Photoshop: How to crop images easily?
- December 16, 2016 at 10:53 pm #1301
In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to crop an image easily. We may sometimes encounter images that have some extra white or colored spaces in them. Some may have transparent extra background. While transparent backgrounds are ok since they would come out invisible anyway, it still consume space. To fix such images in Photoshop, we resort to the Crop tool. But cropping requires you to encapsulate the picture with a Marquee. And to make sure they are cropped perfectly, it may require some patience when it comes to adjusting the Marquee box. Fortunately, there is an easy way, let’s begin…
In the sample image below, we have a square (or sometimes rectangle) image with extra white spaces at the top and bottom.
Usually, our tendency is to use the Rectangular Marquee tool for square or rectangular image or Elliptical Marquee tool for circles and oblongs, but these methods are averagely difficult and somewhat time consuming since you have to adjust the Marquee tool to enclose the image you want to preserve.
To easily crop the image and remove the spaces (you may refer to this as auto-crop) in Photoshop, instead of using the Marquee tool, use Trim. To do Trim, go to Image > Trim…
It will open a panel…
If you are going to remove transparent extra spaces, choose base on “Transparent Pixels”, but since we plan to remove the white spaces at the top and bottom of the image, either choose “Top Left Pixel Color” or “Bottom Right Pixel Color” and just let the Trim Away option stick to the selected Top, Bottom, Left, Right options. Select OK to confirm the process.
The resulting image would be this…
Note however, that this procedure will only work if the extra spaces’ color is uniform and does not blend with the main image, otherwise it won’t work. Also, we are using Photoshop Creative Cloud with this procedure, but this method should work the same in other versions of Photoshop.
Now, what if the extra spaces are on the left and right like this picture?
Regardless of where the extra spaces are, as long as they are within the edges of the picture, the method we used would still work. In this case, we are going to remove the transparent pixels at the left and right portion of the image. To remove it, go to Trim… then select Transparent Pixels from the Trim Panel. Select OK to confirm.
The outcome would be the same.
Now, I read from other forums that there is also another method to auto crop or at least seemingly auto crop the images. The method they use is the automated crop and straighten photos method, which can be done by going to File > Automate > Crop and Straighten Photos. But personally, I find trimming more convenient and faster. The automation process creates a duplicate instead of directly editing the photo and sometimes it fails to replicate the Trimming process.
Finally, if the Trim process fails because the extra space color is either not uniform or is blending with the main image, we have no choice but to use the Marquee Tool. However for only top and bottom spaces, instead of using the default Rectangular, switch to the Single Row Marquee Tool, which can be done by click and holding the left mouse button over the Marquee Tool icon. This will open a submenu. From the Sub menu, select Single Row Marquee tool (the line marquee tool).
With the Single Row Marquee Tool, you need to set two points to crop (Point A and Point B). To select point A with the tool, click the first row on the image that you want to start the cropping process from, then press and hold SHIFT button on your keyboard while using your mouse to click on the next point. See picture below:
Once you have set the two points, go to Image > Crop to crop the picture. You can also do this with the shortcut keys ALT+I then P.
The image enclosed by the two rows will be preserved while those outside will be cut off.
For images with spaces located to the left and right, use Single Column Marquee Tool and set Point A and Point B also. This time, set vertically. Once set, proceed with crop.
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