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Photoshop: Keep Aspect Ratio while Croppping

PHOTOSHOP PHOTO CROPPING is an essential part of preparation of most photos. Photoshop's cropping tool helps you refine the impact and message of your photos by cropping them to the task. Using the Crop Tool, you can crop your photos to specific photo sizes like 4x6, 5x7 or 8x10 by entering the width and height values into the Options Bar before dragging out your cropping border. You can also select a preset crop size from the Preset picker. However, you need a shortcut for cropping while keeping the width-to-height ratio the same as the original.

Without even looking at the size of this image, we wanted to zero in on the girl and the boat while trimming out most of the unnecessary background. How???

Select the image

First: Select the photo area Use the Select menu and choose All. Better: use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+A (Win) / Command+A (Mac). You'll see a selection outline appear around the edges of the image in the document window. (Lovingly called the racing ants.)

Next "Transform Selection"

Again, using the Select Menu and choose Transform Selection. This gives you scaling handles all around the selection. You should still be able to see racing ants.

Use the Transform Selection

You might want to glance up at the tool bar and make sure the Move tool is NOT the active tool. If you do anything with that tool, it will affect the image. Otherwise, transforming the selection allows changes of the selection outline itself without affecting anything inside of the selection.

Next: Resize the selection outline To resize the selection, hold down your Shift key, then click on any of the CORNER handles (the little squares) and drag the corner inward. (Remember: holding the Shift key down forces the width-to-height aspect ratio of the selection to remain the same as you drag -- saving the aspect ratio of the original photo.)

resize the selection using the drag handles on the crop tool

You can also click inside the selection and move its selection outline. So we can move it to focus on just the girl and the boat. (Do not click the "target center" symbol of the selection.) You can change and move until it's just right.

NOW: Crop it

Once you're satisfied with your crop, hit the ENTER key to commit to the transformation.

Now, use Photoshop's Crop command up under the Image menu. When you select Crop, Photoshop commits to the cropped version of the photo you created, while maintaining the exact same aspect ratio as the original. Sweet.

Cropped photo retains the original aspect ratio

You can now kill the by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+D (Win) / Command+D (Mac) You'll note in my version, I also used the Clone Stamp Tool (Tap 's') to remove the two outlaw swimmers causing a distraction in the water!

Happy Shooting ... and thanks for reading...

Fred Showker

Next: You can also ue the cropping tool to crop to a specific size and resolution for printing!


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