How do I crop an image in Preview on Mac?

Preview is the preinstalled application on Mac that allows users to view and edit photos with some basic editing functions, including image cropping. If you merely need a simple-to-use and quick tool for cropping a photo, this is one of the best options.

Question:

How do I crop an image on a Mac?

Answer: 

You can use the bundled Preview app to perform image cropping without the need to install an additional software. It’s the app used to open pictures on Mac by default.

Here’s how to do so:

1. Open the image you wish to crop. By default, it will be opened in Preview. If not, right-click on the image, then select “Open with” → Preview.

2. Click the “Markup” button to reveal the editing tools.

How to crop an image on Mac using Preview

3. Now choose “Rectangular Selection”, it’s usually set by default in the selection tool. If not, click on the arrow beside it then choose the “Rectangular Selection” tool from the drop-down menu.

How to crop an image on Mac using Preview
Select the “Rectangular Selection” option

4. Draw a rectangle on the image to create a section area. Now move the rectangle to the portion of the image that you wish to crop. Then adjust the selection by dragging the blue circles along the dotted lines. Keep resizing and moving the rectangle around until your desired portion fits in the selection area.

PRO Tip: If you want to crop to a perfect square, you could do it the easy way: hold down Option and Shift while dragging. Now, your selection will be constrained to a square.

5. Press Command + K to crop the picture. Don’t like to use keyboard shortcuts? you can select Tools → Crop alternatively. The image will immediately crop down to the section you’ve drawn.

Crop the image
Press Command + K or select Tools > Crop

If you don’t like the cropped image, simply press Command + Z to undo, then repeat the 4th step, until you’re satisfied.

6. To save the cropped image, press Command + S or click “File” on the top menu then select “Save”.

Although cropping a picture in macOS with Preview is pretty simple, it’s not quite an obvious function to find on the app interface. Therefore, new Mac users sometimes have to search for this basic tool.

Since Preview is simply an image viewer and PDF viewer of the macOS operating system, its editing toolset is very basic. If you need to crop photos based on a fixed ratio, or want a better preview of the resulting image before cropping, you should consider installing a more powerful editing application like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP.

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