How To Crop Any Image To A Perfect Square Using Preview [100 Tips #54]

Crop a perfect square

Hopefully you already know how great Preview is. It comes built in with every Mac, it handles PDFs and images with ease, and does a great deal of basic image editing just fine, saving you the bother of opening more substantial, more expensive image editors. Here’s a tip for getting perfect square crops inside Preview.

To crop an image in Preview, make sure you’re in Select mode and just start dragging on it. A selection box will appear, which you can resize and move around until it’s just right.

If you want to crop to a perfect square, you could do it manually, relying on the pixel measurements that appear at the bottom-right corner of your selection to tell you when the selection is square.

Or you could do it the easy way: hold down Option and Shift while dragging. Now, your selection will be constrained to a square.

(You’re reading the 54th post in our series, 100 Essential Mac Tips And Tricks For Windows Switchers. These posts explain to OS X beginners some of the most basic and fundamental concepts of using a Mac. Find out more, or Grab the RSS feed.)

  • Alex Koester

     The number of times I have done this manually! Thank you so much for an excellent tip. tip.

  • G1sh

    Shift + drag also does a square selection, but more natural one – from the top-left corner. Shift + Option + drag is the center oriented square.

  • Didnt Work

    this has been a feature on computers for over 15 years.

  • chano

     Giles, is there a way to specify the pixel dimensions?

  • Naymac

    does not stay in a square for me??!!

  • gilest

    not that i’m aware of

  • AlanTheIgnoramous

     How do I get to Tip #1?

  • Bernhard Häussermann

    Ok, I think I have a hang of this now.
    Next tip?

  • Macsdontwork

    Would be great if it worked, but it doesn’t on my machine. Nor are there even any pixel measurements. (Yes, I hit “select all” first. And tried other variations.) Typical Mac uselessness.

  • bernhardush

    It looks like the 100 tips have stopped half-way.

  • Gregor

    Is Gilles fired ?

About the author

Giles TurnbullGiles Turnbull is a freelance writer in England. He also writes for the Press Association and The Morning News. You can find out more at his website, and follow him on Twitter @gilest.

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Posted in 100 Tips, How-To | Tagged: , , |