To Resample or to Crop in Photoshop CC: That is the Question

By Peter Bauer

To better understand the difference between resampling an image and cropping an image in Photoshop CC, consider the following situation:

  1. A painter paints a picture. He paints it at whatever size he thinks is appropriate. (Or, perhaps, on the only piece of canvas he can afford on that particular day.)
  2. A patron likes the artwork, but the painting is too large for the frame that works best with the dining room table. Yeah, patrons can be like that, can’t they?
  3. The patron asks the artist to make the painting fit the frame.
  4. The artist decides between cropping and resampling. He can grab a pair of scissors and cut off some of the painting (cropping) or painstakingly re-create the painting from scratch at a smaller size. Thankfully, Photoshop does the “repainting” for you, using Image Size with its resampling algorithms.
  5. The artist charges the patron for the extra work. (Don’t forget this final, crucial step!)
Cropping cuts away part of the image to meet a target size. Resampling retains the entire image, but shrinks or enlarges it to meet the target size.