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Crop & Maintain Aspect Ratio in Photoshop.

Anesh P , Apr 21, 2004; 07:02 p.m.

I print my photos at the 1 hour photo-lab. I want to crop my photos in Photoshop while maintaining the aspect ratio of the original image. How is this done?


Rick Covert , Apr 21, 2004; 07:21 p.m.

Image, to Image size, select constrain proportions, select resample image, bicubic and change the size.


Mark Herring , Apr 21, 2004; 07:36 p.m.

NO......He said crop, not resize.

Select the crop tool and go to the palette that has the crop parameters (varies by version). set the image size and resolution. If you dont want the crop command to re-sample, then leave the resolution blank

G J Moody , Apr 21, 2004; 08:08 p.m.

I don't think you want to maintain the original aspect ratio.
What you want is to crop to the print paper size with a fixed aspect
ratio so the "printer" doesn't distort your image by cramming it to fit the paper.

Here's how to have the crop tool do that for you.
(I'm talking about under PS V7 but CS and earlier versions are about the same).

First off you need to decide the paper size you want to crop for...
Let's assume you are doing a 4x6
(you can apply this to create standard sizes for all the other paper sizes as well ... hint...)

A) open a picture (we won't change it but PS is fussy and needs to think it's got something to change)
B) in the palette click on crop tool (or just hit "c")
C) go click Windows->Tool Presets in the menu bar
D) drag this onto the screen out of the docking area for now
make sure the "Current Tool Only" is checked at the bottom of the window.
E) If there any default entries in this list I'd drag them to the trash as they'll get in your way
F) over in the options bar put 4 in the width and 6 in the height, do not set your print resolution (you'll do that when you actually crop something)
G) go over to the "tools presets" pallet, click the New presets icon (the one to the left of the trash can)
H) enter "Crop 4 x 6 portrait" in the name
click "OK"

I) you can continue to put all your standard paper sizes into your crop presets list.
I'd do 2 for each size you want, one width 4 height 6 = portrait, one width 6 height 4 = landscape etc.
I'd do entries for 2 1/2 x 3 1/2, 3 x 5, 4 x 5, 4 x 6, 5 x 7, 8 x 10, 8 1/2 x 11, 11 x 14, 13 x 19, 16 x 20.
Also create an entry for random cropping by clearing the width and height fields (ie delete any entry), then create a preset named "Crop dynamic". That ought to cover it...

Now you've got preset crop ratios for all the stand print sizes so you just have to select the one you want from the options bar when you go to crop.
(click the down arrow to the right of the crop icon on the option bar, select the size you want)
Then go put in your resolution [ I usually use 300 for printing ].

Now when you click in the image the crop box will drag at exactly the size ratio you need for that print size.

Thus endth the lesson ... ;{)

Suggestion - the best book to have in your library is "The photoshop book for digital photographers" by Scott Kelby from New Riders press.
Well worth the $40 USD! (where do you think I learned this...)
ps - you can put the preset pallett back in the dock area by clicking on the little right arrow and selecting "Dock in Pallett Well".
Hope this helps,

William John Smith , Apr 21, 2004; 08:30 p.m.

Select the marquee tool. In menu bar select "Fixed Aspect Ratio". For 35mm it will be either 3:2 or 2:3 depending on vertical or horizontal format. Drag marquee tool across image until you get the crop area you want. Go to "Image>crop" and select and you are in business. The aspect ratio will not change regardless of the size of crop.

Anesh P , Apr 22, 2004; 02:30 a.m.

thank you all for your contributions.

Randon Kilpatrick , Oct 30, 2007; 06:45 p.m.

I just wanted to thank you, G J Moody. This is exactly what i was looking for and found nowhere. Until now. Thanks! I will also be taking a look at that book...

Ray K , Dec 16, 2008; 01:48 a.m.

Is is standard practice to maintain 3:2 or 2:3 aspect ratios? I didn't realize, until this posting, that I was WAY off!

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