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!

Author: Matt Kloskowski

Matt is the full-time Director of Education for Kelby Media Group and a Tampa-based photographer. He's the Editor-in-Chief of Lightroom Magazine, the lead instructor on the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom LIVE Seminar Tour and author of several best-selling Photoshop books. Matt also hosts the world's top Lightroom blog, LightroomKillerTips.com, where he's built up a massive library of Lightroom videos, presets and tips. In addition to teaching Photoshop, Lightroom and photography seminars around the world, he's an instructor at Photoshop World and one of the full-time staff writers for Photoshop User Magazine.

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26 Comments

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

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

    Dennis

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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. That is just an awesome tip! Thanks Matt

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  6. Thx for the great tip.

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

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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. thank you so, so much for this wonderful tip!

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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. You just made my day so much easier! THANK YOU!

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

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

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