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Cropping tricks in Lightroom Classic

One of my most used tools in Lightroom Classic has to be the cropping tool. While simple at its core, it can have a substantial effect to your photographs. And while we all know how to click and drag each edge to get the crop we want, the tool is much more powerful than that. Here are four cropping tricks to enhance your post-production workflow in Lightroom Classic.

Get a centered crop

You know the drill by now. Usually when cropping in Lightroom, you have to drag the points and then drag the crop to the position you’d like. And oftentimes, we just want to crop out some of the edge of our frame. By holding down the Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows) key while cropping, Lightroom will automatically crop from the center of your photograph.

Go from horizontal to vertical, and back again

There’s a quick keyboard shortcut to turn a horizontal crop vertical, or from vertical to horizontal. Click the X key on your keyboard, and it will automatically change. The best part? It’ll keep the same aspect ratio, so you can stay consistent in your cropping.

Change your crop overlay

By default, Lightroom presents a grid representing the Rule of Thirds when you crop. You can change this though to several other options — Grid, Thirds, Diagonal, Triangle, Golden Ratio, Golden Spiral and Aspect Ratios. Just hit the O key to toggle through them, or go to Tools > Crop Guide Overlay.

Manually straighten your image

While Lightroom’s transform tools are very powerful, sometimes there’s just satisfaction in knowing that you straightened out the image you took, all by yourself. To do this, click the Ruler button in the Crop tool, located next to the Angle slider. Then click and drag on the part of your image you want to be straight, and it’ll automatically adjust.

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