How to Crop in Lightroom

Once you've finished editing a huge photo project, it can take a lot of energy to re-open Photoshop just for a simple crop or color tweak. Fortunately, the developers at Adobe packed some editing features into their photo organizer, Lightroom. In this walkthrough, we've shared how to crop in Lightroom, so you can clean up your photo collection quickly and get the same results that you would in Photoshop. 

1. First, launch Lightroom and click on the "Library" button at the top of the screen, which takes you to the Library Module. This is where your photos are collected and organized for further processing. Then, click the "Import" button on the bottom left side of the module to load new photos into Lightroom. 

2. A large Import window will appear, with tabs on the left side that help you to locate your image files. Find the image folder on your hard drive, and then click on the thumbnails in the main section to select them for importing. Once you've selected all the desired photos, click the "Import" button at the bottom of the window. 

3. With your photo selected, click the word "Develop" to show the Develop Module. This is where all of Lightroom's editing tools and effects are located. If you press the R key on your keyboard (or click on the dashed rectangle icon), you'll open the Crop & Straighten section of the module. 

4. Now, you should see a simple 3x3 grid on your photo, as well as white corners on the outside of the frame. Click and drag on a corner to adjust the crop area (i.e. what remains after Lightroom crops the image). If you hold the Shift key while moving the crop area, it will retain the current image proportions. 

5. Within the Crop & Straighten options, you can also click the "Aspect" icon to choose a pre-defined ratio for your crop (like 5x7), or enter a ratio manually. However, once you select a defined aspect ratio, the cropping tool will be locked to those proportions. Just click the lock icon next to the Aspect section if you want to undo this. 

6. When you're happy with the crop dimensions, click "Done" at the bottom of the Develop Module to complete your crop. Press Ctrl+S to save your work, and then go to "File" > "Export" to render your cropped photo as a new image file. Easier than Photoshop, right? 

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