Cropping images in Adobe Photoshop.

Cropping images is an integral part of photo editing. Changing an image’s size is just the beginning.

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Cut what you don’t need and keep the rest.

There are all kinds of reasons to crop an image. You might need to straighten a photo, resize your canvas, or shift focus and composition. Sometimes you might want to crop out a distracting object in the background or give the image more vertical or horizontal emphasis. Fortunately, Photoshop offers many ways to adjust the canvas size of an image, change the aspect ratio, or make the subjects within the photo better conform to the rule of thirds.

How to crop an image in Photoshop.

  • Select the Crop tool.
    Choose the Crop tool from the Photoshop toolbar. You’ll notice an overlay dividing the image into thirds.
  • Find your perfect framing.
    Frame your photo by dragging the corner handles around the part of the image you want to keep and rotating your image left or right. You can use the grid overlay to crop an image at precise vertical or horizontal points.
  • Commit to your new crop.
    Finalize your selection by hitting Enter or Return on your keyboard or clicking the checkmark in the control bar. Unless you’re sure you won’t need to make future edits, it’s a good idea to un-check the Delete Cropped Pixels box.

Photoshop cropping tips and tricks.

When it comes to cropping in Photoshop, you can be as precise as you want to be. Experiment with different cropping methods by trying the techniques below.

Make pixel-perfect crops.

If you need to crop an image to a specific size, you can do it in Photoshop. Choose a preexisting aspect ratio (that is, the width and height of an image) or specify your own dimensions.

Align your crops automatically.

It can be challenging to perfectly straighten an image with precise lines, like a horizon or a tall building. In cases like these, use the Straighten tool to subtly adjust the cropped area and correct off-kilter angles. Just choose the Crop tool and hit the Straighten button in the control bar to get an accurate crop.


Go beyond the conventional crop.

Cropping is more than resizing a photo. It can also mean expanding the scope of the image or changing the angle or perspective in an image.

Change point of view with Perspective Crop.

Change the angle of an image while you crop it with the Perspective Crop tool. Turn a head-on image into an angled one, or get a new point of view on a photo.

Adjust perspective in photos

Expand images with Content-Aware Fill.

The Content-Aware Fill tool can enlarge an image by filling in an area with similar pixels. Add more sky, more grass, more trees, and more of just about anything to a photo.

Learn how to use Content-Aware Fill

Frequently asked questions.

What happens when you crop an image in Photoshop?

Cropping removes parts of the image outside of the selected area, revealing only the crop selection area in the final image.

How do I crop an image to a specific size or aspect ratio in Photoshop?

Enter width, height, and resolution values in the options bar. Or choose a preset aspect ratio like square or 16:9.

Can I reposition or resize a crop area after creating it in Photoshop?

Yes, click inside the crop area and drag to move it. Drag the handles on the crop bounding box to resize the cropped area.

Is there a non-destructive way to crop images in Photoshop?

Yes, place the image in a Smart Object layer first. This will allow you to re-edit the crop later.

How do I straighten a crooked image as I’m cropping it in Photoshop?

Click on the Straighten tool in the Crop toolbar to draw a line along what should be the horizontal axis.

Can I crop multiple images or layers at once in Photoshop?

Yes, select them all and choose Image > Crop All to batch crop the layers, shapes, or images together.

How do I crop freely in Photoshop?

Select the Crop tool (C) and set the crop preset to “Ratio” or “W x H x Resolution” in the upper setting bar. Next, press “clear” to remove any constraints applied to your crop preset.

Can I crop just parts of a layer instead of the whole image in Photoshop?

Yes, make a selection on the layer first, then choose Image > Crop to Selection to crop only that selected area.