The Photoshop crop tool serves two main purposes. The first is to crop, which means to cut out an area of an image by selecting the area that you wish to keep. It is also handy for quickly resizing images. These functions can also be used at the same time to crop and resize a photo (or any type of image) at once.
Click on the crop tool icon on the Photoshop toolbar (pictured). You can also use the keyboard shortcut “c.” When you roll over your photo, the cursor will resemble the crop tool icon, unless you have your cursors set to “precise” in the Photoshop preferences.
Position your cursor where you want to start your crop, which will depend on what you want to cut out of your photo. Left-click and drag to select the area that you want to remain in your photo. If you want to adjust the starting point of your crop, you can hold down the spacebar to move the selected area, then release it to continue drawing your crop square.
Remember the area you are selecting is the part of the photo that will be kept…the rest will be removed. Release the mouse button to finish selecting your crop area. You can now click and drag your crop square to move it, and drag the corners to adjust it. To cancel the crop, hit the “Esc” key on your keyboard.
Notice that the area outside of your crop is darker. This will be “cut out” when you crop your photo. To complete the crop, double-click inside of your crop area or hit the “enter” key on your keyboard. You are left with your newly cropped photo.
A common problem when taking images of buildings is keystoning, where the lines of perspective converge as you photograph a building. The only way to capture a completely straight shot of a building is to be directly centered and parallel to it. However, you can also correct this problem after the fact using the Crop tool’s perspective option. When cropping the image, pull the top handles inward to make the crop boundaries parallel to the building. Once straightened and color corrected, our building looks much more regal
You can also enter inches by using the abbreviation “in” instead of “px.” This is helpful for cropping a photo to a common size for printing, such as 4x6 inches at 300 dpi. Remember you don’t actually have to crop anything out of your photo to use this resize function…simply enter your dimensions and select the entire image with your crop tool, and it will still be resized. Be careful about selecting dimensions that are larger than your actual photo, which would result in a loss of image quality.