On this video, Colin Smith from PhotoshopCAFE shows 7 useful tips for cropping in Photoshop (which changed quite a bit in some of the recent updates).
Adobe changed a lot of things in the crop tool in recent years. Some users (including us by the way) don’t really care for many of these recent changes and Adobe released a number of fixes (which until now at least did not restore the original crop tool functionality in our view).
Regardless of whether you like the new changes or not, here are a number of tips that will help you to use the crop tool to your advantage in the best way possible:
- Instagram crop – Instagram is looking for 5:4 for the best aspect ratio (vertical images look much better on Instagram, try and crop to this ratio even if the original image was horizontal). You can save it using save for web with a hight of 2200px.
- Changing units of measurements – this one is simple
- Cropping to an exact size – use the W over H option in the crop top tool an enter an image size in cm/in – but you have to remember to enter a dpi (otherwise it will only change the aspect ratio – use around 300 dpi for high res printing).
- Non-destructive cropping – if you turn off delete cropped pixels you get a new layer and you can use the move tool to move in the entire picture.
- Using crop overlays – by clicking on “o” and you can get a grid, diagonal, golden ratio and more. Each of these can be useful for specific images.
- Saving preset crop size – this one is super useful and we have been using it for years. Just go to the crop toolbar on the top and choose a new preset – enter the ratio/size and name it and save (you can have one for YouTube/Instagram/facebook etc.).
- Reduce size when cropping a composite image – if you are working with a large composite image, cropping the image with the delete pixels turned on and setting the crop to the edges of the image might reduce the size of your files considerably.
We have already covered cropping several times in the past here on LensVid including “tips for cropping & straightening photos in Photoshop” with Photoshop senior product manager Bryan O’Neil Hughes and a 5 min crash course on cropping in Lightroom with Andrew Childress and Cropping in Photoshop CC and CS6 with photographer Gavin Hoey.