The Secret Cropping Tip To Go From Horizontal To Vertical

Knowing how to crop a horizontal image into a vertical one, or vice versa, has been this little secret among Lightroom users for a while now. It’s one of those things that, while it is indeed in a menu, it’s not something that would ever jump out at you. So here’s the secret. When you’re in Crop mode (the keyboard shortcut is R), all you have to do is press the letter X and it’ll switch your crop orientation automatically. If it’s horizontal, it’ll make it vertical. If it’s vertical, it’ll do the opposite. That’s it!

Have a great day!

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55 Comments

  1. That’s what I love about Lightroom. You have to interrogate it to find out how to use it. Rubbish. Just wish Apple hadn’t scudded up Aperture. It was so much more intuitive which LR definitely is NOT.

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  2. I’m adding my chorus to this hymn of praise – thank you! I actually have bookmarked this page as I never actually remember the hint when I need it.

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    • thanks for this great tip, saving me many hours of frustration

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  3. Changed my life…thanks!!!

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  4. Just another vote of thanks!

    The Lightroom developers were too lazy to put in an “Orientation” box? And they didn’t enable “Custom 8×10” as one orientation, and “Custom 10×8” as the other?

    I guess I’ll be spending a lot of time on this website!

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  5. Loving you right now, many thanks!!!

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    • Thank you so much! Quick and easy. I like it.

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  6. Simple – when you know how. I don’t know why I bother going anywhere else on the net for stuff like this, the solution is always here and easy to understand 🙂 thanks

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    • It didn’t work for me, what program are you cropping to make this work?
      Thanks

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      • Considering the websites name is Lightroom Killer Tips, I’m going to guess it’s Lightroom….

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    • It didn’t work for me, what program are you using to do the cropping to make this work?
      Thanks

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    • It didn’t work for me, what program are you using to do the cropping to make this work?
      Thanks

      Post a Reply
    • It didn’t work for me, what program are you using to do the cropping to make this work?
      Thanks

      Post a Reply
    • It didn’t work for me, what program are you using to do the cropping to make this work?
      Thanks

      Post a Reply
  7. Thank you so much! I was thinking this must be simple but couldn’t see any obvious way to do it in lightroom.

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  8. Many thanks! Add this to the list of great tips you’ve shared that I’ve benefited from.

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  9. Oh my goodness! Same as everyone else. I knew there had to be a better way. Thank you for sharing!

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  10. You seriously just made my day. This has been my biggest complaint about Lightroom. I can’t believe it took me this long to think to google it. Thanks!

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    • Wow – thank you so much!

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  11. Thank you so much, as many other comments been tearing my hair out only to find it to be something so simple, well if only I knew!!

    Thanks again much appreciated for sharing.

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  12. I could jump through the screen and hug you. My goodness I have been looking for that option through several videos and electronic tutorials and nothing talked about it. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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  13. I’ll add myself to the list of thankful readers. I never knew about this very useful shortcut. You’ve saved me a lot of time and it’s much appreciated!!

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  14. You’re an angel! Wow! Such a simple trick. Thank you! Thank you!

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  15. Thank you so much! I should have googled this years ago. Such a tiny thing caused such a huge annoyance…no longer!

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  16. Eureka! So easy. Been wondering how to do this for ages, thanks for sharing!

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  17. This is a pretty common thing to do. Why is it so hard to find? It’s certainly not obvious. Thank God for Google. I Googled “Vertical crop in LR” and it brought me here. Thanks Matt. I even watched J. Kost’s video on cropping and she didn’t mention it. Significant lapse by Adobe.

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  18. You just made my day so much easier! THANK YOU!

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  19. Way to make it intuitive Adobe! I’ve been trying to crop a landscape into a 5×7 portrait and it doesn’t matter if you enter 5×7 or 7×5 for the custom aspect ratio, LR always keeps the original!

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  20. I cannot believe that this thing that has been making me nuts has such an easy fix. Uuuuuffff! Thanks so much!

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  21. On my new Lightroom 5, when using the crop tool and I press “X”, it sets the image as rejected. What am I doing wrong?

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    • Are you in Develop mode or Library, previewing/flagging your images?

      I’m assuming you need to be in Develop mode.

      I hope that helps.

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  22. thank you so, so much for this wonderful tip!

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  23. If you press “o” as in Oscar while in the crop tool it will rotate through the different ratios and grid lines.

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  24. Does the trick work for CS6 also? Anyway, thank matt. I dead your books in french.

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    • Nope. Just Lightroom.

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  25. That’s a neat little trick thanks for sharing!

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  26. Thx for the great tip.

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  27. That is just an awesome tip! Thanks Matt

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  28. Dear Matt,

    What took you so long to tell me this? There is a minor bug in 4 that has driven me crazy – switching from whatever my ratio is as I’m rotating it to turning off the lock and going to whatever it wants. Seriously, it’s been a pain.

    With that said, I will now be eternally grateful to you for teaching me this trick!

    Thank you,
    Happy in CO now.

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  29. If I want to crop it but keep the original orientation, I’ll often hit “X” twice…gives me a centered crop that makes a great starting point.

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  30. Matt … I never knew this!!! I’ve used Lightroom since verion 1! Thanks dude!

    Dennis

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  31. Thank-you. This is something I have been trying to figure out for a long time!

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