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Cropping an Image

The one thing that you’ll want to do with nearly every image is crop it. In spite of all the wonderful advances in film and digital cameras, rarely is a picture taken with its subjects perfectly composed or its horizon line set at just the proper height. More often than not, subjects are off-center, and unwanted objects intrude into the edge of the picture frame. Take a hint from professional photographers, who almost always use cropping techniques to arrive at that perfect composition. Photoshop Elements offers two simple and quick methods for cropping your images.

To crop an image using the Crop tool:

Select the Crop tool from the toolbox (C) (Figure 6.1).

Figure 6.1. The Crop tool.

When you move the pointer over your image, it becomes the Crop tool.

In the image window, drag to define the area of the image you want to keep (Figure 6.2).

Figure 6.2. When you crop using the Crop tool, Photoshop Elements gives you visual feedback by highlighting the image that will be preserved and dimming the portions that will be deleted.

The image outside the selected area will be dimmed to indicate the portions that will be deleted.

If you want to modify your selection, move the pointer over one of the eight handles on the edges of the selection; then drag the handle to resize the selection (Figure 6.3).

Figure 6.3. You can easily move and resize the area you choose to crop by dragging the handles around the perimeter of the cropping selection.

When you’re satisfied with your selection, double-click the pointer inside the selection, press Enter/Return, or click the Commit current crop operation button in the options bar (Figure 6.4).

Figure 6.4. The Cancel and Commit current crop operation buttons are located below the palette well in the options bar.

If you’re just not satisfied with your selection and want to start over, click the Cancel current crop operation button.

The image is cropped to the area you selected (Figure 6.5).

Figure 6.5. The final, cropped image.



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