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Is it possible to crop a single layer, I can almost get the desired outcome using the eraser on a layer but surely it can be done with cropping?

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Cropping? do you mean without changing the image/canvas size? –  Omne Dec 30 '12 at 20:37
Are you trying to accomplish something photography related? This might be better on graphicdesign.stackexchange.com. –  mattdm Dec 30 '12 at 20:39
Agree. For example this: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/7011/… –  MikeW Dec 31 '12 at 6:03
It just doesn't make any sense why you'd want to crop a layer and make your entire composition follow that resolution...one of the most annoying things about photoshop IMO –  user20868 Jul 5 '13 at 5:38

6 Answers 6

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Use a layer mask. Tutorials galore exist on the topic already, eg: http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/masking-layers.html

Straight from Adobe:

You can add a mask to a layer and use the mask to hide portions of the layer and reveal the layers below. Masking layers is a valuable compositing technique for combining multiple photos into a single image or for making local color and tonal corrections.

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Thanks, will check it out –  amiawizard Dec 30 '12 at 20:11

You can also select the area you want to crop to with the rectangular marquee tool, invert your selection, then delete the now selected outside area. This is different from the layer mask in that it completely deletes the surrounding area, whereas the mask makes the surrounding area invisible.

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No, you can't crop a single layer.

The closest thing would be to copy the layer to a new image, crop that image, and copy the layer back to the original image.

It's easier just to erase or mask the part of the layer that you don't want.

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Huh, interesting. You can in Gimp. –  mattdm Dec 31 '12 at 5:00
-1, You can't use the crop tool, but you sure can crop a single layer. –  whatsisname Dec 31 '12 at 5:44
@whatsisname: Then you don't crop. –  Guffa Dec 31 '12 at 14:14

You'd most likely want to use one of the marquee tools. This will select an area in a crop like fashion and you can then delete the inside or the outside by right clicking and selecting 'select inverse'.

and that is how i crop inside one layer :)

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I can't believe no one suggested this yet:

Just use the rectangular marquee to select what you want to crop down to, and COPY it to your clipboard. Then delete the entire layer and PASTE what you copied to a new layer.

This is especially useful if the layer you're cropping is larger than the canvas, in which case the select-inverse technique is messy.

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Just resize the layer using the transform tool. If you make the layer a smart object first, then you'll have the option to revert back to the original image size should you wish, without data loss.

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resizing the layer is not going to do you any good if it makes that layer out of scale with stuff in the other layers. –  whatsisname Jan 3 '13 at 2:56

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