How to Crop in Photoshop

When it comes to professional editing software, Adobe Photoshop is the gold standard. With a comprehensive toolbar, layering system, and full integration with other Adobe applications, it’s a blank canvas for all of your creative potential. Learning how to crop in Photoshop is an important first step in building your editing repertoire. In effect, the cropping tool allows you to select a certain section of an image, and then delete everything outside of that section. Although Photoshop has way too many features to cover in one lesson, you can master cropping in just a few steps. 


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Cropping a Photo

  1. First, open the image file that you’d like to crop. There are two ways to select the Crop tool: either by clicking on the icon (it looks like two overlapping corners), or pressing C. Your arrow cursor should change to this new icon. 

  2. Next, choose a corner for your soon-to-be cropped image. Click and drag the cursor across your image, and then release the mouse. This will create a dashed box around the section you want to keep.  

  3. From here, you can adjust the crop box’s size and position. To move the box, simply click inside the perimeter and then drag it to a new location. The crop box also has corner markers, which allow you to expand a particular corner by clicking and dragging on it. Holding the Shift key while dragging a corner marker will change the box, but also keep its proportions intact. 

  4. Finally, you can rotate a crop box by clicking on one of the corner markers and then dragging the mouse clockwise or counterclockwise. As you do this, the cursor should change to an icon with two connected arrows.  

  5. When you’re happy with how the crop box looks, you can complete the crop by pressing Enter or clicking the checkmark icon. From there, we recommend you save the cropped image as a new file, so you that you also retain the original. 


With Shutterstock’s new Editor tool, photo cropping has never been easier. Before downloading a stock photo, you can choose the “Custom Size” setting and then tweak the image to your liking. In Editor, just click on the “Preset Sizes” icon to open a sidebar with popular image dimensions. These include headers and optimized photo sizes for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social networks. 

When you select a preset, a preview will instantly appear on the screen, and then you can adjust the crop positioning if necessary. Then, click the Download button to save a new version of the work. It’s the fastest way to take care of basic cropping, without leaving your browser. 

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