Using the Crop Tool


The Crop Tool has several uses:

  • to remove unwanted parts of an image; 
  • to rotate an image;
  • to expand the canvas area
  • to correct perspective as it is cropping. 

A Simple Crop

With a new image, one of the first things we are all likely to do is remove an unwanted rebate, and we did that with the alarm clock image.

The image used in this Photo shop tutorial is number 09.jpg in the Samples-Starting folder. It can be downloaded by clicking here or you can use one of your own images.

To summarize the procedure:

crop icon
  • Select the Crop Tool.
    Since CS6, the crop box is automatically placed around the image but not with older versions.
  • With CS6, The central anchor points can be pushed in, otherwise . . . .

  • Position the cursor in a top corner and drag it diagonally across the image.
  • Drag one of the small square handles on one of the sides into the picture to trim out the unwanted edge.
  • All four sides can be treated individually.
  • To adjust a vertical and horizontal side at the same time, move a corner handle into the picture.
  • Moving a corner handle into the picture while holding Shift will keep the cropping in proportion.
  • To adjust two opposite sides in equally, hold Alt and move one of the side handles into the picture.
  • Press Enter / Return to apply the new framing.


crop tool

To enable us to rotate the image with this tool we first need to expand the area around the image.

  • Drag the bottom right corner of the image frame down and to the right to increase the grey area around the image.

More Uses of the Crop Tool

A number of other tasks can be achieved with this tool.

expanding canvas size
  • The whole canvas size can be made larger with the same tool.
    At the same time, the new background can be given a colour are made clear.
  • There is a simple and quick way to straighten a horizon or building.
  • A whole set of images can be cropped so that they all end up the same size and resolution.
  • Since CS6, when an image is cropped, the 'removed' area is still available so that the image can be repositioned.
  • The bounding box can be used to correct perspective while the cropping is completed.
  • The crop box can have a grid overlay which displays the 'rule of thirds' of different aspects of the 'golden ratio'.

Shortcuts and special tricks abound in Photoshop. Many aren't even in the standard manual or seem hidden among masses of dry text.

Photoshop In A Day is full of such extras. 

Home > How to Use Photoshop > Crop Tool 

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