Adobe Photoshop Tutorial Part 3: Working with Selections

Using the Crop Tool

The Crop tool reduces the size of an image to the area you select, removing elements outside the selection area:

To crop an image:

  1. On the toolbox, click the Crop tool.
  2. To resample the image when you crop it, enter the width and/or height and the resolution into the fields on the Options bar:

To resample and crop the image to the size of another image, open the other image, select the Crop tool, and click the Front Image button. Then return to the image you’re cropping.

Photoshop automatically fills the Width, Height, and Resolution fields based on the values of the other image. Click Clear to clear these values, if you don’t want to crop based on the other image after all.

  1. Click and drag a rectangle around the area of the image that you want to keep. The remainder of the image will be removed.

The area outside the crop lines you draw is shaded:

If necessary, you can adjust the crop area by clicking a
nd dragging the handles.

  1. Once you’ve defined a crop area, new options appear on the Options bar:

    • Multi-layered images include options for deleting or hiding the cropped pixels. If you select the Delete option, these pixels are deleted from the image. If you select the Hide option, Photoshop hides the pixels outside the crop area, but you can see them if you move the image on the canvas.
    • The Shield, Color, and Opacity options let you adjust the shading over the pixels being removed. Unchecking Shield removes the shading, so the area being removed looks like the area in the crop marquee. With Shield selected, you can select a color and opacity for the shield.
    • When Perspective is selected, you can click and drag the corner handles of the crop marquee to distort the image.
  1. To crop the image, double-click the crop marquee, or press Enter. To cancel, press Escape or click the Cancel button in the upper right corner of the Options bar.

Feathering Selections

Feathering is a more dramatic way of softening selection borders than antialiasing. Feathering gives the selection border a blurred edge, fading the selection on both the inside and the outside, based on the number of pixels you specify (the feather radius). The effects of feathering aren’t visible until you do something with the selection—like move it or copy and paste it.

You can feather a selection either before or after defining the selection marquee. To feather it before drawing the marquee, use the Feather field in the Options bar:

Below, the feathered selection was copied and pasted onto a new, blank image with a white background:

To feather a selection after drawing the marquee, select Feather from the Select menu, or right-click the selection and select Feather. In the Feather Selection dialog, enter the feather radius you want and click OK:

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