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This chapter is from the book

Cropping and rotating images

You can crop your photos in Camera Raw (see page 45) or by using the Crop tool in Photoshop.

To crop an image using a marquee:

  1. Choose the Crop tool (C). crop-tool.jpg
  2. Drag a marquee over the part of the image you want to keep.A
  3. On the Options bar, do the following:
    • If you’re cropping a layer (not the Background), you can click Cropped Area: Delete to delete the cropped-out areas, or click Hide to save those areas with the file (they’ll extend beyond the visible canvas area but can be moved back into view with the Move tool).
    • Check Shield to cover the area outside the crop marquee with a dark shield to help you see which part will remain after cropping. You can change the shield color by clicking the Color swatch, or change its Opacity value.
    • For the Perspective option, see Photoshop Help. We prefer to use the Lens Correction filter to correct perspective problems (see our Photoshop CS4, volume 1: Visual QuickStart Guide).
  4. Perform any of these optional steps:
    • To resize the marquee, drag any handle (double-arrow pointer). Shift-drag a corner handle to preserve the proportions of the marquee; Alt-drag/Option-drag a handle to resize the marquee from its center; hold down Shift and Alt/Option to do both.
    • To reposition the marquee, drag inside it.
    • To rotate the marquee, position the cursor just outside it (curved arrow pointer), then drag in a circ ular direction. To change the axis point around which the marquee rotates, drag the center point away from the center of the marquee before rotating. The image orientation will change after the next step. (For another way to straighten a crooked photo, see page 93.)
  5. Do one of the following:

    Press Enter/Return.B

    Double-click inside the marquee.

    Right-click/Control-click the image and choose Crop from the context menu.

    • To cancel a crop marquee, press Esc.
    • To create presets for the Crop tool, see page 111.

By using a temporary shape layer, you can crop an existing image based on the rule of thirds.

To crop an image using the rule of thirds:star.jpg

  1. Open an image, and choose a Foreground color for the temporary grid shape.
  2. Choose the Custom Shape tool. custom-shape-tool.jpg On the Options bar, click the Shape Layers button layers-tool.jpg and choose the Grid preset from the Custom Shape preset picker. (If you don’t see that preset, choose Reset Shapes from the picker menu, then click Append or OK.)
  3. Click the Geometry Options arrowhead on the Options bar. Click Fixed Size, enter values, and check From Center.A
  4. Click in the center of the image to make the shape appear. Press V, then reposition the shape so one of the points where the interior lines intersect is over a key feature of the composition.
  5. With the Crop tool (C), crop-tool.jpg drag a marquee around the outer edges of the grid shape,B then to accept the crop, either press Enter/Return or double-click inside the marquee.
  6. Delete the selected shape layer by pressing Backspace/Delete).C

The Image Rotation commands rotate all the layers in an image. (To rotate just one layer at a time, use a rotate command on the Edit > Transform submenu instead.)

To rotate an image by an exact amount:

  • Do either of the following:

    Choose Image > Image Rotation > 180°, 90° CW (clockwise), or 90° CCW (counterclockwise).

    Choose Image > Image Rotation > Arbitrary. The Rotate Canvas dialog opens. Enter an Angle value, click °CW (clockwise) or °CCW (counterclockwise), then click OK.

You didn’t have a tripod handy for that unforget-table moment? Did a sloppy job of scanning? You can straighten out your photo with the Ruler tool.

To straighten a crooked image:

  1. Choose the Ruler tool ruler-tool.jpg (I or Shift-I).
  2. Drag along a feature of the image that you want to orient horizontally or vertically,A noting the angle (A) value on the Options bar as you do so.
  3. Choose Image > Image Rotation > Arbitrary. The angle you dragged will appear in the Angle field in the dialog automatically. Click OK.B
  4. With the Crop tool (C), crop-tool.jpg remove any background color areas that resulted from the rotation.C
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