Photoshop CS6: Tools and Commands to Crop, Trim, and Straighten Images

Photoshop CS6 offers multiple options when you need to crop, trim, or straighten images. Choose from the new Perspective tool, the marquee tool, or the Ruler tool. You can also use the Trim command or the Crop and Straighten photo command.

How to crop with the Perspective tool in Photoshop CS6

If you need a nonrectangular crop box, select the Perspective tool from the Tools panel. This tool, which is new in the CS6 version, enables the corner handles to move independently. Note that when you apply the actual crop, the photo is transformed into a rectangular shape, thereby distorting the image based on your applied perspective. Doing a perspective crop can fix some minor image distortions.

In the Options bar, choose to show or hide a grid overlay. The Front Image option enables you to crop one image so that it's the exact same size as another image.

Open two images and crop the first one. Click Front Image. Photoshop enters the width, height, and resolution values from the first image on the Options bar. Drag the Perspective Crop tool on your second image and adjust the crop box, as desired. Double-click inside the box.

If you want to crop to an exact measurement, enter a value in the Width, Height, and Resolution fields in the Options bar. These options are available only when the Perspective Crop tool is active, and you haven't dragged a crop box. Be careful about choosing a value for the Resolution setting. Remember, resampling isn't a good thing. Click the Clear button to delete all values from the Options bar.

How to crop with the Marquee tool in Photoshop CS6

If you get bored with using the Crop tool, you can also crop a selected area by choosing Image→Crop. Simply make a selection with any of the tools and then choose this command. Although using the Rectangular Marquee tool for your selection makes the most sense, you don't have to.

You can use Image→Crop with any selection — circular, polygonal, kidney bean, even feathered. Photoshop can't crop to those odd shapes, but it gets as close to the outline as it can.

How to use the Trim command in Photoshop CS6

The fabulous Trim command trims away transparent or solid-colored areas around your image. Choose Image→Trim, and a dialog box appears. Select Transparent Pixels (for layered images), Top Left Pixel Color, or Bottom Right Pixel Color as a basis for the trim. Then, choose to trim away the Top, Bottom, Left, or Right side(s) from the image, and click OK.

This command works great for quickly eliminating black-and-white borders around images.

How to use the Crop and Straighten Photo command in Photoshop CS6

To crop and straighten images in Photoshop CS6, choose File→Automate→Crop and Straighten Photos. Photoshop then looks for rectangular areas in your document, extracts each one into its own document, and straightens those individual images.

The Crop and Straighten Photos command is fabulous if you want to save time by scanning multiple images initially into one document. (And the command works on single images, as well.) This command is a real manual-labor timesaver.

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How to use the Ruler tool in Photoshop CS6

Adobe Photoshop CS6 doesn't leave you hanging if your images are awry. You can straighten out the images by using the Ruler tool. Here's how:

  1. Select the Ruler tool from the Tools panel.

    It shares a flyout menu with the Eyedropper tool. You can also press I or Shift I to cycle through the tools.

  2. Click at the starting point of the axis you wish to straighten. Drag the tool at the ending point of that axis. Release the mouse.

  3. Click the Straighten Layer button in the Options bar.

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