Variety of circle crop images

Photography

How to crop a photo into a circle in Photoshop.

Make an eye-catching and distinctive image by cropping it into a circle with Adobe Photoshop.

Try a new shape for your cropped images.

While photos and images are usually digitally saved as rectangles, image formats that support transparency allow you to crop in unique ways. In Photoshop, the standard Crop tool is useful for quickly cutting down a rectangular image. Cropping the image into a circle takes just a few more steps.

Think outside the square.

Creating a circle crop allows you to cut out unnecessary pixels to refocus your composition and catch the viewer’s eye. Whatever you plan to do with your image, saving with a transparent background gives you flexibility for later use. Portraits cropped into circle shapes are perfect for social media profiles and business cards, and circular images of colors and patterns can be used as stylistic design elements.

How to crop in a circle in Photoshop.


1. Open your image in Photoshop.


2. Convert your background image into an editable layer by double-clicking your Background in the Layers panel, or choose Layer › New › Layer from Background.


3. Select the Elliptical Marquee tool and draw a perfect circle by holding the shift key and dragging your shape into place.


4. Position your circle where you want it over the image.


5. Under the Select menu, click Inverse to deselect the area inside the circle and select everything outside the circle.


6. Click Delete to get rid of the rest of your image.


7. Go to the Select menu and choose Deselect to remove the selection outline, then use the regular Crop tool to delete the extra pixels around your Photoshop circle crop.


8. Save as a PNG or another image file type that supports transparency.  (Don’t save the image as a JPG— this file format will convert your transparent background into solid white.).


Resampling made smarter.

Video of cropping images
Zoomed in image of cropping within Adobe Photoshop
Person standing in the distance inside of rounded out cave

Round pegs, square holes.

Not every peg deserves a round hole — sometimes the original square will do just fine. Learn the basics first, with this simple how-to for quickly cropping a square image. Photoshop’s Crop tool is non- destructive, meaning you can choose to save the cropped pixels in order to edit or crop the original image again later.


Crop a square image. 

 

Straighten things up.

Sometimes the framing on a photo is wrong from the get-go. You can fix that before you even start editing with Content-Aware Fill on Crop in Photoshop. This tool intelligently fills in the gaps when you expand your canvas beyond the image’s original size.

 

Straighten and crop. 

 

Go the Polar route

Why not create some circular art to go with your Photoshop circle crop? Here’s a step-by-step guide to one intriguing approach from artist Amr Elshamy, who used the Polar Coordinates distortion filter to turn a beautiful photo of a mountain range into something completely new.

 

Create circular art.

Come full circle.

Once you’ve learned how to crop in a circle in Photoshop, you can easily use your new image in any project you have underway across the Adobe Creative Cloud apps. Go beyond the cropped circle, as well, and use these methods to crop your photos and images into other creative shapes.  

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