How to Crop Images in Photoshop – A Step by Step Guide

How to Crop Images in Photoshop Image

Cropping someone or something unwanted out of a picture has become an almost integral part of editing a photograph. People with amazing cropping skills can cut out almost anything they like out of their photos. It is important to know how to crop images in photoshop as we might not always feel comfortable selecting a single frame with a specific person.

For example, if you are a wedding photographer and your client does not want a specific person or object to spoil the beautiful wedding moment captured by you. In such cases, your photo cropping skills will save you. It will ensure that you safely crop out the person or the object out of the pictures and upload only what they like.

Simple Steps in Cropping Images in Photoshop

A certain number of steps are to be followed in order to crop an image with the help of Photoshop.

1. Prepare Your Image

The first step of cropping your picture with the help of Photoshop is to prepare the image.

For this, you will have to open the specific image that you want to edit in Photoshop. You can open the image by clicking on the File menu, or you can also drag the image on the workspace provided by Photoshop.

Open Image in Photoshop

This image will get listed as Background, and you will be able to see this in the menu titled Layer that is located on the right side of the provided workspace. You will have to click on the icon saying lock in order to use the image as a type of layer.

Image selected as a background in photoshop

You will then have to hover in the area of that selected picture that you will like to focus on. You can do so by scrolling on the picture towards the area of general interest.

You will then have to hold the ALT key and move the scroll of your mouse to go forward in order to zoom in. If you want to zoom out then you will have to go backward. However, you can also select the zooming tool to use the zooming facility on the picture.

2. Prepare Your Outline

Next step is to select the outlines of the area you want to crop. If you want to remove a background by keeping the object or vice-versa, this step remains the same. It is like making a tracing with a pen and paper. Once you have made the outline on the picture you can simply drag away that part and replace it with something else.

In order to do that you will need to use the tool lasso from the toolbox menu of Photoshop.

Lasso Tool in Photoshop

By clicking lasso you will get the options of three kinds of lasso, they are, magnetic lasso, regular lasso, and polygonal lasso. All these are little different from each other, but all of them will allow you to shape an outline. This is like the process of tracing the part of the picture that you would like to cut out.

The lasso that is regular can be referred to as the pencil tool of Photoshop. You will have to hold your mouse’s button down and then drag around the cursor in order to create the outline of your image.

Marking Outline with Lasso Tool
Marking Outline with Lasso Tool

If you want to use the polygonal type of lasso, then you will have to click on one specific point of the picture and the drag that line to the next stop. You will have to keep repeating these two steps until you have successfully created an outline that marks a closed area.

Marking Outline with Polygonal Lasso Tool
Marking Outline with Polygonal Lasso Tool

The magnetic lasso also works with a similar style. However, it has a better understanding of the edges of an image, and thus it helps in creating a more particular outline.

Marking Outline with Magnetic Lasso Tool
Marking Outline with Magnetic Lasso Tool

3. Cut the Marked Portion Out

After you have marked the shape of the part that you no longer want in your image, you will have various options. In case you simply want to remove the entire selected portion then you will have to use the button Delete. You can also press backspace, and the marked part will get deleted.

Removing the Marked Portion
Removing the Marked Portion

This would make a blank portion visible where the cutout part was previously situated and would open up the layer that lied behind the image.

If you want to use your cut out section in some other picture, then you will have to work differently. As the first step you will have to select the option of Cut from the menu titled Edit. Then, you have to open a new picture where you will like to use the portion that you have already cut. Thereafter, you will have to use the option of Paste again from the menu titled edit. This will paste the cutout option on the new image.

Now, if you want to move the pasted part then you will have to select the Move named tool available in the toolbox. The toolbox is shaped like a cross consisting of four arrows. You will have to click on the cutout portion with the tool of Move and then hold the mouse’s select button to drag it around. In this way you will be able to move the cutout portion wherever you want to.

Moving the cut out portion to somewhere else
Moving the cut out portion to somewhere else

You can use the same steps if you want to add something to blank portion of the image from where you have cut out a part.


The process of mastering the art of cropping items craftily is not very easy. At the beginning, you might find it difficult to prepare a proper outline or to cut the intended portion. However, with time and practice, you will get a grasp over the cropping methods.

Do you know any other way to cropping the images in photoshop? Do let me know by commenting below.

Also, if you are looking to outsource clipping path services, connect with us at to get your free quote.

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