by Julieanne Kost

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July 14, 2014

Since Adobe’s transition to Creative Cloud, Photoshop has delivered five major updates containing dozens of new tools, feature enhancements, and productivity improvements. Looking back at the content that I’ve created during this time, I realize that I had done a very poor job of naming the tips, tricks, and tutorials that I’ve posted (for example, I have multiple videos called “What’s new in Photoshop” and “Hidden Gems”), that cover multiple (different) new features – it’s very confusing!

In light of this, I’ve selected my top 50 features since Adobe transitioned to CC and am going to be posting them over the next 10 weeks. So, if you want to get up to speed with the latest and greatest incarnation of Photoshop, check out these posts and you’ll have mastered all of the new features by the end of summer!

Today, we’ll start with the refinements made to the Crop tool. For me, the most significant enhancement is that you can now change crop dimensions/aspect ratio with out backing out of the crop. I also like that after using the Crop tool to crop an image – and applying (or committing to) that crop, Photoshop automatically hides the crop marquee even though the Crop tool is still selected. Of course even with the marquee hidden, if the  first crop was incorrect and you need to use the Crop tool again, simply drag with the Crop tool in the image area to redefine the crop. The new Overlay options (Rule of Thirds, Grid, Diagonal etc.) as well as Overlay View options are really useful as well. The video below will walk you through them.

And although not all of the following shortcuts are new, they certainly save me time when working with the Crop tool:

• To access the Crop tool, tap the “C” key
• Tap the ““X” key to swap the Width and Height values (or click the arrow between them in the Options bar).
• Tap the “I” key to  auto-populate the Width, Height, and Resolution values using the properties of the front image (which can then be used to crop another image, define a preset etc.).
• “O” cycles through the different View overlays.
• “H” hides the image area that is beyond (outside of) the Crop marquee.
• “P” enables “Classic Mode” where the Crop marquee behaves as in previous versions: you move the Crop marquee, not the image under the Crop marquee. Note: you must make an adjustment to the Crop marquee before tapping the “P” key, otherwise tapping the “P’ key will select the Pen tool.


  • By Wm. Bruce Matthews - 6:08 AM on July 14, 2014  

    New to photoshop so looking forward to learning all you can teach me.