Cropping to Specific Aspect Ratio


Today’s Question: How do you crop to set dimensions in Photoshop, such as 5×7 or 8×10?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can establish a specific aspect ratio for cropping in Photoshop using the settings on the Options bar with the Crop tool.

More Detail: When you select the Crop tool in Photoshop by clicking on its button on the toolbar or pressing the letter “C” on the keyboard, the Options bar across the top of the Photoshop window will update to reflect the settings for the Crop tool. This includes controls for the crop dimensions toward the left side of the Options bar.

If you click the Ratio popup toward the far left of the Options bar, you can select among a variety of preset aspect ratios, such as 1:1 (square), 4:5 and 5:7. You can also select “Ratio”, and then enter values in the two text boxes to the right of the popup. The first of these two is for the width, and the second is for the height. There’s a button in between the two checkboxes that allows you to quickly exchange the two values, such as to switch between a horizontal and vertical crop.

If you select the “W x H x Resolution” option, then a third text box will appear for the resolution. This enables you to not only crop to a specific aspect ratio, but also to resize the image to specific dimensions.

Note, by the way, that you can also crop to a specific aspect ratio when processing a raw capture in Camera Raw. After selecting the Crop tool within Camera Raw you can click the Preset popup to select the ratio you want to use for cropping, including being able to choose “Custom Ratio” to enter your own values.