Cropping Tutorial

Cropping is basically just cutting out a piece of an image. You'll need to do it for a few reasons, including making an image smaller without smooshing/stretching it, cutting out/off an undesirible part of the image, and cutting out all but a specific piece of the image. Sometimes you'll crop to do all of the above.

When cropping there are a few things to keep in mind: how big/small you would like your final product to be, what shape you want your final product to be (a square, a tall rectangle, or a long rectangle), and how much aand which part of the original image you'd like to include.

Let's start with this image:

It's nice and big (800x649), and there is quite a bit we can do with it.

It's big enough to make a wallpaper, so let's start with that. Most desptops are set to 800x600 pixels, or something with that ratio [1.333]. This image is already as wide as we want it (800 pixels), so what we need to worry about it shaving a bit off of either the top or the bottom. Click and hold somewhere in the image and drag the crop box until it hits one of the sides of the image. Click on the other side (where you can still see the crop box line), and drag it until it hits the other side. If you drag too far the crop box will realign itself to the edge of the image. Now is where the fun begins. Click on either the top of the crop box and drag it until it hits the top edge of the image. Now click on the bottom of the crop box. Before you move it or let your finger off of the mouse, look down at the bottom right corner of the program. See where it says (800 x ###)? That's how big your image is.

Keep dragging until the number changes to (800 x 600) and pick up your finger. If you miss it, just keep clicking and dragging that bottom edge of the crop box until your image hits (800 x 600). The part of the image that will be included in the crop is in the box, the part that won't is outside of the box. If you like how your image appears, great! Double click and your image will be cropped. If you don't like how it looks, hold click inside of the crop box and drag it around until the image is as you like it.

Now for LJ Icons. LJ Icons are usually 100x100. They can't be any bigger, though they can be smaller. This image is quite large, so there is a lot to work with. Basically you are going to do what you did for the wallpaper, creating a crop box and dragging the sides around until you get a box sized 100x100 that you can drag around the image and double click to crop to your heart's content.

But what if you want a bigger portion of the image than can be contained in a 100x100 pixel square? This is where ratios come in! A 100x100 image is as wide as it is tall, so take a look down at the bottom right corner of PSP. If you make a crop box, directly to the right of where it tells you the pixel dimensions of the crop it tells you the ratio of the image's width to it's height in box parentheses. Hold click and drag your crop box until the number says "[1.000]". You can then move it around until it's placed where you like it. Want it a bit bigger/smaller? Hold down the shift key on your keyboard while you drag the crop box's sides around and it'll keep the crop box's width to height ratio the same. If the part of the image you want can't fit into a [1.000] box (you want a bit more vertical or horozontal), that's okay. When you resize the image you can adjust the ratio there as well. Just keep in mind that the image will be stretched or smooshed in some way to adapt it to the new ratio.

I hope this helps you! If I just managed to confuse you more, please don't hesitate to email me with questions.

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