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Super Size Me: resizing and cropping

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This chapter is from the book

If a chapter on resizing and cropping doesn't sound exciting, really, what does? It's sad, but a good portion of our lives is spent doing just that—resizing and cropping. Why is that? It's because nothing, and I mean nothing, is ever the right size. Think about it. If everything were already the right size, there'd be no opportunity to “Super Size” it. You'd go to McDonald's, order a Value Meal, and instead of hearing, “Would you care to Super Size your order?” there would just be a long uncomfortable pause. And frankly, I'm uncomfortable enough at the McDonald's drive-thru, what with all the cropping and resizing I'm constantly doing. Anyway, although having a chapter on cropping and resizing isn't the kind of thing that sells books (though I hear books on crop circles do fairly well), both are important and necessary, especially if you ever plan on cropping or resizing things in Elements. Actually, you'll be happy to learn that I “Super Sized” the chapter with other cool techniques that honestly are probably a bit too cool to wind up in a chapter called “Resizing and Cropping,” but it's the only place they'd fit. But don't let the extra techniques throw you; if this chapter seems too long to you, flip to the end of the chapter, rip out a few pages, and you have effectively cropped the chapter down to size. (And by ripping the pages out yourself, you have transformed what was originally a mere book into an “interactive experience,” which thereby enhances the value of the book, making you feel like a pretty darn smart shopper.) See, it almost makes you want to read it now, doesn't it?

Cropping Photos

After you've sorted your images in the Organizer, one of the first editing tasks you'll probably undertake is cropping a photo. There are a number of different ways to crop a photo in Elements. We'll start with the basic garden-variety options, and then we'll look at some ways to make the task faster and easier.

Step One

Open the image you want to crop in the Elements Editor, and then press the letter C to get the Crop tool (you could always select the tool directly from the Toolbox, but I only recommend doing so if you're charging by the hour).

Step Two

Click within your photo and drag out a cropping border. The area to be cropped away will appear dimmed (shaded). You don't have to worry about getting your cropping border right when you first drag it out, because you can edit it by dragging the control handles that appear in each corner and at the center of each side.

Step Three

While you have the cropping border in place, you can rotate the entire border. Just move your cursor outside the border, and your cursor will change into a double-headed arrow. Just click-and-drag, and the cropping border will rotate in the direction that you drag. (This is a great way to save time if you have a crooked image, because it lets you crop and rotate at the same time.)

Step Four

Once you have the cropping border where you want it, click on the green checkmark icon at the bottom-right corner of your cropping border, or just press the Enter key on your keyboard. To cancel your crop, click the red international symbol for “No Way!” at the bottom-right corner of the cropping border, or press the Escape key on your keyboard.

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