by Julieanne Kost

 Comments (16)


April 20, 2011

Here are a few essential cropping shortcuts for Lightroom:

• Access the Crop tool by tapping the R key. Note: even in the Library Module, tapping R will take you to the Develop Module.

• To apply the crop, tap the Return (Mac) /Enter (Win) key.

• Escape removes the crop (or resets the crop to start of editing session of current image).

• Command + Option (Mac) / Control + Alt (Win) + R will reset the crop.




  • By Michael Harris - 6:17 AM on April 20, 2011  

    One of the problems I have with cropping is that Lightroom3 does not hold onto a crop size / ratio when I move to another image or folder. I.e. when I move to another image lightroom returns the crop tool to the default setting “Normal”

    I know I can sync a crop across a number of images and then go through them individually to align them corectly. Which is what I do

    But Is there some way of saving crop sizes as prsets? as I typed this I had a idea to create a custom crop size and save it as a preset, but other that this method is there a way to add crop sizes to tohe list in the crop tool dialog box in lightroom?

    OR is there a way of getting Lightroom to remember the last crop size I used?

    Thank you

    Michael Harris

    • By Julieanne Kost - 8:42 AM on April 21, 2011  

      You can save up to 5 custom crop aspect ratios, but they can not be saved as presets. You can crop one image, then select additional images (using the filmstrip in the Develop module) and use the Sync button to synchronize them.
      Or, once you’ve created the custom crop aspect ration in the Develop Module, it becomes accessible n the Library Module (in the Quick Develop Panel) where you can select as many images in the Grid view and then apply the crop to all selected at once.

  • By Trevor Morris - 6:27 AM on April 20, 2011  

    And here are a couple other handy cropping shortcuts:

    • Press the X key to change the crop orientation (vertical to horizontal, or vice versa).

    • Press the A key to turn Constrain Aspect Ratio on or off.

    • By Julieanne Kost - 8:55 AM on April 20, 2011  

      Well I guess tomorrow’s shortcuts aren’t going to have quite the impact now… : )

      • By Trevor Morris - 8:17 AM on April 21, 2011  

        Sorry, Julieanne! I didn’t mean to steal your thunder.

        • By Julieanne Kost - 8:36 AM on April 21, 2011  

          No worries, now I feel stingy that I only post a few a day… : )

          • By Trevor Morris - 6:41 AM on April 22, 2011  

            Your posts are perfect as is; I was just trying to add value. Keep ’em coming — exactly as they are/have been. Thank you!

  • By rick sheremeta - 9:52 AM on April 20, 2011  

    what about rulers? did i forget something or aren’t they available? sure would be helpful

    • By Julieanne Kost - 11:28 AM on April 20, 2011  

      You can display rulers in the Print module, but in the Develop Module you are only committing to a specific aspect ratio, not a specific size – you do that on Export or in any of the output modules (Print, Slideshow, or Web).

  • By Dan - 1:34 PM on April 20, 2011  

    Preset a 4/3 crop for perfect IPad viewing…

    4/3 Crop one photo and then sync the crop across all the photos quickly…

  • By Lisa Young - 6:57 PM on June 29, 2012  

    PLEASE HELP! Croppping problems…

    I just realized that when I export the images from Lightroom, some are only 1 or 2mb in size…after researching it a little, it is only happening on the images that I crop in tighter to…the more I crop in the smaller the image becomes when exported (4×6 300dpi mostly)….how can I fix this?

    • By Julieanne Kost - 2:50 PM on July 1, 2012  

      Lisa, It sounds like you have to make sure that you’re setting the Image Sizing options correctly in the Export option.

      If you crop your image, you are deleting all of the pixels outside of the crop so you have less information to export, but if you set the Image Sizing setting to the size that you want LR to create your exported file, then Lightroom willmake it that size (of course it might have to throw away pixels if the image is too large, or in your case, it might have to make up pixels if there isn’t enough information left in the file after you have cropped it.

  • By Rafael Borges - 3:20 AM on August 17, 2012  

    Is there a way to darken the outside crop area in Lr ?

    • By Julieanne Kost - 10:24 AM on August 28, 2012  

      Not that I know of.

  • By Kenneth D.Jenkins - 1:54 PM on August 17, 2013  

    Dear Ms. Kost:

    Please forgive me if this is the wrong venue to ask a question about cropping, but I am still a novice at LR4 (and already they are trying to get me to buy five!) When I entered a custom aspect ratio, I inadvertently left out a decimal point on one of them, and now I’m stuck with one aspect ratio that looks like a toothpick. Is there any way I can erase my mistake, so I have a new space to enter a new custom ratio? I really need those five spaces, and I have no idea how to get back the one I made the mistake on. I even went so far as to trash the whole app, which took a hour, and reloaded LR4, and guess what? All my custom presets carried over to the new version! Can you please help?


    • By Julieanne Kost - 11:46 AM on August 29, 2013  

      Ken, there isn’t an easy way to delete just one of the presets that you have made for the crop tool. I have done the same thing and then had to go back in and re-create the other ones in order to “drop” the mistake from the list of presets…
      Could you please post the issue to either of these forums so that the product management team can see it as well?