The Crop Tool Shortcuts in Photoshop CS6

Adobe Photoshop

Update! Click here (Essential Tips for Cropping in Photoshop CC) to see essential tips related to cropping in Photoshop CC in a single post.

In case you didn’t have time to watch yesterday’s video, here is a list of shortcuts when using the Crop tool in Photoshop CS6:

• “C” selects the Crop tool.

• “O” cycles through the different View overlays .

• “R” displays the Crop Image Size & Resolution dialog. Note: you must make an adjustment to the Crop marquee before tapping the “R” key, otherwise tapping the “R’ key will select the Rotate View tool.

• “H” hides the image area that is beyond (outside of) the Crop marquee.

• “X” exchanges the Crop marquee from horizontal to vertical and vice versa.

• “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.

• “Escape” cancels the crop (you are no longer in the modal crop session).

Adobe Photoshop

Posted on 06-26-2012


  • By Sanjaya - Dinkum Web Design - 7:56 AM on June 26, 2012  

    I never knew about the “H” shortcut – this will really be useful for me as the visible portion beyond the crop marquee always used annoy me and i could never get the ideal crop. By the way, is there a way to ensure that the cropped image does not change resolution?

    • By Julieanne Kost - 1:41 PM on June 26, 2012  

      If you enter values in the Options bar (with the Crop tool selected), then you are only defining an aspect ratio so when you crop, the resolution of the file will not change.

  • By Lisa - 10:09 AM on June 26, 2012  

    The “H” shortcut is going to come in handy!

  • By Steve - 6:21 AM on July 5, 2012  

    Is there a way to always have the resolution show at the top next to the crop dimensions?

    • By Julieanne Kost - 2:47 PM on July 6, 2012  

      No, there is not.

      • By Bif Biffenshop - 12:30 PM on September 4, 2012  

        And is there a way for you to give us a true classic mode for the CS6 crop tool?
        Are you working on this, or am I suck with the new inferior tool?

  • By Bif Biffenshop - 12:12 PM on September 4, 2012  

    The “classic mode” for the new CS6 crop tool in NOT a real classic mode. The new tool is more complex and takes more steps to use, which takes more time. The new crop tool loses the beautiful simplicity and speed of the old crop tool.

    Is “classic mode” from now on not going to be an actual classic mode and just a hybrid classic mode that you deem acceptable?

    The new crop tool is unacceptable.

    A REAL classic mode would have solved this, but you chose not to provide one. I’m back to using CS4 now.

    The plugin that is offered did not fix the “classic mode”

  • By Bif Biffenshop - 12:18 PM on September 4, 2012  

    And if you think I’m the only one that thinks it is a nightmare, lust look at the forums below.
    All I ask for is a REAL CLASSIC MODE with all the same behaviors of the previous versions crop too. The new tool is a nightmare to use. Looks good in a design lab maybe, but in real world use, where you are cropping hundreds of images, it slows down workflow BIGTIME.

    • By Steve R. - 12:25 PM on April 3, 2013  

      Could not agree more. This new crop tool is a mess. I used to be able to set the size AND resolution I wanted next to the dimensions. Now I have to go into IMAGE SIZE, where I find that the resolution size that I just sent is gone, has to be re-entered. Additionally, it seems to add a layer now, which later has to be flattened, which it didn’t before. I just edited a batch of 200 images and this probably added an hour or more to my time. Just awful.

      Hint Adobe… IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT.

  • By adam hansen - 10:02 AM on September 24, 2012  

    I would also love for the resolution option in the menu to be available. At work I crop to a certain size and I dont want interpolation I want the resolution to change with the new crop size. I used to just leave the resolution box blank and it would do this. Now I have to bring up the menu to change the resolution.

  • By Kym Puga - 4:17 PM on October 10, 2012  

    I AGREE! This new crop in CS6 in HORRIBLE. Quit making these programs for sleekness and make them for us professional photographers who process hundreds of DIFFERENT images and have to crop EACH one by hand. This new CRAP just makes MORE TIME CONSUMING WORK!!!!!!!!! I am so disgusted, especially after the cost.

  • By James Callaghan - 3:54 AM on October 14, 2012  

    How can an upgrade of a program make such changes that means the software is less productive. We have now reverted to using our old version of CS3 as cropping things is much quicker and increases our work flow. The option to revert to original style is pointless and does not revert back to the original format.

    Please resolve as I guess it must have left a bad taste in the mouths of people who have invested in your new software only to find a fundamental tool has been change to make you less productive.

    Also there was no mention that this tool had changed so dramatically in the spec of the software. It feels like someone was just making it look like they are worth the money you paying them for programming by making a new nerd toy of an already good/easy to use tool.

    • By Pete Green - 5:05 PM on October 15, 2012  

      Hi James,

      Thanks for your feedback. Please visit this page and read the most recent posts by Jeffrey Tranberry regarding the crop tool.

  • By Alana - 3:00 AM on October 23, 2012  

    I have just got the new cs6 and am also bitterly disappointed with the crop functionality ,

    I’m a professional photographer and make alot of storyboards with many many multiple images of varying sizes .

    The classic mode needs to come back . It angers and frustrates me every time I open documents !!

  • By Carol Wendt - 7:27 AM on April 17, 2013  

    I was looking forward to moving from cs4 to 6 and am greatly disapointed. The restrictions with the new crop tool make my life a nightmare. Worked with Photoshop since Photoshop 2 and this upgrade dissapoints. I want my old crop tool back.

  • By ian christy - 4:47 PM on July 2, 2013  

    I have used photoshop professionally as a lead & senior artist in the video games industry since version 3 and this change to the crop tool is wholly and resoundingly the worst, ill informed, and needless change I’ve ever seen incorporated into a toolset. Did you user test this with a knitting circle of first time photographers trying to single their grandchildren out of crowds or something? Why the hell would I want you to constrain my abiilty to select and chop up an image however I choose at your descretion or predefined proportions? Reverting back to CS5 and I hope someone buys you out.

  • By Bob Tema - 9:43 AM on July 16, 2013  

    Is there a keyboard shortcut to commit a crop? In the Photoshop CS5.5 you could set up your crop and just hit Enter to commit the crop. Now I have to go up and and click the check mark.

    • By Pete Green - 11:51 AM on July 16, 2013  

      Pressing Enter still works for me. If you have a num-pad, try that enter key as well.

  • By Bennett - 5:41 PM on August 21, 2013  

    I somehow end up with the crop tool getting stuck on locking the aspect ratio, and I can’t figure out how to get it unlocked! I bet I’ll find it right after posting this message, so I’ll be sure to get back to this board. . .

  • By Bennett - 5:45 PM on August 21, 2013  

    alright, it’s in the context (right click) menu. There’s also some kind of phantom keyboard shortcut that keeps turning it on whenever I fat-finger while cropping :\

  • By ahsan ahmad - 2:27 AM on August 22, 2013  

    can anyone tell me shortcut to trim the image in photoshop cs6 for windows

    • By Julieanne Kost - 11:13 AM on August 29, 2013  

      Image > Trim. You can apply your won custom shortcut to if you want using the keyboard shortcut editor.