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Cropping to an Exact Custom Size

Okay, now you know how to crop to Element's built-in preset sizes, but how do you crop to a nonstandard size—a custom size that you determine? Here's how.

Step One

Open the photo that you want to crop. (I want to crop this image to 6x4" at a resolution of 150 ppi.) First, press C to get the Crop tool. In the Options Bar, you'll see fields for Width and Height. Enter the size you want for width, followed by the unit of measure you want to use (e.g., enter “in” for inches, “px” for pixels, “cm” for centimeters, “mm” for millimeters, etc.). Next, press the Tab key to jump over to the Height field and enter your desired height, again followed by the unit of measure.

Step Two

Once you've entered these figures in the Options Bar, click within your photo with the Crop tool and drag out a cropping border. You'll notice that as you drag, the border is constrained to a 6×4" aspect ratio; no matter how large of an area you select within your image, the area within that border will become your specified size. When you release your mouse button, no side handles are visible along the border—only corner handles.

Step Three

Once your cropping border is onscreen, you can resize it using the corner handles or you can reposition it by moving your cursor inside the border. Your cursor will change to a Move arrow, and you can now click-and-drag the border into place. You can also use the arrow keys on your keyboard for more precise control. When it looks right to you, press Enter to finalize your crop. (I made the rulers visible [Control-R] so you could see that the image measures exactly 6×4".)

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