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  • December 07, 2018
  • 21 min to read

How to Crop a Picture on Mac and Windows

How to Crop a Picture on Mac and Windows

We often face the need to crop a photo – in order to adjust the portrait for the social media profile picture, to delete odd details out of a good shot or to put an emphasis on a particular captured object instead of a vast scenery. It may seem like a simple task, but many users encounter obstacles at this point – so we decided to answer the most popular questions considering photo cropping.

If you’ve ever asked yourself:

  • what applications can crop photos

  • can pre-installed Windows or MacOS soft fulfill these functions

  • and, finally, can Paint crop photos professionally

We’re here to set things straight and to help you actually crop a picture using any app you like or have at hand.

What soft can be used for photos cropping?

Whichever you have installed on your computer!

We will show you how to do it:

1. in Paint ❗
2. on a Mac ❗
3. with simple Photo Editor 

Cropping is a very simple, yet, frequently-used function, which by default comes with all photo editing soft, so there’s literally no wrong solution for this issue. In case you have Windows operating system, you can use basic Paint, more advanced Luminar, professional Photoshop, or any other application you like.

For MacOS, there is a powerful pre-installed Photos, the already mentioned Luminar, or a close Photoshop rival GIMP.

All of the tools are made for users with different levels of photo editing experience. This way, more complex applications will offer more advanced solutions for your photos handling. Yet still, you’ll be able to do a great job even if using Paint to crop pictures, especially if you’ll follow our step-by-step guide.

1.How to crop photos with Paint?

There are several Paint modifications, which come with the different versions of Windows. All of the application modifications, however, have similar functionality, so this instruction for Windows 10 will work even for the Paint 98.

1. Open Paint tool by clicking on the program’s icon in the Start Menu → Windows Accessories, or by typing Paint in the search bar, or by opening the Run box with the Win+R key shortcut and writing mspaint there.

2. When the application is running, open the photo for edit by clicking the upper left button File → Open. After that, find the needed file in the folder where you’ve saved it and double click on the image.

2.1. To jump over all of the previous steps, just click on the photo with the right mouse button, and find Open With → Paint in the menu.

3. The photo is opened and fits the screen. Here, depending on what part of the image you want to crop, you might use two different tools - rectangular selection or free-form selection.

4. Rectangular selection:
4.1. click on the instrument in the toolbar above the photo;
4.2. highlight the area you want to crop by stretching a rectangle above the image;

4.3. when the needed area is highlighted, press Crop button on the toolbar, or use the key shortcuts Ctrl+X (to clear the highlighted rectangle) or Ctrl+Shift+X (to delete everything around the highlighted rectangle).

5. Free-form selection:
5.1. choose the instrument in the drop-down menu by clicking on the Select button;

5.2 draw a line around the object on the photo you want to crop (the line should be closed);

5.3. use the already mentioned key shortcut.

Voila! You’ve made a perfect crop from the photo using the basic Windows utility. Now, save it in any convenient format and enjoy the result of your labor.

Note: the earliest versions of Paint do not have a free-form selection, so by using the old modifications you can get only a simple rectangular crop.

2. How to crop photos on MacOS?

The basic pre-installed application Photos shows equally good results in cropping as if you’d edit the photo with the professional tools. It’s free and powerful – and what else is needed?

  1. Launch Photos by clicking on the app’s icon, which you can find in the Dock bar.

1.1. Here again, you can click on the photo with the right mouse button in order to call the instrumental menu, and there choose Open with → Photos.

2. When the program is opened, click on the required picture and press Space button on your keyboard to see the picture’s preview.
3. In the same upper bar click on the Edit pictogram, which depicts three parallel sliders.

4. On the right part of the new editing screen, you’ll see the list of the available tools. Here you should choose – yes, right – the Crop function, which looks like a schematic photograph frame.

5. Using the instrument, you can either highlight the area manually, or scroll among the Aspect list, which will specify the ratio of the final crop, and then move it onto the needed object.

6. When you’re satisfied with the result, press the Done button and save a new photo somewhere on your computer.

3. How to crop photos with Luminar?

To use Luminar for photo editing, you might need to download it first - Try Free Trial Version. It’s a somewhat expensive professional program for images handling, which offers richer functional than the previous apps. There is some good news for the readers who don’t want to spend money buying Luminar to get a basic cropping tool – it has a free trial, which anyone can receive by leaving a request on the program’s official website.

Note: Luminar works both for Windows and MacOS computers.

  1. Open the application from the folder where you have it installed, or by clicking on the program’s shortcut on the desktop.

  2. In the appeared window click the upper left button File and find an Open point in the menu. Another idea is to use a key shortcut Ctrl+O

2.1. Just as in the Paint guide for Windows, you can click on the photo with the right mouse button and browse for Open with → Luminar option.

3. When the file is opened, search for the Tools button in the toolbar in the upper part of the screen.

4. There, in the drop-down menu, choose Crop instrument.
4.1. To jump over these steps, press key C on your keyboard, and the Crop menu will appear in a second.

5. In the new Crop menu choose an aspect of the area you’re going to crop. There you might find such useful functions as a Facebook Cover or Facebook Feed, which will automatically adjust the image for the corresponding social network’s requirements.


6.1. Tip: there you can also experiment with the angle of the final crop.

7. Finally, apply the changes and save the result.

Summing Up

This was the step-by-step guide for all the most popular photo editing programs you might use to crop images. To make your final crop perfect, try to use images in a high resolution: if you’re using a bad photo, instead of a crop you might only see pixels, and this is not the result we’re heading to.

All in all, we hope this article helped you, but if you’re left with some questions, feel free to ask them in the comments.

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