Mas­ter the Crop Tool

Practical Photography (UK) - - Contents -

Fine-tune your com­po­si­tions with one of Pho­to­shop’s most ver­sa­tile tools.


This menu al­lows you to con­strain the Crop Tool to a par­tic­u­lar shape. Choose Orig­i­nal Ra­tio (called Use Photo Ra­tio in El­e­ments) to set the di­men­sions to that of the orig­i­nal. If you want a more free­hand route, set it to No re­stric­tion, Un­con­strained or Clear and you’ll be able to draw out the crop box in any ra­tio that you want.


When set to Orig­i­nal Ra­tio (or sim­i­lar) the orig­i­nal photo’s res­o­lu­tion will be picked up by the tool, but you can also set the post-crop res­o­lu­tion man­u­ally, in­creas­ing or de­creas­ing its file size.


There’s a host of over­lay op­tions to help you re­com­pose when crop­ping. The Rule of Thirds grid is prob­a­bly the most use­ful, di­vid­ing the frame into nine equal boxes.


With this box ticked you’ll lose any over­hang­ing pixels when you ap­ply the crop and also re­duce the file size. But you can untick this op­tion if you wish to keep the full orig­i­nal and re­crop at a later date. This will re­quire the image to be saved as a PSD file and take up more hard drive space.

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