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

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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.)

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21 responses to “How To Crop Any Image To A Perfect Square Using Preview [100 Tips #54]”

  1. Alex Koester says:

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

  2. G1sh says:

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

  3. Didnt Work says:

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

  4. chano says:

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

  5. Naymac says:

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

  6. gilest says:

    not that i’m aware of

  7. AlanTheIgnoramous says:

     How do I get to Tip #1?

  8. Bernhard Häussermann says:

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

  9. Macsdontwork says:

    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.

  10. bernhardush says:

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

  11. Gregor says:

    Is Gilles fired ?

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