How To Crop In Photoshop

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How To Ingather A Layer In Photoshop

If you lot’re struggling to figure out how to crop a layer in Photoshop, you’re not alone. Although there is a Crop Tool in Photoshop, this will crop your entire canvass, non just a single layer. For many, this can be extremely frustrating when you want to refine and crop the edges of just one layer. Fortunately, there are a few piece of cake (not and then obvious) methods to help you lot crop a single layer in Photoshop.

Why Doesn’t The Ingather Tool Crop Individual Layers?

The problem with the Crop Tool is that information technology tin but crop your entire canvas. This ways that all of your layers and adjustments volition get cropped along with it.

To help you understand a trivial better, let’s hash out how your layers and canvas work. Your canvas is the culmination of all of your layers together. Like when you put all your baking ingredients into a bowl, you only see the combined outcome of each ingredient. That’south what your canvass shows you; the combined result of all your layers.

Your layers are individual parts of the overall picture. Like layers of an onion, they all work together to create a last production.

At present the departure between food and Photoshop is that Photoshop layers can be altered at any time. This way, you can farther refine and better on the wait of your terminal photo being displayed on the canvas.

So how does all this chronicle to cropping a photo in Photoshop?

Well, in one case you understand how layers operate, it makes sense why the crop tool doesn’t work for individual layers. Since the Crop Tool but affects the ‘final production’ (aka your canvass), information technology is unable to bear upon layers individually.

Fortunately, there are a few slap-up ways to crop a layer in Photoshop without the Ingather Tool.

How To Ingather A Layer In Photoshop – 3 Elementary Methods

Now that y’all take the Crop Tool in your distant memory let’s focus on what matters. The tools that volition actually assistance you to crop a layer in Photoshop!

Each of these tools has its advantages in certain situations. Depending on how y’all want to crop the layer will dictate which method you lot use.

#1. The Marquee Tool – The Basic Cropping Method

The Marquee Tool is a basic option tool in Photoshop that allows you to depict out a selection. The two options you have with the Marquee Tool is the
Rectangular Marquee
and the
Elliptical Marquee.

You lot tin can access either of these tools by pressing
or finding it at the top of your toolbar. Click and hold on the Marquee Tool icon to show the other tool options.


The mode this tool works is uncomplicated. Click anywhere on your paradigm and drag out to brand a selection. In this example, I desire to crop the layer into a foursquare shape, and then I will create a square pick.

Pro Tip:

while property downward your mouse, hold the space bar to motion effectually your entire pick. This makes life a lot easier to refine your final crop.)


You’ll at present detect a black and white line on your epitome. These are chosen marching ants, and they represent your selection.

If you’re unhappy with the choice and want to start over, press
Command + D
(Mac) or
Command + D

(PC) to deselect. In one case happy with your selection, continue on!

Go to your layers panel and select the layer yous want to crop. Remember, it will be cropped based on the shape of your active Marquee choice.

Now you lot’re faced with two options.

The first pick is to crop the layer past deleting the backlog. This will make your adjustments permanent, and you cannot become back and refine this later.

The second option is to create a layer mask to mask out the excess and crop the layer. This option tin can be refined later if you feel like you made a mistake.

I would suggest using a layer mask, merely I’ll share how to practise both so yous can choose!

– Cropping A Layer With The Delete Method

Select the layer you want to crop and brand sure that your Marquee Selection is how you want it.

Use the keyboard shortcut
Command + Shift + I

(Mac) or
Control + Shift + I
(PC) to invert your pick. This will now select everything
of your initial Marquee selection.


Side by side, press the
Delete Fundamental.


Everything outside of your Marquee selection will exist deleted. Printing
Command + D
(Mac) or
Command + D

(PC) to deselect.

At present you have successfully cropped a layer in Photoshop with just a few clicks! Keep in mind that this method is permanent, and you cannot alter your ingather later.

For a less permanent cropping option, attempt the adjacent method!

– Cropping A Layer With The Layer Mask Method

Select the layer you want to ingather and double-bank check that your Marquee Pick is positioned how you want.

With your option agile, click on the layer mask icon at the bottom of your layers panel. This automatically applies your choice to a layer mask.


Everything outside of the selection has disappeared, and you’re left with a perfect crop of your layer. A layer mask will at present exist visible beside your cropped layer.

