In this tutorial I’ll be showing you how to crop your photos using Affinity Photo. You can check out the video tutorial below, or skip over it to the help article.
It’s a very simple process – so let’s dive right in!
For starters, find the image you want to use on your computer. Right-click on the image (red arrow in the photo above) and go to “Open With” (blue arrow). Select Affinity Photo (green arrow).
Once your image is open in the app, navigate over to the Toolbar on the left side. Click on the Crop Tool (should be the fourth tool down – red arrow in the image above) or access this tool using the “c” shortcut key on your keyboard.
With the crop tool selected, you should now see a crop area boundary and crop guides around your image (red arrow in the image above). The area outside the crop area will be dimmed, while the area inside the crop area will remain normal.
You’ll see settings for the crop tool in the Context Toolbar, which is the dynamic toolbar that pops up just above the canvas area (outlined in green in the image above). You can click the “Apply” button on the far left of the Context Toolbar at any time to apply the crop. Or, if you change your mind and decide you want to exit out of the crop tool, click the “Cancel” button.
Click on the gear icon (labeled “Presets” when you hover your mouse over it – red arrow in the above image) to select from a variety of pre-set ratios to quickly select an aspect ratio for your crop area. By default, my crop area has an aspect ratio of “1:1,” which produces a square. However, I can scroll through the options here (you can use the scroll bar – blue arrow – or simply use your mouse wheel) and choose another aspect ratio.
For example, I can choose the “16:9” aspect ratio under “Common Ratios” (green arrow). This is a standard aspect ratio for HD. When I click this option, my crop area will update to match this new aspect ratio (shown in the image below).
You can see the “Mode” dropdown changed to “Custom Ratio” (red arrow in the above image), and the “width” and “height” aspect ratio fields updated to “16” and “9” (outlined in green). Looking further down the Context Toolbar, you’ll see the actual new dimensions for my image with this crop will be 4160 x 2340 pixels (blue arrow).
If I wanted to reposition or resize the crop area while maintaining this aspect ratio, I can simply drag the handles along the outside of the crop area (red arrows). For example, dragging the handles inwards will shrink the crop area. You can see the new dimensions in the Context Toolbar (green arrow).
I can also click and drag in the middle of the crop area to reposition the crop.
If I wanted a different aspect ratio for my crop area, I can always manually type a new aspect ratio in the fields next to the “Custom Ratio” dropdown. For example, I’ll click each field and type “4” for the width (red arrow) and “3” for the height (green arrow) – press enter when you’re done. This will update the aspect ratio of the crop area (blue arrow).
I can then resize and reposition the new crop area. The new dimensions of my image will once again display in my Context Toolbar (red arrow in the image above).
If I wanted my crop to produce a specific width and height (i.e. 1920 px by 1080 px), I can choose the “Resample” option from the “Mode” dropdown (red arrow) and type these values for the width and height (outlined in green).
You’ll now see that the “Crop” size displayed in the Context Toolbar is 1920 x 1080 px (blue arrow in the above image). Affinity Photo will automatically resize the image to fit these new dimensions while maintaining the composition inside the crop area.
If I wanted to draw my own custom crop area, I can change the “Mode” dropdown to “Unconstrained” (red arrow in the image above) and freehand draw my crop area by clicking and dragging my mouse on the image.
On the other hand, if I want to maintain the original crop area of my image, I can choose the “Original Ratio” option (red arrow) and the crop area will now have the same aspect ratio as my original image. I can of course still resize this crop area to make it smaller and reposition it.
Now that you’ve seen several settings for the crop tool – let’s simply apply the crop to our image using our desired aspect ratio. I’ll click on the gear icon once again and select the “16:9” option (red arrow).
I’ll resize the crop area using the handles (red arrow) and reposition it with my mouse. When I’m ready to apply the crop, I’ll click the “Apply” button (green arrow).
My image will now be cropped with a 16:9 aspect ratio, and the new image will display in my Document View (green arrow). The new dimensions of the image will now display in the upper right corner of Affinity Photo (red arrow).
That’s it for this tutorial! If you liked it, you can check out my other Affinity video tutorials and help articles over on Pro Photo Vector.