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This chapter is from the book

Crop to a Specific Size

Cropping is a relatively easy procedure. The only problem is that, more often than not, you end up with a cropped picture that isn't quite the standard size for photo prints. This is a big problem when you want to print on standard-size photo paper or put your picture in a standard-size frame; if the picture's too small, you end up with white space on one side of your print.

TIP

To cancel a crop in progress, just press the Esc key.

To make sure your final picture is a standard print size, you need to specify the dimensions of the area you want to crop to. There are two ways to do this. If you're cropping to a standard photo size (4'' x 6'', 5'' x 3'', 5'' x 4'', 5'' x 7'', or 8'' x 10''), you can select the size from the Preset Options list on the Options bar. If you're cropping to a custom size, enter the desired dimensions in the Width and Height boxes in the Options bar.

For example, if you want to end up with a standard 5'' x 7'' print, pull down the Preset Options list and select Crop 5 inch x 7 inch 300 ppi. If you want to end up with a custom 4'' x 4'' print, enter 4 in the Width box and 4 into the Height box. (You can also enter a desired final resolution—in pixels per inch—into the Resolution box.)

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If you want, you can rotate your picture while you're cropping it. Just move your cursor outside the border of the selected area until the cursor changes to a curved arrow; then click the mouse button and drag your mouse to rotate the selection.

These options constrain your crop to the shape necessary to result in the selected dimensions. Then when you select the crop area, the height and width automatically adjust in conjunction with each other.

Here's how it works:

  1. From the Toolbox, select the Crop tool.

  2. Select a print size from the Preset Options list in the Options bar, or enter the desired values (in inches) into the Width and Height boxes, as shown in Figure 3.5.

  3. Position the cursor at the upper-left corner of where you want the crop to start.

  4. Click and hold the mouse button while you draw down and to the right, until you've selected the entire region you wish to keep in your final picture. Note that the height and width adjust automatically to maintain the dimensions you selected.

  5. Release the mouse button; the selected area is surrounded by a flashing rectangular border and the area outside the selection dims, as shown in Figure 3.6.

  6. Double-click within the selected area to make the crop.

Figure 3.5Figure 3.5 Selecting the size of your cropped picture.

Figure 3.6Figure 3.6 The crop area selected and constrained to the selected dimensions.

The result, shown here, is a cropped picture that prints at the precise size you specified.

The two groomsmen, cropped to a specific size to create a larger portrait.

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