Below, we've outlined the basics of cropping. You'll learn how to harness Photoshop's versatile Crop tool, and why the technique is so essential for cleaning up images.
What is Cropping?
If you want to remove distracting sections of an image, so that your subject becomes the real centerpiece of your work, you need to use the Crop tool. Essentially, cropping allows you to trim an image and refine the overall composition. This process is non-destructive, which means you can always retrieve the sections that you've deleted from the frame.
Cropping an Image in Photoshop
First, select the Crop tool (it looks like a square with long edges) from the main toolbar. If you click and drag on your image, you can start cropping right away, but we recommend adjusting the crop options first. These can be found in the top options bar, and they include:
Now, click and drag on the image to determine your crop boundaries. When you're happy with the new dimensions, press Enter to complete the crop.
Using Perspective Crop
This supplementary tool allows you to transform an image's perspective via cropping. For example, if you've taken a photo at a slight angle, but want it to be a straight-on shot, the Perspective Crop tool will stretch the photo out to change the overall perspective.
Cropping the Image Canvas
Using the normal Crop tool, you can also change the dimensions of your canvas, regardless of whether an image is loaded. When you initially select the Crop tool, you should see a border appear on the edge of your canvas. You can click and drag on the handles to adjust an individual side, or hold Alt while dragging to resize the entire canvas.