After trying to crop a photo to the correct aspect ratio for the size I was printing on my Epson 9800, I decided to find a way to automate this. The problem I have ( and I am sure many of you too) is that oftentimes the aspect ratio our cameras shoot in doesn’t fit popular printing sizes as 8 X 10”, 4 X 6” and 5 X 7”.
At then end, cropping will happen. Here is how to do the post processing and the actions that I already did to solve this problem, free for download.
First I will explain to you the easier manual way to do it. After that I will teach you how to use the action tool to automate it.
Locate and open the photo you like to print in Photoshop©.Go to Image > Duplicate to keep safe the original image and crop an exact copy of it. Photoshop will assign the same name as the original image and add the word copy at the end, you may keep this name or change as you want.
Select the cropping tool at the tool panel or type the letter C.
Now your cropping tool will keep the aspect ratio of the selected size for you. Just click and drag the cropping tool to frame the image as you want.
Now with the photo frame by the cropping tool, you may re-size the frame, rotate it to compose the image as you need. After that press Enter and the final cropped image will be shown.You will need to do every single step above for every image you want to print in a popular aspect ratio or size.
After asking around I realized that lot of other people have had this size problem too, so I decided to turn this in to an action to make it easier for us in the future.
The “Cropping Create” Action
I provide here a Photoshop© action file in two different compressed formats ( zip & rar) for your convenience. The action file has three actions: Create 8 X10”, 4 X 6” and 5 X 7”.
One Time Setup:
Once you had completed the above step, your Photoshop working space should look like the one at the right, including actions for 8 X10” , 5 X 7”,
and 4 X 6” . To open the action panel go to Window > Action.
We’ll start from scratch again. Open a photo you want to turn in to a 8 X 10” , then go to the action panel (Window > Action), Select the action “Create 8 x 10”, then click on the play selection button ( the triangle one at the bottom of the panel, see image).
This will run the action for you. The action will automatically duplicate the original image for you, then will configure the cropping tool to the aspect ratio you need ( in this case 8 X 10 “) and will allow you to correct the cropping framing as needed, will crop, will save the cropped image and will close it for you. This is really fast & easy.
Below are the two screens that will pop up during the process, the first one will advice you that in the next step you may correct the frame and must press enter to continue, click continue on this window.
Will you share your best Cropping techniques with Us?
The above technique to crop at the right aspect ratio are just one of them, you are free to use the provide action to make your post processing easier and faster.