June 27, 2011, 5:53 p.m.
posted by redphone
Crop and Resample in One Step
Preparing a whole batch of images for a project such as a slideshow can be a laborious process at best. This hack shows you how to crop to size and resample, all in one swift motion.
When I have a whole folder of pictures that I need to adjust to the same dimensions and resolution, I just smile. That wasn't always the case. I used to curse, procrastinate, and question my decision to work on the darn thing in the first place. That was before I discovered hyperspeed cropping.
With this technique, you can resize your pictures to standard dimensions, such as 640 480, and change their resolution at the same time. It's high-speed cropping and image resizing, all in one.
Open the first picture in your batch and click on the cropping tool, as shown in Figure. You'll notice that a new menu appears on the top toolbar. This is a contextual menu that changes depending on the tool you select. There are three settings you can adjust here: Width, Height, and Resolution. The values for Width and Height are in pixels (px), and Resolution is in points per inch (ppi). I've entered 640 px, 480 px, and 72 ppi, respectively.
Entering the parameters for your speed cropping
Now, all I have to do is drag the cropping tool across the image to select the area I want to keep, as shown in Figure. Notice how the selection area is constrained to the proportions that I set in the contextual menu. When I double-click in the selected area, Photoshop will crop the image to the dimensions I've indicated and set the resolution too, all in one stroke.
Selecting the area you want to keep
You can whip through an entire batch of pictures in just minutes by using this technique. Keep these few tips in mind:
After cropping, use Save As to give the file a new name. You might want to add crop or some other description of the action to the filename to help you remember that this is a processed image. Always keep your original master safe and sound.
When you're finished with the batch, be sure to hit the Clear button in the contextual menu bar. This will remove your custom settings, enabling you to crop at any size you want in the future.
If you want to crop by inches or some other measurement, use that determiner in the Width and Height boxes. So, to make 4" 6" prints at 150 ppi, enter 4 inches, 6 inches, and 150 ppi, respectively. This is a great way to prepare a batch of images to send to a print service.