The Crop Tool is used to crop or clip an image. It works on all the
layers of the image, visible and invisible. This tool is often used
to remove borders, or to eliminate unwanted areas to provide you with a
more focused working area. It is also useful if you need a specific image
size that does not match the original dimensions of your image.
Just like the selection tools, the new crop tool has been enhanced with
the v2.4 release. The resize handles actually resize the crop rectangle
instead of providing both resize and move functionality. The tool behaves
more naturally and consistently with other GIMP tools.
To move, simply drag the rectangle clicking within the area. Resizing is
possible in one or two axes at the same time dragging the handle-bars on
the sides and corners. The outside area can be darkened with a nice
passepartout effect to better get the idea of how the final crop will
look like. To validate cropping, click inside the crop rectangle or
press the Enter key.
When the mouse becomes the moving cross-hair, you can use the keyboard
arrow keys to move the crop rectangle. Holding the
Shift key down allows to move by increments of 25 pixels.
You can use Guides to position the crop area. Make sure that the
option is checked.
You can see the aspect ratio in the status bar:
4.4.1. Activating the Tool
You can activate this tool in different ways:
4.4.2. Key modifiers (Defaults)
When you maintain click on the crop rectangle, handles
holding down the Ctrl key toggles to the
Extend from Center option,
holding down the Shift key toggles to the
Fixed option, which makes some
Figure 13.102. Tool Options for the “Crop” tool
Normally, tool options are displayed in a window attached under the
Toolbox as soon as you activate a tool. If they are not, you can access
them from the image menu bar through
→ → which opens the option window of the selected tool.
Current Layer Only
This option will make crop affect only the active layer.
This option allows the crop or resize to take place outside the
image (or layer), and even the canvas. So, you can give the size
you want to the resulting image. Transparency will be used if
there is no material to crop.
Figure 13.103. Example for “Allow Growing”
Expand from Center
When this option is checked, the crop rectangle expands from
the first pixel you clicked taken for center. You can toggle
this option with Ctrl while drawing the crop
You can also access this option by holding down the
Ctrl key while drawing the crop rectangle.
This option offers you several to make drawing
the crop rectangle respect fixed dimensions, or their ratio:
Aspect ratio: That's the default
possibility. Width and Height keep the same ratio they have
in the original image, when drawing the crop rectangle.
Width / Height: Only Width or Height
will remain fixed. The value of this dimension can be set in
the text box below; it defaults to 100 pixels.
Size: Both Width and Height will be
fixed. Their values can be set in the text box below, in the
form “150x100” for example. The crop rectangle
will adopt this values as soon as you click the image. On the
right, two buttons let you choose a
(upright) format for the
These two text boxes show the position (horizontal on the left,
vertical on the right) of the upper left corner of the crop
rectangle in real time and you can change it manually too. It is
stated in pixels, but you can change the unit thanks to the
drop-down list of the
coordinate origin is the upper left corner of the canvas (not of
These two text boxes show the size (horizontal on the left,
vertical on the right) of the crop-rectangle in real time and you
can change it manually too. It is stated in pixels, but you can
change the unit thanks to the drop-down list of the
This option toggles the dark outside area intended for
highlighting the crop rectangle.
All kinds of guides are described in
Section 2.2, “Rectangle Selection”
The Auto Shrink button will attempt to locate a border, in the
active layer, from which to draw dimensions from. This option
only works well with isolated objects contrasting sharply with
Figure 13.104. Example for “Autoshrink”
This option works the same, with Auto Shrink or not. It uses the
pixel information from all visible layers,
rather than just from the active layer.