Some Really Handy Cropping Tips

Happy Friday, everybody! Here’s one from the “best of” collection — it’s some really handy tips cropping tips, sent in by one of our readers/viewers (I love it when readers send in awesome tips — thank you!), and I wanted to share them with you here to start your Friday off right. Here we go:


TIP #1: When you have the crop tool in place, if you need to straighten the image, just hold the Command-Key (Windows: Ctrl-key) and your cursor temporarily changes to the Ruler tool, so you can drag it out along any straight area and it will straighten your image.


TIP #2: If you’re resizing the crop box by dragging one side of the crop boundary and maintaining the ratio – it will move the center of the crop box the direction you’re dragging… eg. the visual center changes (as seen above) – which you might want – but it you don’t… (see next image)


…if you hold the Option key (Windows: the Alt key) while doing this, it will keep the center of the crop box in the same place…and change the periphery while maintaining the visual center point.


TIP #3:  If you think it would be nice if they had a cross hair in the center of the crop as part of the overlay, try this: Go under the View menu, to Loupe Overlay; choose Grid, and choose “Show.” Now hold the Command key (Windows: Ctrl-key) to make the grid size control visible at the top center of the preview area then drag the Overlay Grid all the way over to the biggest size and you end up with± a cross hair in the center like you see here.

Hope you found that helpful. 🙂

Have a great weekend everybody, and I hope to see you back here on Monday.



P.S. Lightroomers in Boston or Philly — I’m there next month with my full-day Lightroom seminar – come on out and spend the day with me learning Lightroom. Just $99 for the full day (included a detailed workbook), and it’s 100% money back guaranteed if you don’t absolutely super dig it (because we know you will absolutely super dig it. Guaranteed!). 🙂 

Author: Scott Kelby

Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Editor of "Lightroom magazine"; Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books. You can learn more about Scott at

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  1. Thanks on this handy tips, but do i have to crop before i retouch the photos or otherwise. Cropping image is one thing i need to get perfect on, i hope this helps me out.

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    • Scott, my problem is that the crop cross-hair icon will not go right to the edges of the image – so I loose some of it. Is there a way around that ?

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  2. You said you like reader suggestions. How would you like them submitted?

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  3. I really wish that constrain to image option actually let me stretch the composition in LR so I know my crop before sending to PS for final retouch and to fill in the background

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  4. seriously….. I have been using LR since the Beta of 1 and never knew this !

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  5. Thanks – these 3 tips get used with frequent value.

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    • Great tips! I’ve been using LR since version 2 and have seen a lot of tutorials, and read a bunch of books, including Scott’s great books 🙂 Haven’t come across two of these three. Thanks!

      Post a Reply


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