How to Use Advanced Cropping and Straightening in Photoshop

Alvaro Bernedo

If you think of Photoshop as a tool only for professionals, think again. This great application offers a ton of features and options that are easily accessible even to the most novice of users.

Photoshop Crop and Straighten Tools
Get your photos straight. (via Shutterstock)

Let’s take a look at two different scenarios where Photoshop can help you make your photos right.

1. Straighten Your Images Perfectly with the Ruler Tool

While having an iPhone or other smartphone in your pocket at all times means that you will always be ready to take a photo, it also means that at least some of your shots will not be perfect.

There are different ways to straighten your images of course, but if you want a precise way to do so, just open your photo in Photoshop and follow this method.

Step 1: Head to the toolbar on the left, right-click on the Eyedropper to reveal the Ruler tool and select it.

Photoshop Ruler Tool

Step 2: Head back to your photo and draw a line (by clicking and dragging) on it where you want the horizontal level to be set (just above the sign in this case).

Photoshop Ruler Tool Line

Step 3: Next, go to the Image menu on the menu bar and from Image Rotation select Arbitrary from the available options. A small window will pop up showing you the exact angle that you just drew on your photo.

Photoshop Image Rotation Arbitrary

Photoshop Rotate Canvas

Then check either the clockwise or the counter clockwise option (depending on the angle of your image), click on the OK button and your image will be straightened!

Photoshop Image Straight

Step 4: Now, to clean up those extra corners head to left toolbar again and select the Crop tool. Then select as much of your image as you can, press the Return key, and all those extra corners will be gone for good.

Photoshop Crop Selection

Photoshop Photo Straightened

Get Homes and Objects in Line

Let’s say you took a few photos of city landscapes, but when you look at them on your computer, you notice that the sides of certain homes, walls, buildings or other large objects are not properly aligned and seem in fact, to be ‘leaning’ to one side.

Photoshop Leaning Home

That is not your camera’s fault though, it is just a matter of perspective and your camera taking in the distance between you and the objects around you.

Fortunately, you can easily fix this with Photoshop as well.

Step 1: Start by opening your photo on Photoshop. Then click on the Crop tool from the toolbar on the left and select your entire image with it.

Photoshop Crop Image Selected

Step 2: Now, above the image you will see a checkbox labeled Perspective. Check it.

Photoshop Perspective Checkbox

Once you do, click on one of the corners of your selection and drag it until it rests on an angle parallel to the leaning object.

Photoshop Image Selection Corner

Step 3: Once you are sure of your selection, click on the checkmark icon at the top left of the window to confirm your actions and Photoshop will drag and stretch the image until it is properly aligned.

Photoshop Checkmark

Photoshop Leaning Image Straightened

Quite amazing right?

And there you have it. Next time you open your photos on your computer, take a closer look at them and if you find issues like the ones mentioned above, you’ll know how to handle them with ease.

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#image editing #photos

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Alvaro Bernedo

Written By

Alvaro Bernedo

Contributor at Guiding Tech