for future use. It’ll appear within the drop down now whenever you go to use the crop tool next and for all future Photoshop projects (select ‘Delete Crop Preset’ to remove it).

Hopefully this has made the Crop tool in Photoshop a little easier to use, any questions or feedback please comment below, see you next time.

Previous Post
What Should I Do Before My Baby Photo Shoot?
Next Post
Wedding Photography Portfolio 2015

Related Posts

No results found.