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Cropping in lightroom

Community Beginner ,
Dec 07, 2023 Dec 07, 2023

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While using the crop tool in Lightroom I would like if you could expand from corners or centers while locked in your desired aspect ratio and the image is touching the edge.

Currently I have to move the image off the edge, then enlarge the crop, then move it back to the  desired position wether its corner, top, or bottom edge.

It seems like a very minor thing but when editing tons of photos it quickly hinders my work flow. 

 

If there's a setting I don't know about, let me hear it 🙂

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 07, 2023 Dec 07, 2023

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You can use the standard Option (macOS) or Alt (Windows) modifier key to scale the crop rectangle from the center. In the demo below, I first drag from the bottom right corner normally. But that cuts off the truck, so next time I hold down the Option key as I drag, and it scales down from the center. The third time, after Option-dragging to crop from center, I then release the Option key without releasing the mouse button, so that when I drag back down, this time it extends the small center crop down to the bottom right corner, to include the truck.

 

What this shows is that by using the Option/Alt key, you can crop to the center, or two opposite corners, from the same crop rectangle handle. If you drag a side handle, you can crop to opposite sides (left/right, top/bottom).

 

Lightroom Classic crop modifiers 1x.gif

 

If the aspect ratio was not locked in Crop tool options, you could also hold down Shift to lock aspect ratio as you drag.

 

These modifier keys have been standard for many years: The Option/Alt key scales from the center, and Shift toggles aspect ratio lock. After you learn them, you’ll find they also work for general drag-scaling in Photoshop and many other applications and in the OS itself. For example, if you want to resize a Finder desktop window from the center, Option-dragging a window corner will do that.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 07, 2023 Dec 07, 2023

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Hi Conrad, Thank you for taking your time to help.

I'm familiar with the short cut keys but unfortunately that doesn't solve the issue. It's like Lightroom randomly decides that it will not allow you to drag from a corner and enlarge the crop when the crop touches the edge.
In the video you'll see that I can shrink down the crop by grabbing the edge but once I move it off the edge and then back to the edge; I can't drag the crop from the top left corner to make it larger. I have to shrink it off the edge-then expand it-then place it back on the edge. This is also a huge problem after straightening an image. It seems as if once two corners touch the edge it wont let you move. 

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LEGEND ,
Dec 07, 2023 Dec 07, 2023

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[This post contains formatting and embedded images that don't appear in email. View the post in your Web browser.]

 

"This is also a huge problem after straightening an image"

 

That provided the clue. LR is operating consistently, as-designed.

 

If you squint at your unfortunately low-resolution first screen recording, the crop angle is not 0, it's 0.01. As you try to enlarge by dragging the upper-left corner, the lower-left corner is expanding into the bottom edge of the image.

 

A larger crop angle makes it easier to understand what's going on.  Start with this crop, with angle = 5.00:

 

johnrellis_3-1702012190828.png

 

When you drag a corner of a crop with the aspect ratio locked, LR keeps the diagonally opposite corner fixed. So when you drag the upper-left corner, the crop expands by moving the left edge and top edge. Soon enough, the bottom-left corner bumps into the bottom of the photo:

 

johnrellis_4-1702012274913.png

 

The same thing happens when the crop angle is 0.01 and the bottom crop edge starts out very close to the bottom of the photo -- it's just much harder to see.

 

If you set the crop angle exactly to 0.00 by double-clicking on "Angle", then you'll be able to fully enlarge the crop.

 

(I learned about the subtleties of this behavior while implementing the Any Crop plugin.)

 

 

 

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LEGEND ,
Dec 07, 2023 Dec 07, 2023

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Here's a screen recording of the scenario above.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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Thanks for your response John,  I totally understand what your saying here and I'm well aware of it. That's actually the problem. It's mostly after straightening (so it won't be at 0 angle) and making minor adjustments to the crop that this becomes and annoyance. I don't believe this is a bug. It's an annoyance that I wish we could change in settings. I would like for that corner in your video to not lock into place and allow me to expand the box while automatically adjusting the angle if need be (I may have uploaded a bad example video). I'm basically asking if there's a setting that I'm unaware of that could make that happen. When your editing one photo its not a big deal but when your making minor adjustments to hundreds it becomes a pain.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 08, 2023 Dec 08, 2023

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[This post contains formatting and embedded images that don't appear in email. View the post in your Web browser.]

 

To clarify your proposal, what would you like to happen in the following situation?  

 

Start dragging the upper-left corner:

johnrellis_0-1702063363712.png

 

LR currently keeps the lower-right corner fixed, and the lower-left corner bumps into the photo's bottom edge:

johnrellis_1-1702063485949.png

 

So as you keep dragging the upper-left corner, what should LR do?  It can't act the same as dragging the center of the crop's top edge, since that would need to expand the crop's bottom edge, which is already stuck on the photo's bottom. 

 

But it could automatically switch to dragging the upper-right corner, until the bottom-right corner hits the photo's right edge:

johnrellis_2-1702063802100.png

 

At that point, it could switch to shifting the center of the crop in the same direction as dragging the upper-left corner, expanding the size of the crop at the same time:

johnrellis_4-1702064059484.png

 

But then the upper-right corner will hit the photo's top edge, and the crop can't increase in size any further while maintaining the locked aspect ratio and the crop angle.

 

I'm sure there would be lots of other cases to work out about what to do when a crop corner bumps into a photo's edge.  Maybe it would look smooth and natural -- hard for me to completely visualize it without working through all the cases.

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