Day 12: Crop Tool in Photoshop | TrickyPhotoshop test Skip to content

Day 12: Crop Tool in Photoshop

17 min read

When it comes to making your viewers focus on a definite part of a photo then apart from making other parts blur or darken it, the most common method is to crop the image. Definitely cropping is one of the most used methods to define your center of attraction in your photo. A bad crop or no crop can ruin your photo while a good crop gives more perfection to your photo. Thank god, we have a tool called as Crop Tool in Photoshop to crop images.

Crop Tool in Photoshop

To select crop tool all you need is to press Shift+C again and again until it comes. You can also select it from the tool panel (left one).


After selecting crop tool you can able to see 8 handles at the edges of the image. 4 at the corners and other 4 at the sides. These handles are new in Photoshop CC and saves us lot of time to crop images. Just drag the handle and press enter/return and your cropping will be done.


To crop a photo just drag the handle as per your requirement and your photo will be cropped. If you think that you have made a mistake then press Ctrl+Z/Cmd+Z to undo the last action. The black portion that you are seeing is called shield. It denotes the area that are going to be cropped.

You can do much more with crop tool in Photoshop CC. First let me introduce you the option bar of “crop tool”



Constrained cropping lets you to crop your photo only in a definite aspect ratio. Means the ratio of your image height and your image width will always be constant. Let me show you an example.


Suppose I put a constrained of 1 x 1 (square) means that the ratio between my image height and my image width will always be equal to one. This means that my width will always be equal to my height. Then Photoshop will adjust the crop handle in such a way that my image height will always be equal to my image height.


In the above example you can see that the width is equal to the height. I showed you an example of 1 x 1 constrained crop. Just like this we have many other cropping presets available in Photoshop like 4 x 5, 8.5 x 11 etc. If you cannot see the preset you want then you can click on “size and resolution” for custom constrained cropping. Just fill the width, height, and resolution you want and then click on OK. You can also save that as your preset after checking “save as crop preset”.

The main use of constrained crop comes while printing an image. Suppose you want to print one of your photo for 5 x 7 frame. Then you can use 5 x 7 constrained crop to crop your photo such that the aspect ratio of the cropped photo will be of 5 x 7.

Just opposite of constrained crop is unconstrained crop. By choosing this option, you have full flexibility over your crop tool. Unlike constrained crop, you can crop your photo with any dimension you want.


This is used to straighten your photo. If you have an image and you want to tilt the image then you can use this tool. You just need to drag the mouse as per your requirement and Photoshop will tilt your image.


This helps us to crop our image. Generally I use “rules of third” which displays 2 horizontal lines with 2 vertical lines while cropping.


Use Classic Mode: If you have used Photoshop CS5 or older version in past and you think that cropping in Photoshop CS6 is somewhat difficult then you can revert back to old cropping method by turning this option on.

Auto Center Preview: By turning this option on, Photoshop will automatically put the unshielded are at the center of the window.

Show Cropped Area: By turning this feature off, Photoshop will not show the area that is going to be cropped.

Enable Crop Shield: By turning this feature on, Photoshop will darken the area (shield) that is going to be cropped.

Color: It determines the color of the shield.

Opacity: It determines the opacity of the shield.


In Photoshop CS5 and older versions when you crop a photo, the area you have cropped out will be gone permanently. But in Photoshop CS6 and newer versions, you can restore the area that you have cropped out in past. I totally recommend to turn off “delete cropped pixels” while cropping an image because no one knows what will happen in future and in case you need your cropped pixels then you can have that easily. All you need to do is to expand the crop handle.

And we are done here.

Thank you for reading this article. Hopefully, we’ll meet again.

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