This lesson is exclusive to members

Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

Cropping tricks delete pixel & reveal cropped content in Photoshop

Daniel Walter Scott

Download Exercise Files



We’re awarding certificates for this course!

Check out the How to earn your certificate video for instructions on how to earn yours and click the available certificate levels below for more information.

You need to be a member to view comments.

Join today. Cancel any time.

Sign Up

Hi there, this video we're going to look at the weird and wonderful extras, when we're looking at the Crop Tool, like all these different kinds of Cropping Grids. We'll look at deleting pixels, how to get them back, how to straighten images. So that you know that the horizon line is perfectly straight. Plus a few other tips. Let's jump in there now. 

To get started, from your '05 Cropping' folder, open up 'Crop 1' and 'Crop 2'. We'll start with Crop 1, so kind of advanced cropping techniques. Grab the 'Crop tool', fifth one down. And the first one is-- by default, it's probably on Always show Overlay, which in most cases is the Rule of Thirds. So if I click once anywhere in here, you get this kind of Rule of Thirds, which you might love. Just helps you balance compositions. I'm not going to go through what the Rule of Thirds here is. It's worth going and checking if you've never heard about it. It's really useful when you are composing an image, deciding on where it actually falls within this grid. Can help with symmetry and balance. I said I'm not going to explain it, so I'll stop. 

So first thing I do is I turn it off. I don't use it, I just find it's kind of in the way, so I never show Overlay, but let's have a look at some of these other ones, Grid. I don't use them but I thought I'd show you just because there are times there's people that like the sort of stuff. I just want to let you know that this is an option. Golden Ratio is cool, Golden Ratio is spiral. I'm not sure why this would be in here, and crop. You might see this and go, "Oh, my goodness, I can't believe I've not known it's here." But for me I'll just go in and say, never show Overlay. 

What you can do though is, if you do pick one, you can hit the 'O' key on your keyboard. So 'O', and just kind of cycles through them all, so you can kind of-- I guess if you're cropping and you want to look like, what does it look like? Like the Rule of Thirds. This is called a ratio. I don't mean to dismiss it, it's just something that I don't do. So I'm going to go to 'Never show Overlay'. 

Next thing is, just making sure you know that you can delete cropped pixels or not. So with it off, if I come down here and start cropping, I'm holding the 'Shift' key down to lock the Aspect Ratio. So that doesn't kind of do this. So hold 'Shift' just to make sure it's kind of cropping nicely, and will still fit in a frame. So if I cropped this here, with Delete Pixels turned 'off', what ends up happening is, if I click on it again, you can see that stuff is all still there around the background. So it's very non destructive. I turn it 'on', and I hit 'return', it's very different, those pixels on the edges are gone forever. Terrible crop, Dan. So I'm going to 'Esc', and I'm going to undo. 

So you probably knew about that because we kind of covered it earlier on. And what I want to show you though is, let's say you do do a crop, or you've opened up a Photoshop document, and it has already been cropped. So it's been cropped here, know that you can rotate the crop, by just kind of dragging it outside here. It's a strange old thing using the Crop tool in Photoshop. Let's say we've got that turned off. We know there's stuff around here, but we just want to expand. So this is later on, we've cropped that, we've reopened it later on, we're like, "I know this stuff around here," so you're like, "What do you do," like how do you get this to kind of expand back out? 

What you can do is go up to 'Image', and there's one that says 'Reveal All'. So it's going to actually expand your canvas, to match whatever is in the background. There's a great way to just kind of unpicking something, a Photoshop document, to see actually what's in here. Sometimes you can have like cropped bits, that are all the way out here, maybe big file size. So just bits of the image that you want or need to see. So just remember, 'Image', 'Reveal All'. 

Let's look at the last bit of advanced cropping, it's the Straighten. So I'm going to go back to the Crop tool, and in here it looks pretty straight, the horizon line. There's an option in here just to kind of double check. So I click on this and draw a line across the horizon. That's not a great line, but you get what I mean. I'm not sure it feels quite nice. You can see, it's about 0.3° off. So I click on that, can you see, it straightened it up for me. It's twisted the image a little bit. So it's turned on an angle. If I hit 'return', now I know the horizon line is kind of perfectly straight.

Let's take that a little bit further with Crop 2. This one's off a lot more, it's quite obvious. So 'Crop tool', grab 'Straighten', click and drag across it, but what we're going to do is-- so if I do this, there we go. You can see at the top here, there's all this extra gap. So I'm going to drag this out, because let's say that I want to rotate it but I like-- if I hit 'return', it's kind of rotated around, but these are these gaps around here. So what we can do is, before we use Straighten, just turn on 'Content Aware'. So like we did Content Aware Fill in the essentials course. Oops, wrong. Do I want Straighten? Make sure Content Aware is 'on'. Watch this, if I drag this around, and I expand it out now, And I hit 'return', give it a second. And it should fill it in all the holes. Pretty cool, huh? 

There's a little bit of trouble with a tree there, but to be honest I'm not sure who would even notice. If it was your photograph you might. John Tyson might be not as impressed. So if you are using Straighten, just turn Content Aware 'on', and it just goes and fills it. You can do it another way, say you have done this and you didn't turn this on. Or you've got a slightly earlier version and it's not available. I want to straighten it up, so I'm just going to straighten my horizon line. Deleted Pixels is turned off, so I'm going to hit 'return'. So I know there's some stuff around the outside, right? So remember our trick? 'Layer', and it was 'Reveal All'. It is not, it's under 'Image', 'Reveal All', come on, Dan. 

And what I can do is grab say my magic wand tool. Click that one, hold 'Shift', grab that chunk, grab that chunk. Grabbing all these little triangles that are left, go up to 'Select'. And let's go to 'Modify', 'Expand Selection', because at the moment if we do it, I'll show you, it just goes 'Edit', 'Fill', and it works, Content Aware Fill, but if I deselect like this little kind of strip around the outside, so I just need to make that selection just a tiny bit bigger. 'Select', 'Modify', 'Expand', you can contract in there as well, it's cool. And let's expand it by couple of pixels, maybe three, doesn't matter too much, just so it's overlapping. We'll do the same thing, 'Edit', 'Fill', 'Content Aware'. Hopefully now, magic, it fills in those edges. Average job up here, but a pretty good job in the other corners. 

So that's it with the Crop tool, we're going to do some other cropping. Somehow I'm going to make it into, like another three videos of cropping. They're all interesting tricks, so let's jump into the next one now.