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Using the Crop Tool in Photoshop CS6

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This excerpt from Photoshop CS6: Visual QuickStart Guide shows you how to reset the Crop Box and choose preview, shield, and overlay options from the Crop Tool.

To reset the crop box:

With the Crop tool selected, click the Reset button on the Options bar or right-click in the image and choose Reset Crop.

To choose preview and shield options for the Crop tool:

Select the Crop tool, and from the Crop Options menu on the Options bar,A check any or all of these options:

Auto Center Preview to allow the image to shift in the opposite direction as you drag any of the handles on the crop box.

Show Cropped Area (/) to display the cropped areas in a light opacity around the crop box.

Enable Crop Shield to cover the cropped areas with a tint. From the Color menu, choose Match Canvas (the least obtrusive option); choose an Opacity value; and check Auto Adjust Opacity to let the shield disappear temporarily as you edit the crop box.

  • To use the new crop features of Photoshop, keep Use Classic Mode unchecked.
  • If you crop an image nondestructively (Delete Cropped Pixels unchecked), then reselect the Crop tool and click in the image with Show Cropped Area checked, the cropped areas will redisplay.

The overlay options (guide lines) for the Crop tool are based on timeless aesthetic principles.

To choose overlay options for the Crop tool:

  1. Select the Crop tool and click in an image.
  2. On the View menu (Options bar), do the following:
    • Choose an overlay option (top part of the menu).

      Choose when or if you want the overlay to display: Auto Show Overlay (the overlay displays only while the mouse button is pressed), Always Show Overlay (the overlay stays visible once you’ve clicked in the image with the Crop tool), or Never Show Overlay (the overlay doesn’t display).

  3. As you drag a handle of the crop box or reposition the image within it, position a guide line (or sections within the guide lines) over one or more key elements or shapes in your photo B–C (and A–D, next page).

To cycle through the six guide options, click the Crop tool in the image, then press the letter “O.” To reverse the orientation of the Triangle or Golden Spiral guide lines, press Shift-O.

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