When compositing several images in a single document I often find that a portion of a layer (or portions of multiple layers) will end up being positioned outside of the visible image area. Photoshop, of course, is still keeping track of this information (in case I choose to reposition the layer), but when I’m certain that I will no longer need it, I can choose Select > All and then Image > Crop. This eliminates unnecessary information outside or beyond the visible image area and will typically help to keep my file size more manageable.
Note: when working with Smart Objects, Photoshop will still keep the additional information, regardless of whether or not you crop the document.
One can always select Image > Canvas Size to numerically add or subtract to the width or height of one’s image, but if you would rather eyeball it, try using the Crop tool. Drag out a crop marquee and release the mouse. Then, grab one of the anchor points and drag it beyond the visible image area. When the crop is applied,the area outside of the image and within the crop marquee will be added to the image canvas.
Note: to add transparency around the image (instead of filling the added space with the background color), convert the Background into a layer by clicking the Lock icon (on the Layers panel) before cropping.
• If you crop one image in Lightroom’s Develop module (let’s say to a 4 x 5 aspect ratio) and then move to the next image (which has a different aspect ratio), tapping Shift + A applies the same (or previously applied) aspect ratio.
• Option + Command + R (Mac) | Alt + Control + R (Win) will reset the crop.
• Option + Command + Shift + R(Mac) | Alt + Control + Shift (Win) + R will reset the crop as shot.
• A toggles on/off (locks/unlocks) constrain aspect ratio.
• And Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) will crop from the center (instead of the upper left position).
If an open document has an active selection when the Crop tool is selected, Photoshop automatically matches the Crop marquee to the bounding rectangle of the selection.
The initial selection made with the Rectangular Marquee tool.
When the Crop tool is selected, it automatically matches the bounding rectangle of the selection.
If you do not want to crop to the selection, tapping the escape key will reset the crop to the image bounds (or as close to the image bounds as possible if there is an Aspect Ratio set for the Crop tool in the options bar).
By default the Crop Tool in Photoshop is set to “Snap To” the edges of the document. To turn off this snapping behavior, choose View > Snap To and toggle off (uncheck) Document Bounds. To temporarily disable this “Snap to” behavior, press and hold the Control key while dragging the Crop marquee near the edges of the document.
The Crop tool’s behavior has been modified so that it is now solely responsible for defining the aspect ratio of the image and the Workflow options are responsible for determining the actual image size. For example, in order to create an image that is 8 x 10 inches at 300 ppi, click and hold the Crop tool to select 4 to 5 from the list of aspect ratios and crop the image as desired. Then, using the Workflow Options (accessed via the blue hyperlink at the bottom of the Camera Raw window), check the Resize to Fit option. Select Short Size from the drop down menu and enter 8 inches and a resolution 300 ppi. See how it works in the video below:
Shortcut – tapping the “X” key when using the Crop Tool toggles the aspect ratio from landscape to portrait and vice-versa.
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.
To use the Crop tool to add canvas to your image, drag out a crop and release the mouse. Then, drag the crop handles outside of the image area and apply the crop. The area outside of the image will be added to the canvas. Note: to add transparency around the image (instead of filling the added space with the background color) convert the Background into a layer by selecting Layer > New > Layer From Background (or by clicking on the lock icon to the right of the word Background in the Layers panel).
In this episode of The Complete Picture (Adobe Camera Raw 8.2 in Photoshop CC (v14.1)), Julieanne takes a close look at the feature enhancements and refinements made to the Crop tool, workflow settings, and batch saving capabilities in Adobe Camera Raw. In addition she also covers improvements made to the Spot Removal Tool, Noise Reduction, Local Adjustment Brush, and Histogram.
While using the Crop Tool in Lightroom, Control -click (Mac) | Right Mouse -click (Win) in the image preview area to access a number of crop-related features including: Reset Crop, Crop as Shot, Constrain Aspect Ratio and Crop to Same Aspect Ratio. Or, you can use the following shortcuts:
• Command + Option +R (Mac) | Control + Alt + R (Win) to reset a crop.
• Option + (Mac) | Alt + (Win) select an aspect ratio from the Crop tool’s drop down to apply the new aspect ratio and reset the crop to the image bounds.
• When cropping an image, double-click in the image preview area to apply the crop and dismiss the Crop tool.
In Photoshop CC, 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. This means that you no longer need to immediately select another tool to hide the crop marquee. 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.
In this video tutorial (Create Stunning Images), Julieanne demonstrates how to create the highest quality photographs by removing lens distortion, cropping, correcting perspective, and making color and tonal corrections in Lightroom’s Develop module.