For reference, I use Photoshop CS5 Extended. I would prefer to find a way to do what I want in this software.

I often want to crop my pictures so that they fit a certain proportion (either for printing or online use). Even when I want the 1.5:1 ratio my camera produces by default, it's rare that I'm not looking to crop some element out on the edge of the frame.

I know that I can hold down shift while adjusting the cropping box from one of the corners, and it will constrain the proportion there. But is there any way to set a specific proportion for the crop tool to use?

At the moment, I go through a fairly labour intensive process of getting it "about right" and then literally counting the pixels to make it correct.


4 Answers 4


When you select the crop tool the toolbar offers some features to make cropping to proportions easy:

  • Pick the Crop tool and in the toolbar pick the crop icon with dropdown arrow, where you'll see presets. Pick one and use it.

  • No preset exists for the crop you want? Create it by entering the specifics in the fields to the right of the field: width, height, and resolution. Then go back to the preset window and click the right arrow flyout menu and choose "New Tool Preset." Name the preset and save. Next time, just use your preset.

Now, here's the real trick: you don't need to specify all three values (width, height, resolution) to create a preset. Just specify the width and height and create a preset with those to be able to simply crop to that aspect ratio, regardless of resolution.

  • thank you so much. never noticed that little toolbar before now.
    – TZHX
    Feb 14, 2012 at 16:33

Dan's right. But I wanted to point out that you can even do it without creating a preset! Just put a dimension in the width and height. Say you want 11x14, just put in 11in and 14in and leave the dpi blank. Works like a charm.


This answer is for Photoshop CC, but hopefully it works for older versions as well.

I want to point out that the crop tool has two modes that work differently:

W x H x Resolution:

Width, Height, Resolution cropping

Crops to a width and height in cm / inches and a resolution in pixels per cm / pixels per inch. Fill in width, height and resolution in the fields following the select.

If you crop to "W x H x Resolution" the cropped image will be that exact size and resolution.


Proportional cropping

Crops to a width and height proportion. Fill in width and height proportion in the fields following the select.

Proportional cropping do not change the size of the resulting image.

You also find options for creating or removing presets at the bottom of the select.

  1. Load file to Photoshop.
  2. Select the Rectangular Marquee tool
  3. In Style drop down select Fixed Ratio
  4. Type Width=16, Height=9 or any other ratio
  5. Click and drag selection, position as required
  6. From Image menu, select Crop

Note: In Camera Raw, the Crop tool has preset Ratios

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