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Photoshop Tutorials The beauty of photo-editing software like Photoshop is you don’t have to take the perfect photo every time. In fact, there are numerous functions you can take advantage of to edit your photo after the fact to make it perfect. One of the easiest but most effective ways you can improve an image is by cropping it. Maybe there’s something in the background you don’t want viewers to see, or you need to zoom in on the main focus of the image. Either way, in this next Photoshop tutorials blog, we’ll cover why you might want to crop an image and how to do so in Photoshop, as well as important things to consider before cropping.

Before we get started with this Photoshop tutorial to learn how to crop an image in Photoshop, let’s consider why you might want to crop an image in the first place. You might need to crop an image for the following reasons:

  • To improve the overall composition of the photo by removing unwanted elements in part of the original image.
  • To zoom in on the main elements by bringing in the focus.
  • To change the orientation of the photo from a horizontal photo to a vertical one, or vice versa.

In this Photoshop tutorials blog, we’ll be covering how to crop an image in Photoshop. While this is an easy function to perform, it’s important to understand a couple of things before you get started. Before you crop an image in Photoshop, keep these two important factors in mind:

  • Work on a Copy of Your Photo: Whether you’re cropping an image, or changing the size of the image, or any other function in Photoshop, you want to make sure you’re working on a copy of the photo – NOT the original. That way if you end up cropping the photo in a way you don’t prefer or making a mistake, all is not lost. You can always go back to the original and start over, as long as you’ve saved your project as a copy.
  • Use High-Res Photos: When you’re cropping an image, you will inevitably remove pixels from the photo. Depending on the end use of your newly cropped image, you may find that it doesn’t have enough pixels now to be blown up as big as you’d like. To remedy this, try to always work on high-resolution photos that have plenty of extra pixels to go around. If this isn’t an option, don’t crop the photo too tight so that you can still make the image as big as needed.

Photoshop Tutorials:  Crop an Image in Photoshop

To crop an image in Photoshop, follow these easy steps in this edition of our Photoshop tutorials series:

  1. Start by opening your Photoshop program on your computer and pulling the photo you want to resize into the program by choosing “File > Open” in the menu bar at the top left of your screen. Choose the photo you wish to work on from the files on your computer. Make sure this is either a copy of the photo you want to work on or that the original photo is still saved somewhere else, like your SD card.
  2. On your Tool Panel, choose the Crop tool. It looks like a square with a diagonal line running through it. You can also press the “C” button on your keyboard.
  3. Once you hit the button, you’ll notice four little-pointed handles on the corners of your image, as well as small bars on the sides of the image.
  4. Drag any one of those handles inward toward the center of your image. The dotted outline you now see represents the new cropped image you’ll have after you choose to crop. Photoshop will automatically give you a 2:3 cropped ratio in this setting.
  5. If you like the way you’re able to crop the image with this ratio, click the enter button on your keyboard and your image will be cropped!
  6. If you’d prefer to change the aspect ratio before finishing your crop, you can change the ratio in the top toolbar when you have the crop tool open. You can pull down the ratio menu with the down arrow on the right-hand side and choose another preset aspect ratio. Or you can set your own in the open boxes to the right of the ratio pull-down menu.
  7. If you want to rotate the image inside of the cropped area, click your mouse outside of the selected area and drag. You will notice that the image begins to move in the way you pull.
  8. To move the cropped area, click and drag within the cropped area. You can drag the cropped box anywhere within the image.

Once you’re satisfied with the crop, you can click the “Enter” button on your keyboard, and voila Your image is now cropped! You can further crop the image or continue to enhance the composition by using other Photoshop functions. Stay tuned to the Digital Workshop Center blog for more Photoshop tutorials.

Ready to learn more about Photoshop? Take the Adobe Photoshop for Beginners class at Digital Workshop Center. In this four-part beginner’s course series, students with little or no background in design software or manipulation of images will learn the basics of this powerful photo-editing program. Click here to learn more about the course and be sure to check out the full list of Photoshop tutorials.

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