Lightroom Tips

Tip – A Bunch of Crop Tool Tips

It’s Friday and I’m heading up north to shoot my sister-in-law’s wedding. Wish me luck 🙂 Anyway, I figured I’d close out the week with a few crop tool tips.

• Press R to get to the Crop Tool. It works even if you’re in the Library module.
• Once you’re in Crop mode press the letter O (for Overlay) to change the overlays that you see on your photo. They’ll toggle between the rule of thirds, a grid, and several other overlays that you’ll never use 😉
• Press A to toggle between constraining/not constraining to the aspect ratio
• Press Cmd-Shift-R (PC: Ctrl-Shift-R) to reset your crop all together.
• If you’ve changed the Aspect Ratio on a previous photo then press the letter S to set that same aspect ratio for the next photo.
• And finally, a really cool way to crop is to go into Crop mode. Then press the letter L twice to go into Lights Out mode. Now you have your photo in crop mode with none of the clutter of the interface. Press L again to get out of Lights Out mode.

Happy cropping and have a great weekend.



  1. Bettina Arrigoni 18 May, 2016 at 18:38 Reply

    I have both of your LR 6 kindle books and I am trying to figure out how to lock a crop ratio of 16×9. I have tried setting the aspect ratio and then locking the lock & it does not hold for the next photo. It goes back to Original. Any suggestions?

  2. Florin 30 September, 2010 at 03:23 Reply

    Hi Matt!
    First of all, thank you for this great site. it helped me out a lot !
    I have a challenge for you 🙂

    I have a nice big photo which I want to print on a 3-part canvas so that, when put next to each other, the 3 parts form the original image.

    I have to print 3 photos, 36×46 cm each, taking into account that 3 cm of each side of the print will be wrapped around the frame, so it wont be visible. The result would be three framed photos 30×40 cm each. I don’t know how can i use the crop tool to export 3 images from the original one, so in the end, after wrapping the photo on the frame, the remaining visible parts match perfectly.

    Any ideas would be GREATLY appreciated.



  3. Bahi 16 March, 2010 at 04:10 Reply

    It’s command-option-R to reset the crop. (As others have pointed out, shift-command-R will reset everything, not just the crop.)

    DJ: didn’t know the ctrl-drag shortcut. Thanks!

  4. Timur Vafin 15 March, 2010 at 16:11 Reply

    Hey Matt,

    BTW, afer LTR killer tips your iTunes podcast includes links without files.
    Could you please fix them?


  5. lyle 14 March, 2010 at 00:11 Reply

    Thanks Cindy – the “H” key in crop mode is a nice hide/show toggle for the overlays, I didn’t know that one – a lot more flexible than what I suggested.

  6. Cindy 13 March, 2010 at 20:12 Reply

    “What I want to know is: Is there anyway to turn the overlays off entirely when in crop mode?”

    Try toggling the “H” key to hide/show.

  7. jim miller 13 March, 2010 at 13:49 Reply

    Thanks for the tips, Lyle. I can’t tell you how much swearing I was doing this week dealing with just this subject and in a few short words you solved it. Well done.

  8. mcananeya 12 March, 2010 at 20:19 Reply

    What I want to know is: Is there anyway to turn the overlays off entirely when in crop mode?

    Best regards,

  9. DJ 12 March, 2010 at 20:12 Reply

    Thanks, I didn’t know that Lights Out Mode worked in the crop tool!

    One additional shortcut from me. Hold Ctrl (I guess Cmd on MAC) and drag a line along the horizon to straighten your image.

  10. Jennifer Wills 12 March, 2010 at 17:06 Reply

    I’m lucky to have two displays so when I crop I bring up the image on the second display and can view my crop in real time as I adjust it, leaving the interface controls visible to me on the first display.

    Great tips!

  11. Vit Kovalcik 12 March, 2010 at 06:43 Reply

    Beware … Ctrl-Shift-R is not a “Reset Crop” combination, but rather “Reset All Settings”, i.e. it will also reset all sliders and everything else you have changed.

  12. RON 12 March, 2010 at 05:50 Reply

    And we could take it one step further,

    make it a Horsing around with the crop tool

    Scott Kelby jokes 🙂

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