View Full Version : Question re: Cropping Digital Papers

12-30-2007, 09:08 PM
I know this topic says Digital Layouts, but I hope it's all right to ask a question here. One of you kind folks shared a link to a freebie Christmas kit that I downloaded. I have PhotoShop Elements 5.0. I took a brief class on the software at an area community college, however, it really only addressed photo editing, not scrapbooking.

Digital Scrapbooking Magazine had a good article on Workspace & Workflow and I followed their instruction in opening all the paper and elements files I wanted to use. I was using a 6 x 6 inch canvas. Mostly it worked as expected, but I wanted to crop one of the papers so that it would be an accent, perhaps 2 inches wide, along one side of the paper. I could not get the paper to crop. When I tried to do so, it would crop the entire layout. I would move the paper I wanted to crop to the top layer so it was visible on my layout, carefully select that layer of the paper, click on the paper to get the selection handles, but as soon as I would click on the Crop tool and drag across, the entire layout is cropped. I was able to add other elements, like some ribbons and an ornament, but just could not get that paper to cooperate. It probably was opened as a 12 x 12 if that makes a difference.

Hope I'm not violating protocol by seeking help here! Thanks so much!


12-30-2007, 10:58 PM
I don't think there is any protocol here! http://forum.startascrapbook.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
You are right...what you are doing will crop the entire image. I an think of a few approaches I use. Hope I can explain them.

One approach is to crop BEFORE you add to your LO.
Open the paper in it's own file. Then you can either go to IMAGE-RESIZE and change the dimensions. But you will want to be careful to keep the dimensions the same if you don't want the paper to be distorted.
Another way...again, open the paper. Choose the SELECT tool. At the top of the window you will see tool options. Choose the 'fixed size' option and type in your dimensions. Now when you click on the paper, you will get the 'marching ants' rectangle of the correct size. Move it to the section of the paper you want to use, then COPY=PAST it into your LO.

The other approach will let you work directly in your LO. Place the paper into your LO. Then click the layer at the side to select the paper, and grab the handle bars to resize just that layer. If you hold down the shift key and grab the corner, the proportions will remain the same. Instead of using the handle bars, you can resize under the IMAGE menu...using the bottom option that lets you change the percentage.

A variation of this is to place your paper into the lo. Then use the SELECT tool to select the area you want to crop. When you see the marching ants, check to be sure the correct layer is highlighted, then do a COPY. Delete the entire paper layer, and then PASTE the section back into your LO.

Hope you can understand what I am trying to explain. If you have questions, let me know, and I'll try to explain better.

12-31-2007, 06:41 AM
When you crop within the layout which is the second option listed, does it crop the original of the paper or is that a copy. I typically crop a copy outside of the layout and then put it in like the first option because I was afraid to ruin the original.

12-31-2007, 08:26 AM
If you use the crop tool, it will crop the entire LO. One note about being afraid to ruin the original...
First...always work on a copy or your photo. (you probably do that). And 2nd...remember your 'history' pallette. You can always back up a step (or may steps) as long as you haven't closed you LO. This won't help with the cropping, but I make heavy use of this playing with papers and elements to find what I like.

Disclaimer: I work in PSE4 for Mac. Other versions may differ.

12-31-2007, 08:20 PM
Thanks for the tips, "Mom." The article suggested opening all the files to be used, tiling the windows, moving each file to its own layer and immediately closing the original file to avoid accidentally altering it. That seemed like a great idea, but that patterned paper layer was definitely not cooperating. I hope to get back and play with this feature some more soon!

Thanks again,

01-06-2008, 05:54 PM
Just an update...
I tried opening up the papers and embellishments as individual files rather than layers, but duplicated each file and immediately closed the original to avoid inadvertently changing it. This did allow me to crop the paper down to size, however, one does need to have a fairly accurate idea of the ultimate size desired because once the paper is brought into the layout, any resizing will distort it.

