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Cropping - why is it overly difficult to do such a simple task?


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I have two images. One is the original. The second image is the replacement. I need to size the second image to meet the dimensions of the first image so that it can be used as a replacement on a website.

 

In Photoshop, all I do is select the cropping tool, enter in the height and width to lock the dimensions at, and I can click and drag. The selection box stays proportionate to the dimensions entered.

 

However, with paint.net, if I select the selection tool, click fixed ratio, and enter in my width and height, the box does scale to the dimensions entered to the edge of the photo, and then continues to allow you to drag, completely ignoring the dimensions entered! How do I stop it from doing this?

Edited by Jedis
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Choose the "Move Selection" tool  :MoveSelectionTool:  and drag from the center of the selection instead of the handles.

 

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Instead of using "fixed ratio," use "fixed size."

Fixed ratio only keeps the ratio between the height and width constant. It won't keep the actual size the same.

 

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I think Jedis means that the fixed size selection can be dragged past the edge of the canvas so that after cropping it is not the size (or ratio) selected.
I do not know of any way around this, currently?. It can be tricky to line up right on the edge ...and then I often get it wrong by a pixel or two!

It's good to keep an eye on the coordinates of 'Selection top left' of the bounding rectangle. (Down in the bottom left hand of the window.)

 

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...

I do not know of any way around this, currently?. It can be tricky to line up right on the edge ...and then I often get it wrong by a pixel or two! ..

 

When I need to crop and keep one of the original edges and/or corners, I always use Image > Canvas Size. Sometimes, when there is a need for it, followed by the Crop to Selection.

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I have two images. One is the original. The second image is the replacement. I need to size the second image to meet the dimensions of the first image so that it can be used as a replacement on a website.

 

In Photoshop, all I do is select the cropping tool, enter in the height and width to lock the dimensions at, and I can click and drag. The selection box stays proportionate to the dimensions entered.

 

However, with paint.net, if I select the selection tool, click fixed ratio, and enter in my width and height, the box does scale to the dimensions entered to the edge of the photo, and then continues to allow you to drag, completely ignoring the dimensions entered! How do I stop it from doing this?

 

You are comparing a $600 + program with a Free program, maybe you have unreasonable expectations? Most (free) image editors work the same way. You need to take the extra steps to get the desired results, plain and simple.

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I like the way PDN uses Crop to Selection instead of having a separate Crop command. I think it's a cleaner, more flexible solution.

 

There are two changes that would improve the Rectangle Select command. First, when the selection is a fixed size or ratio, there could be the option of confining the selection to the canvas so that the on-canvas selection maintains the specified size or ratio. Second, the selection could be movable with keyboard arrow commands for precise positioning. The second is just a convenience, to avoid having to make the selection then use Move Selection.

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There are two changes that would improve the Rectangle Select command. First, when the selection is a fixed size or ratio, there could be the option of confining the selection to the canvas so that the on-canvas selection maintains the specified size or ratio. Second, the selection could be movable with keyboard arrow commands for precise positioning. The second is just a convenience, to avoid having to make the selection then use Move Selection.

Exactly my thoughts (but realize all U.I. changes involve risk and must be thoroughly considered).

 

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When casting a selection hold down the second mouse button (yep - both of them). Now you can drag the selection around. Release the second button to go back to normal selection casting.

It may be that the arrow keys will move the selection when both buttons are down (I'm not at my PC and can't check right now).

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That's very useful to know. Fixed-size selections don't require the second button be held down. They always move with the cursor.

 

EDIT: I couldn't get the selection to move with the keyboard arrows even when holding down both buttons. I also tried (without success) a few other things, such as holding down the shift and the control key.

Edited by MJW
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The cropping tool in PDN clearly does not compete with PhotoShop no matter what tricks you can come up with. It is one of the greatest reasons that I still keep a very old version (PhotoShop7- circa 2002) of PhotoShop on my editing DeskTop. It makes cropping images for Blu-Ray format resolution sooooo much easier..........

 

Let's be honest, I like PDN as much as the next guy, but the cropping tool is not up to par with that of Photo Shop.

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EDIT: I couldn't get the selection to move with the keyboard arrows even when holding down both buttons. I also tried (without success) a few other things, such as holding down the shift and the control key.

 

Really? It works for me....

 

1. Start dragging out a rectangular selection (fixed ratio or Normal).

2. Keep the first mouse button down and then also hold down the second mouse button.

3. With both buttons held down, drag the selection shape around the canvas.

4. While both buttons are down, the arrow keys move the selection around on a per pixel basis.

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I think its better if a crop selection and a crop command are two separate things.

 

I personally like the crop selection of PDN, only that I sometimes accidentally press it instead of the Deselect button.

 

I crop command should be a separate thing in the UI where you get resizing handles for a selection and the areas outside the selection are darkened. You  also got preset aspect ratios in what you would allow the selection to be. If it is possible on a future version of PDN or through a plugin that opens its own window on the UI, that would be great.

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Move Selection is not required - the technique works when you're actually casting the selection i.e. the Rectangle Select tool (or any other shape selection tool) is active.

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