Crop Tool Modes

The Crop tool in Photoshop is a combined crop, perspective correction, image size, and canvas size tool. There are slight variations in the way the tool works in Photoshop and in ImageReady.

y in this chapter

O Crop tool insights

O Straightening images

O Rotating layers and canvas

O Aligning and centering objects

O Extracting image content

O Sharpening images

Although some options are patently obvious when you select the Crop tool, others are revealed only when you actually define a crop. For example, when you draw a crop marquee, you can shade the area that will be discarded or hidden. The shaded area is called the crop shield; you can toggle it off and on by pressing the forward slash key while a crop is active. You can also define its color and opacity from the options bar after a marquee has been drawn. The next sections take a closer look at the four modes available with the Crop tool.

Crop Mode

In this mode, the excess image area is discarded without affecting the image area within the crop marquee. To crop an image, leave all the text fields in the options bar empty, draw a crop marquee, and commit the crop by pressing Enter (Windows), Return (Mac OS), or by clicking the Commit Current Crop Operation button on the options bar (it looks like a tick mark).

After you commit a crop, all data outside the crop marquee is deleted. However, you can hide the cropped data rather than discard it, if you think you might need it. You can reveal it again at any time by choosing Image ^ Reveal All or by using the Move tool. The option is not available if you are cropping an image that resides only on a Background layer.

Perspective Mode

In this mode, keystoning can be corrected and the image cropped and rotated at the same time. Keystoning occurs when a photo is taken with a camera lens looking upward rather than straight on. To correct keystoning, take the following steps:

1. Select the Crop tool and draw a crop marquee around your document.

2. Select Perspective on the options bar (the option is available only after a crop marquee has been drawn).

3. Next, hold down the Shift key and drag the vertical marquee crop lines from the middle or the corner handles until they align with visible converging lines (Figure 11-1). Holding down the Shift key is not essential, but it does prevent accidental vertical distortion, unless, of course, it's something you desire.

4. Keeping their angle, drag the marquee crop lines outward until the bottom corner boxes reach the edge of the image (if you go over the edge, Photoshop will add background pixels or transparency, depending on the layer fill); you will probably need to experiment a little until you get the hang of it.

5. Double-click in the crop marquee to commit the crop, or press Enter (Windows), Return (Mac OS).

After the crop has been committed, you may find that the image looks a little squat. To correct it, increase the Canvas size if you think it needs it and then use the Free Transform command to stretch it vertically; press Ctrl+T (Windows), (Mac OS) to activate the Free Transform command. The command is not available if your image is on a Background layer. To use the command on a Background layer, double-click the layer to change it to a layer normal with transparency. Flatten the document after the image has been transformed.

Figure 11-1: A—The crop marquee has been adjusted to identify the angle of the keystoning effect. B—Committing the crop resulted in a squat image. C—The Free Transform command was used to stretch the image vertically to counteract the squat effect.

Figure 11-1: A—The crop marquee has been adjusted to identify the angle of the keystoning effect. B—Committing the crop resulted in a squat image. C—The Free Transform command was used to stretch the image vertically to counteract the squat effect.

Image Size Mode

When values are added in the Width, Height, and Resolution text fields, the Crop tool combines some of the features of the Image Size dialog box. To change the size of an image, enter the target values in the Width, Height, and Resolution text fields on the options bar, draw the crop marquee, and commit the crop.

Canvas Size Mode

When a crop is larger than the document dimensions, the Crop tool can do the work of the Canvas Size dialog box (Image ^ Canvas Size). To add an even number of pixels to all four sides of a document (see Figure 11-2), take the following steps:

1. Check that the options View^ Snap and View^ Snap To ^ Document Bounds are selected.

2. Resize your window so that the displayed image has a good border all around it

(if your image is on a Background layer, change the Background color in the Toolbox to the desired color for the extra canvas size about to be added).

3. Select the Crop tool and ensure that the text fields are clear on the options bar (if need be, click the Clear button).

4. Draw a crop marquee and let it snap to the document bounds.

5. Hold down Alt+Shift (Windows), Opt+Shift (Mac OS) and drag outward by one of the corner handles.

6. Double-click in the crop marquee to commit the crop, or press Enter (Windows), Return (Mac OS).

Figure 11-2: The Crop tool used to increase canvas size evenly around all four sides of the image.

Holding down the modifier keys adds an even number of pixels around all four sides. If you want to add pixels unevenly, just drag one side of the marquee and commit.

Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Adobe Photoshop can be a complex tool only because you can do so much with it, however for in this video series, we're going to keep it as simple as possible. In fact, in this video you'll see an overview of the few tools and Adobe Photoshop features we will use. When you see this video, you'll see how you can do so much with so few features, but you'll learn how to use them in depth in the future videos.

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