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This chapter is from the book

Perform a Freehand Crop with the Crop Tool

Cropping a picture with Elements's Crop tool is as easy as drawing around the part of the picture you want to keep and then double-clicking a button. Everything outside the area you select is cropped, or cut off. Here's how it works:

  1. From the Toolbox, select the Crop tool, shown in Figure 3.1. Your cursor now changes into the Crop tool shape.

  2. In the Options bar, shown in Figure 3.2, click the Clear button.

  3. Position the cursor at the upper-left corner of where you want the crop to start, as shown in Figure 3.3.

  4. Click and hold the mouse button while you draw down and to the right, until you've selected the entire region you want to keep in your final picture.

  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 3.4.

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

Figure 3.1Figure 3.1 Select the Crop tool.

Figure 3.2Figure 3.2 Click the Clear button in the Options bar.

Figure 3.3Figure 3.3 Position your cursor at the upper-left corner of the area to crop.

Figure 3.4Figure 3.4 The crop area selected; everything outside the selected area will be cropped off.

When you make the crop, everything outside the selected area is deleted. The effect is to zoom in on the most important part of the picture, as you can see with our soccer photo—which is a lot more exciting cropped than it was before.

Cropping to the most exciting action in our soccer photo.

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