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How to crop an image in Photoshop

It's usually best to crop to a ratio, and that's not too hard.
By
January 20, 2023

Like resizing, cropping is an absolutely essential Photoshop skill. Here we’ll show you how to do both a standard crop as well as crop to a specific aspect ratio, the latter useful for everything from pro editing work to crafting wallpapers and YouTube thumbnails.

QUICK ANSWER

Select the Crop tool from the left-hand toolbar. Move your mouse cursor over one of the sides or corners of the selection box until an arrow appears, then drag to resize. Click and drag the body of the selected area to reposition. Hit Enter when you're finished.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to crop an image in Photoshop

Cropping in Adobe Photoshop
Roger Fingas / Android Authority

If ratios don’t particularly matter, or don’t match your plans, follow these steps:

  • Select the Crop tool (two interwoven bars) from the left-hand toolbar.
  • Move the mouse cursor over one of the sides or corners of the selection box until an arrow appears, then click and drag to resize your crop. Drag one of the diagonal arrows to maintain an image’s existing aspect ratio.
  • Click and drag the body of the selected area to reposition the crop field.
  • Hit Enter to finalize.

At any point before hitting Enter, you can hit Escape to back out.

Related: How to add a drop shadow in Photoshop

How to crop an image to a specific aspect ratio

Cropping to a ratio in Adobe Photoshop
Roger Fingas / Android Authority

There’s not much different here, except that crops conform to a format you specify — like the 16:9 ratio used by most movies and TV shows.

  • Select the Crop tool (two interwoven bars) from the left-hand toolbar.
  • Open the Ratio drop-down menu towards the top of the screen. You’ll see a number of preset options, such as 16:9 or an image’s original ratio, but if you don’t need any of these you can click out of the menu.
  • For a custom ratio, fill out the width and/or height specs to the right of the Ratio menu.
  • Make sure that Delete Cropped Pixels is toggled on.
  • Move the mouse cursor over one of the sides or corners of the selection box until an arrow appears, then click and drag to resize your crop. Note that the selection area always stays proportionate.
  • Click and drag the body of the selected area to reposition the crop field.
  • Hit Enter when done.

To go back to arbitrary cropping, hit the Clear button up top when the Crop tool is active.


Read more: How to flip images and layers in Photoshop