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How to Crop Images in Photoshop CS6

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How to Crop Images in Photoshop CS6: Video

This video lesson shows you how crop images in Photoshop CS6. Click here for the complete tutorial

Cropping Images in Photoshop CS6: Overview

Cropping allows you to trim away parts of an image that are unnecessary, which can enhance the composition of your image. You can crop an image using the “Crop Tool” in the Toolbox, which has the most options for cropping available to you. To crop an image, click the “Crop Tool” to enable that feature. When you do, you will see a dotted line around the perimeter of the image, along with “handles” at the corners and sides of the image. Hover your mouse over any of these handles until your cursor turns into a double-sided arrow. Click and hold on one of the handles and you can drag it to create the crop. The area that appears inside the dotted line is what you will keep.

You can also select an “Overlay” (or shield) from the “View:” drop-down in the Options Bar. You can choose from “Rule of Thirds,” “Grid” “Golden Ratio” and others. If you select one of these overlays, it will appear as you crop your image. Each of the overlays relates to commonly accepted compositional techniques in photography. To the right of that drop-down, you will see the “Crop Options” button (which looks like a cog wheel). Click this button, and you can adjust how the crop shield is displayed, among other options.

If you want to constrain your crop, a drop-down menu in the Options bar gives you a choice of aspect ratios including square, 4:3 and 16:9 – and you can create your own by choosing “Unconstrained” from the drop-down and entering your own values in the text boxes to the right.

Once you have made a crop, you will see three buttons appear at the far-right of the Options bar. You can click the “Reset” button to reset the image back to before the crop, “Cancel” to cancel the current crop operation altogether, or the “Commit” (checkmark) button to complete the desired crop. If you turn off “Delete Cropped Pixels” in the Options bar, Photoshop keeps the trimmed areas as part of the document in case you want to bring them back in later. This is called “non-destructive” editing.

Also in the Options bar, you will see the “Straighten” tool. The “Straighten Tool” can come in handy for times when you want to correct a “crooked” picture.  You can specify a new straight edge and then rotate the image according to your line. To use this tool, select the “Straighten Tool” from the Options bar and draw your new line in your image that represents the new straight edge by clicking and dragging to form the line.  Your image will be straightened along that line when you release your mouse button.