Cropping an image is one of the basic needs while editing a picture. It helps in removing the unnecessary portions from it. While we usually crop in square or rectangular shapes, sometimes, we want our image to be of a different shape such as a circle. One may think that it would be an easy job for Paint, but things are different.
Seven years ago, we covered how to give an image a perfectly round shape using Paint. Surprisingly, things haven’t changed much. Even though Microsoft has launched an upgraded version of Paint known as Paint 3D, it also doesn’t let us crop a circular image with just a click.
Fortunately, a workaround exists. The steps may look scary and long, but once you get hold of the process, it won’t take much time. So let’s start the process of cropping an image into a circular shape in Paint 3D.
Crop Circular Image in Paint 3D
Here’s how to go about it.
1. Open the Image
Launch Paint 3D and open the image that you want to crop by going to Menu > Open.
2. Draw a Circle Using 2D Shapes
Now, we need to take the help of the circle shape to draw a circle on our image. For that, go to 2D shapes at the top and select circle from the right sidebar.
Then, take the mouse pointer near the area where you want to crop. Keeping the left mouse button pressed, drag to draw a circle. For a proper and equal circle, hold the Shift key while dragging the mouse.
3. Adjust Circle Parameters
After drawing the circle, don’t click outside of it before adjusting some essential parameters. First, make sure Fill is selected as None and Line type as Solid in the right sidebar. Also, keep white as Line type color.
Now, increase the thickness of the circle from the right sidebar. For best results, keep it 100px.
Don’t worry, if you don’t get the circle right or the preferred area inside the circle for the very first time. You can adjust it easily by either moving the circle or changing its size. For moving the circle, hover the mouse pointer inside the circle. You will see that it changes to a four-sided arrow. Press and hold the left mouse button and drag it to a different position.
For adjusting the size, drag the shape using any of the tiny squares in the dotted line. Keep Shift key pressed for best results.
Finally, click on the checkmark icon outside the circle outline to add the circle.
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4. Crop Image in Square Shape
Now, click on Crop present in the toolbar and crop it in a square shape. Adjust the crop selection in such a way that the selection touches the inner edges of the circle, as shown in the screenshot. Hit Done on the right sidebar to crop it.
5. Erase the Outer Area
If you have followed the steps correctly until now, you will have the existing background on the four edges of your circle. To remove that, click on the Brushes icon and select eraser from it.
Erase the extra part by holding the left mouse button and dragging it over the outer areas. You can also increase the size of the eraser using the Thickness slider present in the right sidebar.
Finally, you will have your image inside a circle. If you are using it on a white background, you can save the image and use it. If the background color is different, check the next section to make the background transparent.
6. Make Background Transparent
To make the background transparent, we will use the Magic select tool of Paint 3D.
Here are the steps:
Step 1: Click on the Magic select icon at the top. Since the background is white and distinct, no need to make any other changes or adjust the border. Click Next on the right.
Hopefully, you will see that Paint has detected the exact circle shape. If something is missing, refine it using the Add or Remove buttons. Hit the Done button making sure Autofill background is selected.
Step 2: You will notice that the size of the cropped image increases slightly. Don’t worry. Select the Canvas icon at the top and enable Transparent canvas. Most of the white background will disappear.
Step 3: If there are certain areas with the white background, we can remove them. For that, slightly increase the size of the box while keeping the Shift key pressed.
Step 4: Next, click on the cropped image. A new selection box will appear. Now increase its size by dragging it from any of the corners. Keep the Shift key pressed for equal adjustments. Doing that will hide the white spots.
Tip: Move the selection by keeping the mouse pointer over it and dragging it to hide the white area completely.
Step 5: Lastly, go to Menu and select Save as from it with file format as Image.
Step 6: Under the Save as type drop-down box, select PNG (image) and check the box next to Transparency. Hit the Save button to save your cropped photo.
Saving the image in the PNG format is extremely crucial as PNG retains the transparency of the picture. If you face any issue while removing the background of the photo, check the post where we cover it in detail.
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Now you can easily use this circular image wherever you want. Moreover, you can use the above steps to crop an image into any shape. Just select the 2D shape of your choice and follow the same steps.
Tip: Add Circular Image to Pictures in Paint 3D
If you want to add this newly created circular image on top of another picture in the Paint 3D itself, you can save it as a sticker. For that, when you complete the step 1 of the background removal process (i.e. use the Magic select tool), click on the image. Hit Make sticker from the sidebar.
Now, open the image in Paint 3D on which you want to add this circular image. Go to Stickers at the top and click on the third icon on the right sidebar. You will find your cropped image here. Click on it to add to the base image. Adjust its position and size, and finally, save the image.
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Circle Should be Easy
I know that the method is too lengthy for a simple crop. But that's what is available for us right now. Hope is a good thing to have, and that's all we can do — hope that Microsoft introduces the native circle crop feature. Meanwhile, you can download PhotoScape, the free editing software that offers a circular crop.
Next up: Microsoft is killing Snipping Tool on Windows. Snip & Sketch will replace it. Know how the two apps differ from each other.