Cut and shrink photos in Photoshop

Apps & Software

Photoshop is of course known as a kind of digital magic box when it comes to photo edits. But many still use it mainly for the common daily jobs. This time we take a look at the cropping and resizing of a photo.

You can do a lot with Photoshop. But for the daily routine, it will remain for a lot of users in a series of ‘basic’ actions. One of the common Photoshop chores is cutting out a photo. Plus then reduce, sharpen and mail it. It goes like this. Start Photoshop and open a photo that you want to get started with. Click on the crop tool(1) and then specify the desired aspect ratio. This can be done by manually entering a ratio at (2). It does not matter if you use pixels, inches or centimeters. Photoshop itself calculates the correct ratio by dividing both entered numbers. You can also use the selection menu to the left of the entry fields, in which you will find a series of standard ratios. If you want to select freely, click on the Delete button to the right of the ratio fields. Then pull the desired selection on your photo. In this example, we take a portrait and a standing photograph. You can drag the selection using the left mouse button. If that is not possible the first time, click on Command (or Control in the case of Windows) Z to reset the selection and start again.


Suppose we want to mail our – now standing – photo or use it on a website or blog. As straight from the camera, the resolution for this – even after rough cropping – is often much too high. Reducing is therefore necessary. Just click on Photoshop menu image on image size. Enter a desired value in the field after Width or Height, the length of the other side is calculated automatically. Not? First, click on the ‘chain’ to the left of the fields Width and Height and try again. In this example, we assume a resolution of – vertically – 1024 pixels (note whether behind Pixel is indeed selected behind Width and Height ); the landscape side is automatically calculated at 683 pixels. The other settings in the resize (where you can also enlarge of course …) window are good. Check whether the option Calculate new pixels is on and whether the option Automatic has been chosen. That is the default setting, but perhaps you have ever messed with it. Click OK. The photo is now reduced to the desired dimensions.


As you may notice, a photo becomes less sharp after shrinking. Sometimes that is clearly visible, sometimes a lot less. If your photo looks a bit woolly now, click on Unsharp Mask in the Filter menu under Sharpen. An amount of 40% at a radius of 1 is usually sufficient. If you see that clean lines become somewhat ragged, then you can set the value a little lower or decide to leave it sharpening for what it is. You can also try the Smart Sharpen option (also found in the Filter menu under Sharpen). But use only one of them, not both because otherwise, it will soon be very ugly. You can cut and resized images now save through the menu File to save as clicking. Click especially not Save, because then you overwrite the original. As a file type, in the case of a photo for web use, you usually choose JPG. A compression value Normal (5) usually suffices. A higher value means better quality, but also a larger file.

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