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Chapter 4. Editing Photos > Selecting Portions of Photos

Selecting Portions of Photos

iPhoto’s next two editing tools—cropping and reducing red-eye—require that you select a portion of the picture first.

To select part of a photo:

  • In edit mode, drag to create a selection rectangle in the image (you see a cross-hair pointer while doing this). iPhoto fogs the photo outside your selection rectangle to help you focus on the selection (Figure 4.28).

    Figure 4.28. To select a portion of a photo, drag to create a selection rectangle. Move it by dragging it; resize it by dragging an edge. Here I’ve created a selection rectangle with no specific proportion to focus on the seaplane and the odd truck.

  • To move your selection rectangle around, drag it (your pointer should be a hand). You may need to move a selection rectangle to force it up against the edges of a picture, since it’s hard to start selecting right at the edge.

  • To resize a selection rectangle, drag the rectangle’s edge to resize (you’ll have an arrow pointer at this point).

  • To constrain the selection rectangle to specific proportions, choose an aspect ratio from the Constrain pop-up menu, or click a Constrain button in the image-editing window’s toolbar. If you haven’t created a selection rectangle, it will be constrained when you do; if you have one already, iPhoto resizes it (Figure 4.29). To remove a constraint, choose None from the Constrain menu or click the Free button in the image-editing toolbar.

    Figure 4.29. To constrain an image to specific proportions (here I’ve chosen 4 × 6, which will make a good print while not detracting from the subject of the picture), choose an aspect ratio from the Constrain menu. You can move and resize the selection rectangle while maintaining the selected aspect ratio.

  • To constrain the selection rectangle to custom proportions, edit the image in its own window, and enter the desired aspect ratio in the Custom fields in the toolbar before you start selecting.

  • To deselect everything and start over, click in the fogged area or switch to another photo.

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