I saw that Jessica Sprague is going to be doing a second volume of her digital scrapbooking magazine. I loved the first one because most Photoshop Elements books available are focused on photo editing rather than many of the things we do in scrapbooking. I hope to avoid upgrading yet again to Elements 6.0 so hope that the directions will be applicable to 5.0. (It seems like 5.0 came out five minutes after I bought 4.0. I wouldn't have upgraded to 5.0, but wanted to take the class at the community college that I've mentioned before and prefer to have the same software as the instructor/textbook.)

There are so many things that I don't know how to do yet. For example, surely there must be a simple way to round the corner of photos, but I don't know how. Ideas?

Thanks again for the input, ladies!


01-06-2008, 06:10 PM
There are several ways to round corners. Here's mine...

Use the shape tool to draw a rounded corner rectange. (You can play with the radius in the tool options to get the amount of rounding you want.) Any solid color rectangle is fine. I usually then adjust the opacity to about 60% so I can see what is underneath.

Click on the rectangle you just drew, and then use the handle bars to adjust the size so it fits the area of the photo you want to use.

Now click on the magic wand selection tool and click once on the rectangle to select the entire shape. You should see the marching ant outline.

Now in the layers palette, click on the layer with your photo. You should still see the marching ants.

Now go to EDIT-COPY and then EDIT-PASTE into your LO. This should give you a rounded corner photo!

01-06-2008, 10:31 PM
Another skill to learn. Thanks for posting the detailed instructions. Now I just need to find the time to put them to use.

My smallish hard drive is rapidly filling with photos and scrapbook freebies. Must do work...not scrapbooking...fighting addiction...AAARRRGGGHHH!!! http://forum.startascrapbook.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif


01-06-2008, 10:35 PM
here is another tip. when you want to crop a paper a certain height and width. Put yor paper in the main area and check the crop tool.
avove the paper in the tool section is a place where you can type in the height and width you might also want to put in in 300 pixels in the resolutation. when you go to crop it should crop the size you want. I am not very good at explaing things, but this helped a lot when I was making cards.

01-06-2008, 10:43 PM
victoria I am also doing the same thing. I will see one item I like and then I have to dowload to get the one or two things I wanted. I hate to But I think that I am going to have to start weeding out the dupulicate or something I am sur I will never use.

Another tip that had us in a fit for a little
while and that is when you do TEXT. it wouldn't work it hid it was to small.etc One thing I learned is when you go to type text make sure that you put yor new layer just above what your are typing on in the pallete.

also they have made several ways to do one thing so everybody could be right.

Something else is to save save save. I have lost work when my comp would crash in the middle of something.


I like Linda Saggast at scrappersguide she has a tip sheet that you can sign up that will give you different tips. She also has a couple of Cds that show you a lot of tips you can get them in photoshop elements 5. she has movies and downloads. I joind the premerier because I could get the First Cd at a good price. I was not dispointed.

crafty grandmommie
01-07-2008, 09:15 AM
I'm sure you've been given lots of info by now on cropping your paper, but this is the way I usually do it, just because it seems quick and easy for me.

Place your paper layer. Take your select tool and choose only the area of the paper that you want to remain. Then do a select reverse which then chooses what you do not want to use. Then simply delete that portion of the paper. The only problem you might have with this is if you move it around, any paper that was outside the margins might show and you would have to delete it also.

Hope that makes sense.

01-07-2008, 11:46 AM
Thanks so much for the help, all. I did get on Linda S.'s newsletter and watched her free tutorial. I am pleased that you found your purchase worthwhile and the premier membership is definitely on my wish list. Unfortunately, my 12 year old mini-van seems to think that it deserves new radiator hoses and it's time to prepare my girl dog for March obedience trials so lots of things competing for my $$$s right now (and let's not even talk about the post-Christmas credit card bills!).

Victoria, Lamenting the Lack of Time, Money and Energy to Do Everything She Wants To Do