If you aren’t already familiar, here’s how layer masks work:

Annihilation blackness on your mask is 100% transparent, while anything white is 100% visible. Whatsoever shade of grey in between will correspond different transparency values between black and white.

This ways that although it looks as if parts of your layer were ‘deleted’, they are really simply hidden. If yous were to employ a white brush and paint over the blackness sections of your layer mask, your photo would become visible once once more.

I made a video explaining how layer masks work that yous can find

– The Consequence

You’ve now successfully learned how to crop a layer in Photoshop with the Marquee Tool! This is one of the easiest ways for cropping layers but is limited by the shapes you tin crop to.

Luckily the next two methods volition share how to solve this trouble!

#2. The Pen Tool – Customizable Layer Cropping

The Pen Tool in Photoshop takes things one stride farther by getting more refined with your layers ingather. This tool lets you create a custom selection in just near any shape you tin can imagine using anchor points.

To access the Pen Tool, printing
or access it in your toolbar.

When you click anywhere on your image, a pocket-sized foursquare will announced. This is called an
anchor point.


As yous continue to click,  you create more anchor points, each connected past little lines. These lines all join together to create a pen path, simply only think of it as your

for the crop.

If you lot need to curve your pen path around an edge, click and drag when yous create a new anchor point. You can reposition whatever anchor indicate by belongings
(Mac) or
(PC) and clicking on the desired anchor point.

To assistance build your skills, make sure to read my guide to the Pen Tool to outset feeling more confident!

Once yous’ve created the shape, connect your pen path back to the starting bespeak.


in the path and select ‘Make Pick’. Set your
plume radius to 0.

Now that your path has been turned into a option, highlight the layer y’all want to crop in your layers panel.

Once once again, you tin can choose between the delete or layer mask method.

For the
delete method, printing
Command + Shift + I
(Mac) or
Control + Shift + I
(PC) to invert your selection. Press the delete central to crop the layer.

For the
layer mask method, click on the layer mask icon at the lesser of your layers panel. A layer mask will be added, and your photograph will be cropped. You can suit this mask after at whatsoever time!

– The Result


Using the Pen Tool to crop a layer in Photoshop is another excellent method if you desire to create custom shapes. Since you lot can manually trace out the verbal ingather you want, the options are limitless with this tool!

#3. The Shape Tool – Cropping A Layer Into A Specific Shape

In the last two methods, y’all learned a basic way to ingather a layer and a more custom fashion with the Pen Tool. So what nearly if you lot want to crop your image into a very particular shape? If you’re similar me, yous aren’t naturally gifted at hand cartoon shapes. Luckily, you can ingather a layer into a shape using the Shape Tool!

Access the shape tool by pressingUor select it in your toolbar. In this example, I want to ingather the layer into the shape of a flower.

To brand life piece of cake, I’ll select the custom shape tool and choose a flower from the preset shape options. No matter which shape you determine to use, the side by side steps remain the same.


Click and drag out the shape onto your canvass. A new shape layer will exist created.


(Mac) or

(PC) and click on your shape layer
This will turn your shape into a pick.


Highlight the layer you want to ingather in your layers panel. Now choose whether you desire to crop the layer with the delete method, or layer mask method.

For the
delete method, printing
Command + Shift + I
(Mac) or
Command + Shift + I
(PC) to invert your option. Press the
Delete Key

to crop the layer into the shape.


For the
layer mask method,
click on the layer mask icon at the bottom of your layers panel. The new layer mask will have take a white outline of your shape.


After you’ve washed either of those methods, click on your shape layer and printing delete to become rid of the layer. At present yous’ll have a perfect layer ingather that matches the shape!

– The Result

Using the Shape Tool to crop a layer in Photoshop is one of the more underrated methods. Most people don’t think of using the Shape Tool to brand selections, but it’s a handy tool nonetheless. With this technique, you can crop a layer into whatever shape with ease!

More Photoshop Tutorials You lot Might Like:

  • How To Change Any Colour In Photoshop
  • The Best Means To Remove A Groundwork In Photoshop
  • How To Use The Pen Tool In Photoshop
  • What Are Photoshop Snapshots?
  • How To Acuminate Images With The High Pass Filter


Yous don’t always want to crop a layer into a uncomplicated rectangular shape. Instead, apply the Pen or Shape Tool to customize your crops in more unique means. Using these 3 unlike ways to crop a layer in Photoshop, you’re well equipped for any state of affairs!

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– Brendan