Capture images in a round frame with a circle crop.
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 into a circle takes just a few more steps.
Photo editing with circle crops.
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 colours and patterns can be used as stylistic design elements.
Step-by-step instructions for circle-cropping an image.
Open your image in Photoshop.
Convert your background image into an editable layer by double-clicking your Background in the Layers panel or choose Layer › New › Layer from Background.
Select the Elliptical Marquee tool and draw a perfect circle by holding the shift key and dragging your shape into place.
Position your circle where you want it over the image.
Under the Select menu, click Inverse to deselect the area inside the circle and select everything outside the circle.
Click Delete to get rid of the rest of your image.
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 circle-cropped image.
Save as a PNG or another image file type that supports transparency. Don’t save as a JPG, as this file format will convert your transparent background into solid white.
Dive into other cropping tutorials.
Explore simple square cropping.
Learn the basics with this simple how-to for quickly cropping a square image. The Crop tool is non-destructive, meaning you can choose to save the cropped pixels and edit or crop your image again later. You can also learn how to remove the edges of a photo permanently.
Straighten and crop an image.
Sometimes the framing on a photo isn’t perfect before you begin editing. Check out this tutorial for straightening an image using content-aware technology. This tool intelligently fills in the gaps when you expand your canvas beyond the image’s original size.
Create more circular art.
If you want to create circular art to go with your circle crop, take a look at this intriguing step-by-step guide from artist Amr Elshamy. See how he used the Polar Co-ordinates distortion filter in Photoshop to turn a beautiful photo of a mountain range into something completely new.
Once you’ve mastered the circle crop in Photoshop, you can easily use your new image in any project you have underway across Adobe Creative Cloud apps. Explore what’s beyond the cropped circle, as well and use these methods to crop your images into other shapes.
You might also be interested in…
How to use the background remover in Adobe Photoshop.
See how to precisely cut out a subject to replace a bland image background with something that pops.
How to crop photos and adjust image perspective in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.
Crop images, edit aspect ratio and straighten lines with cropping tools for desktop or mobile.