Introduction to the New Crop Tool – Photoshop CS6 Beta
For any photographer or blogger who made use of Photoshop’s awesome Crop Tool you will be delightfully surprised with the sweeping changes that Adobe has made to this awesome little tool.
I used the Crop Tool every single day, whether is was cutting screenshots, cropping photographs for print, cropping for the web, or just to give clients additional crop options, this tool is one that I use a whole lot. Photoshop CS6 will address the couple things that I really wanted to see changed in the Crop Tool.
Outside of Photoshop’s huge upgrade in the speed department (It’s fast!), this tool is probably my favorite upgrade!
The hotkey to select the Crop Tool is (C). By default the Crop Tool will be set to crop your entire image (It will not be cutting away any part of you image).
When this tool appears, make sure you check out the Tool Options Bar. It contains all kinds of sweet features that I’ll be referring to through the tutorial.
When you drag out a new crop selection Photoshop will keep the cropped part of the image in the center of your screen as you move the crop. Also, this tool now works like it does over in Lightroom! You move the image underneath the crop instead of dragging the crop around “on top” of the image.
You are also able to drag the image so the crop falls off the image and get a live preview as that happens.
I’m going to clear this crop that I’m playing with by hitting the little “clear” icon in the Tool Options Bar. Let’s check out the “Straighten” option. This is pretty much the Ruler Tool’s “Straighten” option, but built in with Crop which will potentially allow up to straighten and crop in one fell swoop; without even deleting the cropped pixels!
You can straighten along horizontal or vertical lines. I’m going to drag a line down the side of the Empire State Building and the Crop Tool will do the rest. Don’t commit the change yet! This brings us to the next point…
Also now shared between Photoshop and Lightroom are the cool grid overlays for the Crop Tool. Oftentimes when cropping you want to check the straightness of lines or angles (or even check on spiraling objects i.e. staircases, etc…). You can simply tap the hotkey (O) to cycle through all the grid overlays you now have.
Adjust your crop and hit the little “check” icon to commit the change. Let’s use another image and take a look at a couple of the other new features of this tool!
I’m going to drag out a crop over this new image and once you’ve dragged out your crop you can use the hotkey (P) to flip the Crop Tool back to the “classic” mode. This will revert the tool to behave like it did in previous version of Photoshop. We’re going to leave “classic” ticked on.
One of the other great features of this new Crop Tool is the ability to rotate the crop and have it resize when it hit the edges instead of simply running into the canvas area around your document. You can now see exactly where those edges are. This is such a time saver!
We now have the ability to choose an aspect ratio to constrain the Crop Tool to! This means we can tell the Crop Tool to crop to an 8×10 size, or a 5×7 size without having to get the Rectangular Marquee Tool out and setting a fixed selection etc… etc… This is just great. You have your built in presets or you can set and create new sizes that you use a lot.
I want to crop this to an 8×10, however I’m not sure if I will want the full image for use later. Typically you would simply make a duplicate copy; not so in Photoshop CS6. There is a little check box in the Tool Options bar “Delete Cropped Pixels”, leave that ticked off and Photoshop simply hides the cropped portion of your image. Anytime you bring up the Crop Tool you can access this cropped area and you can also use Free Transform (Cmd/Ctrl + T) to play with the image as if it had never been cropped.
The last feature we’ll cover is the brand new Perspective Crop Tool. This is located beneath the Crop Tool is you click and hold on it in the Tools panel.
With this tool you simply drag a grid around an area you want to move from an angle to direct, straight-on into the camera. It’s works as well as the grid you draw, so make sure to abide by the perspective of the image when drawing a grid to get the best results! Drag a selection around something in your image.
Look at how that brick is taken and placed right before our eyes! We have the white corner because we strayed off of the pixel area of the document. A little Content-Aware Move Tool set to “Extend” should fix that right up!
That’s it! The new Crop Tool in Photoshop CS6 is going to be a great, easy to use, time-saving feature!
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