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The Crop tool center point has hidden value

Added on Friday 17th of April 2009 12:47 am EST
Adobe Photoshop CS/CS2/CS3
Operating Systems:
Microsoft Windows, Macintosh

When I use the crop tool, a center crosshair mark appears that I can move around. However, it doesn't seem to do anything. Do you know what it's for?

Brian, NJ



Yes, you can move the center point around and it might not appear to do anything—but it does. The center point serves two purposes, depending on which option you select on the tool Options bar. To follow along with us as we reveal the center point’s hidden benefit, open any image file in Photoshop, select the Crop tool, and then draw a crop selection—but don’t commit the crop yet. Read on to discover the center point’s true value.

Purpose 1: Center point for rotation
With your crop active and the center point still in the center, hover the cursor outside one of the crop corners until the cursor turns into a rounded double-headed arrow. Click and rotate the crop selection and notice the center point—which is still in the center of the crop selection—serves as the anchor point of rotation, as shown in Figure A.


Press [shift] and then click and rotate the crop selection back into its original position. Now, click...

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