How to Crop an Image: The Ultimate Guide

When you take a picture, you don't always think about what is in the background, foreground, or sides of what you are trying to capture. Say, for instance, you are trying to take an adorable picture of your nephew smashing his first birthday cake with his face. You snap the photo in a hurry because you know the moment isn't going to last, but when you look at it, there is stuff in it you don't want.

When you take a photo, and there is excess stuff around your main subject, an easy fix is to crop the image.

What does it mean to crop an image?

When you crop an image, it means you are cutting out part of the image. This allows you to focus on the main subject of the image without all the distracting background.

Chances are, you may have done this on social media. When you go to set a profile picture, it will ask you which part of the photo you wish to focus on to fit within the limits of the profile picture shape.

Cropping an image can also be helpful if your primary subject didn't end up where you wanted them in the frame. For example, if you wanted your subject to be in the middle of the photo, but it ended up off to the right side, you can adjust this with cropping. Cut off part of the picture on the left, and it will end up centering your subject.

Cropping is a great way to help emphasize certain parts of a picture that may be missed out on if there is too much going on. When photographing animals or people, using the crop function to zoom in can create a dramatic effect with the photo.

Finally, the rule of thirds is an important consideration when cropping your photo. You may have noticed that grid lines will pop up when you take a picture on a phone. These grid lines are here to help you set up your image. According to the rule of thirds, you should line up your subject along the grid lines. For instance, if you are taking a picture of the setting sun, you would set up the photo so the horizon line aligns with the top or bottom grid line.

How to crop an image

Depending on the program you are using, cropping will look a little different. Here are guides on how to crop a photo using Windows and Mac.


  1. Find the photo you want to crop.
  2. Right-click on it and select edit.
  3. This should bring up the paint tool, where you will click on the "select" tool.
  4. Drag across the picture to cover the parts of the image you wish to keep.
  5. Click the "crop" button.


  1. Find the file you want to crop.
  2. Open it using the "Preview" program.
  3. Select the "Editor Toolbar."
  4. Click on the "rectangular selection" tool.
  5. Drag across the picture to cover the parts of the image you wish to keep.
  6. Click the "crop" button.


When you take a photo, there is sometimes stuff in the background you don't want. Or you want to focus more heavily on a specific part of a photo. An easy fix for this is to crop the image. This means you cut out part of the photo so only a specific piece of it is left.

Cropping a photo isn't very difficult to do. All it requires is selecting your photo and dragging a box across it to show which pieces you want to remain.

Need to Download WinZip