Crop a photo with GIMP

How to crop a photo or image using GIMP. This is how to do a simple crop. It uses the Crop Tool.

Good practice note: always copy your image first and work on the copy.

1. Open your photo

  • In GIMP: File –> Open
  • From your File Browser: Right click –> Open With –> GIMP Image Editor

Screenshot shows opening a document using GIMP photo editing software.

2. Choose the Crop Tool

  • Click on the Crop Tool in the Toolbox. It looks like a scalpel.
  • If it’s hard to find, hover over the icons to show the yellow tool tips.
  • You can also select the Crop Tool by clicking SHIFT + C.

Screenshot shows selecting the crop tool for photo editing.

3. Select the area to keep

  • Hold the left mouse button and drag to select the area you want to keep.
  • Highlight is selected by default. This makes the area you will keep bright and dulls the part of the picture that will be cropped.

Screenshot shows Highlight option in the cropping dialogue toolbox.

4. Changing the size of your selection

  • Click and drag on the sides to change the size of your selection.
  • And/Or click and drag at the top and bottom.
  • And/Or click and drag at the corners.

Screenshot shows adjusting the size of cropping area.

5. Using the cursor or mouse pointer

  • Look at the mouse pointer as you hover over the drag lines.
  • It will change to show what GIMP will do if you start dragging in that position.
  • (This does not show in these screenshots.)

Screenshot shows changing height and width of cropped area.

6. Using Size in the Crop dialogue box

  • Look at Size in the Crop dialogue box as you drag the drag handles on the drag lines.
  • The numbers change as you drag. You can change the measurement units that show the size.
  • You can adjust the size precisely by typing in the size boxes or by using the arrows.

Screenshot shows Size options, in pixels, in the cropping dialogue box.

7. Changing the Position of your selection

  • Hover on the bright part of the picture. The mouse pointer will change to a diamond shape.
  • Click and hold the left mouse button to move your selection over other areas of the picture.
  • In the Crop dialogue box Position works in the same way as Size.

Screenshot shows moving the postion of the part of the picture to crop.

8. Making the Crop

  • When you are happy with your selection. EITHER:
  • Double-click on the bright part of the picture (your selection) OR
  • Press Enter or Return on your keyboard.

Screenshot shows final edit selection for area being cropped.

9. Save and finish

  • Save your cropped photo or image.
  • Menu: File –> Save
  • Keyboard shortcut: CTRL + S

Screenshot shows completed cropped photograph of a tiger ready to save.

About GIMP

GIMP logo featuring Wilber, the GIMP mascot, as a wizard.GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is similar to Photoshop. We offer graphic design services for print and the web. We also provide training and support. For all your design wizardry contact us here or visit our main website.

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