How to Free Crop in Photoshop

Things might get a little annoying if you want to flexibly crop an image but Photoshop only lets you do so in a set ratio. Fortunately, it won’t be as difficult to resolve as you might think and just only a few clicks! 

The crop preset you are using in Photoshop prevents you from freely cropping. You can easily crop your photo to any dimension by setting the crop preset to have no ratio values! This is how it goes.

Using Photoshop’s crop tool, you can hide or remove any section of the image that you would like. It is a necessary tool for anyone dealing with photos and is helpful for assisting in developing a focal point in your photograph and for reducing distractions from an image. 

The Crop tool in Photoshop has gotten better with each release.

I have over five years of Adobe Photoshop experience and am Adobe Photoshop certified. In this article, I’ll teach you how to free crop images in Adobe Photoshop. 

Key Takeaways

  • Using free crop, you will be able to crop your image how you want, not by the aspect ratios
  • This is very easy to learn, once you see it done you will be able to put it to use in the future! 

How to Crop Freely in Photoshop 

Follow the steps below to crop images to a specific size in Photoshop. 

Step 1: Have your image up and ready in Photoshop, go ahead and find the crop button in the left menu and click on it. 

Step 2: A rectangular box will appear around your image in Photoshop, but first we need to make sure your aspect ratio is set to Ratio so that way you can freely crop your image. You will find that at the top of the Photoshop menu. 

The other options are good too, just to be used differently. The other options are for if you would want a specific dimension crop to be done on your photo. 

Step 3: Drag the handles when the crop boundaries show on your image once you click the tool. You can also simply choose the Crop tool and drag it over the region you wish to crop, too.

It doesn’t matter if the image already has a cropping border around it; all you have to do is click, drag, and then let go of the mouse

Your new cropping area will show up, and if necessary, you can alter it using the handles as previously. You can also use the Move tool to the left menu. The move tool will also be able to make your image fit inside the crop boundaries that you choose by just clicking on your image and dragging it around until you find the place where you need to crop. 

Bonus Tips

  • To move your image around inside the crop, use the Move tool on your left menu box. 
  • Make sure your aspect ratio is set to Ratio or else you will not be able to crop freely. 

Final Thoughts

Removing any undesirable backgrounds from the original image is the primary and most evident reason to crop an image. There can be a messy background, visible details, or people you don’t want to be in the photo. 

Luckily, Photoshop makes it very simple even for beginners to crop their images as you can see. And now you have a more desirable image! Hopefully, this is something that you will be quick to remember the next time you need an image cropped through Adobe Photoshop. Feel free to mess around with the other crop ratios to get a feel for how they also work. 

Any questions about Free Crop in Photoshop? Leave a comment and let me know.

About Aly Walters
As a graphic designer who uses the entire Adobe Suite on a daily basis, Photoshop is my inspiration, especially since I'm Adobe certified and use it most often for my graphics and web-designed images.

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  • Fabien Frasser

    Greatly appreciated, very well-articulated and the detail is superb.