Cropping with the Crop Tool

Figure: 2.26

You can crop an image according to the size of your print, select the size you'd like your image to be, and also select the section of the image you want to crop.

For cropping images, the Crop Tool is available in the Toolbox. In general, you can resize your image to any size you wish or crop the image any way you want. Simply click with the tool into the image. Select an imagined point at the top-left of the image and drag the cursor to the bottom-right corner point by holding the left mouse button. This way, a rectangle with a solid border is drawn. At first, the aspect ratio is not relevant. You can drag the rectangle into any form you like. You can use the rulers on the side and top of the window as a guide.

Select the Fixed option by selecting the check box. Initially, you can find the current aspect ratio of the image in the box below the Fixed option, measured in pixels. Overwrite this value with the desired aspect ratio of your photo format (in figure 2.26, it's 5:7). If you then draw your rectangle in the image, it will always have this aspect ratio. The advantage is that this rectangle can be drawn up to any size within your image. You can also click in the rectangle and drag it into any position. This lets you very precisely choose the image section you want to keep. Double-click inside your selection to crop the image.

If you want to use the Crop Tool without a fixed aspect ratio, deselect the Fixed setting.

This method is very fast when you want to crop several pictures one after another using the same aspect ratio. However, image size has to be recalculated (again) with the Image > Scale Image or Image > Print Size function because pixels are being cut out and the image size changes. In fact, it's recommended that you use the Crop tool first to set the aspect ratio and to determine the area within the image you want to keep and then recalculate the size and resolution. However, if the image section you select is too small and the image is enlarged, the image quality suffers. The image may appear blurred and pixelated, depending on the method used for recalculating.

If you want to remove the selection rectangle, simply press the Esc key on your keyboard.

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