How to Crop an Image in Preview

How to Crop an Image in Preview

Hello there! Are you struggling with editing your photos to the right size and format? Do you find it difficult to crop an image to the perfect size for your project? Worry no more, because in this article, we will show you how to crop an image in Preview, a built-in application on macOS, in just a few simple steps.

How to Crop in Preview


If you are looking to precisely crop an image on your Mac computer, then look no further than Preview, Apple’s built-in image editor. Whether you need to crop an image for a blog post, social media, or any other purpose, cropping an image with Preview is very straightforward.

Step by Step Guide on How to Crop in Preview

Follow these easy steps to crop images in Preview:

Step 1: Open the image you want to crop

Locate the image you want to crop, right-click on it, and select “Open With” then “Preview.” Alternatively, you can locate the Preview app on your Mac, click on “File,” then “Open,” browse your folders, select the image and click “Open.”

Step 2: Select the Crop Tool

Once your image is open on Preview, click on the “Show Markup Toolbar” icon, which is located in the top-right corner of the screen. You can also use the shortcut “Command + Shift + A” to toggle the markup toolbar. Then, click on the Crop Tool icon, which looks like two diagonal lines with a rectangle around them. Alternatively, you can also use the shortcut “Command + K” to select the Crop Tool.

Step 3: Crop the image

Click and drag the Crop Tool around the area that you want to keep in your image. While cropping, you can adjust the edges of the crop box to fine-tune your selection. You can also use the “Aspect Ratio” dropdown menu to choose a fixed aspect ratio for your crop box. Once you are happy with your selection, click “Crop.”

Step 4: Save the cropped image

Now that you’ve cropped your image, you can save it. Click on “File” and select “Save” or use the shortcut “Command + S,” give your file a name, choose its file format and click “Save.”

Tips for Cropping Images in Preview

Here are some tips for achieving the best results when cropping an image in Preview:

Use the Grid

Preview has a built-in grid that helps you line up the edges of your crop box with the lines. You can turn the grid on by clicking on the “View” menu and selecting “Show Grid.” Once you crop your image, you can turn the grid off by following the same process and unchecking “Show Grid.”

Use the Loupe Tool

If you need to crop a precise area of your image, you can use the Loupe Tool to zoom in and get a closer look at the area you want to crop. To use the Loupe Tool, click and hold the mouse on the image, and a magnifying glass will appear that allows you to zoom in. While holding the mouse button down, you can move the magnifying glass around to get a closer look. As a result, it will be easier to get a more precise crop.


If you make a mistake while cropping your image, you can always undo your last action. Click on “Edit” and select “Undo” or use the shortcut “Command + Z.”

Use the Crop Presets

Finally, if you need to crop your image to a specific size, you can use the Crop Presets. Preview has predefined sizes for common image sizes like 16:9, 4:3, 8.5 x 11 and more. You can access the Crop Presets by clicking on the Aspect Ratio dropdown menu located at the bottom of your crop tool. Choosing a crop preset will automatically create a crop box that fits the most common image aspect ratios.


By following these simple instructions, you can easily crop images in Preview on your Mac. Remember to use the grid, the Loupe tool for precision, undo when you make mistakes, and Crop Presets when editing images for specific use-cases.

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Opening an Image in Preview

Opening Preview

To start cropping an image in Preview, you need to open the application first. It is a default image viewer app on Mac and can be found in the Applications folder. You can open Preview by using the following ways:

  • Click on the Launchpad icon and search for Preview
  • Go to Finder → Applications → Preview
  • Use Siri or Spotlight to search for Preview and open it

Opening an Image

After opening Preview, you need to open the image that you want to crop. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Go to File → Open in the menu bar
  • Use the keyboard shortcut “Command + O”
  • Drag and drop the image on the Preview icon in the Dock

Once you have Opened the image you want to edit, you can move to the next step.

Selecting the Crop Tool

With the image open in Preview, you’re now ready to use the Crop tool. This feature allows you to select and cut out the portions of an image that you don’t need. Here are the steps to use the Crop tool:

  1. Click on the Crop button from the top toolbar of Preview (It looks like a square inside a rectangle).
  2. Alternatively, You can also use the keyboard shortcut “Command + K” to access the Crop Tool function.

After selecting the Crop tool option, your cursor will turn into a crosshair cursor. You can now move to the next part of the cropping process.

Cropping an Image

When working with images, cropping can be a helpful tool to refine the composition and eliminate unnecessary elements. Preview offers a simple and effective way to crop images. Here’s how to do it:

Selecting the Area to Crop

To begin cropping, open the image in Preview and select the Crop tool from the toolbar. Click and drag on the image to create a rectangular selection. This selection can be adjusted easily if needed. The dotted lines around the selection indicate the cropping area.

Adjusting the Selection

Once the selection is made, you can adjust the size and position of the selection by clicking and dragging on the handles. The handles are located on the corners and midpoints of the selection. When dragging the handles, holding the Shift key will ensure that the aspect ratio remains the same.

If you need to change the shape of the selection, you can click and drag within the selection itself to move it. Holding the spacebar while dragging will move the selection without changing its size or shape.

Completing the Crop

Once you’re happy with the selection, you can either press Enter on your keyboard or click on the Crop button in the toolbar. The image will be cropped to the selected area, and it is now ready to be saved or further edited.

If you realize that you need to make adjustments after the crop is complete, don’t worry. Preview doesn’t permanently remove the cropped areas of the image until you save it. To return to the uncropped version of the image, simply select Edit > Undo Crop from the menu bar.

Cropping is a quick and easy way to refine the composition of your images. With Preview, you can easily select the area you want to crop and make adjustments as needed. Use these tips to start cropping your images like a pro in no time.

Cropping in Preview can be a useful tool for editing photos on your MacBook. If you want to learn more about using Preview, check out our guide to cropping in Preview.

Saving the Cropped Image

Exporting the Image

Once you’ve cropped your image in Preview, you might want to save it for future use. Here’s how you can export the image:

  1. Navigate to the File menu in Preview.
  2. Click on Export.
  3. Select the desired file type from the dropdown menu.
  4. Choose a name for your image.
  5. Click Save to save the exported image.

Exporting the image allows you to keep both the original image and its cropped version. This is useful if you want to access the original version of the image in the future.

Replacing the Original Image

If you’d rather replace the original image with the cropped version, you can do so using Preview. Here’s how:

  1. Select Save from the File menu.
  2. Alternatively, press Command + S to save the image.

When you save the image, Preview will display a confirmation message asking if you want to replace the original image with the cropped version. If you select Replace, the original image will be replaced with the cropped version.

Replacing the original image is useful if you no longer need the original version and want to free up space on your computer.

For those looking to improve their video editing skills on TikTok, check out our article on adding voiceover to TikTok videos for step-by-step instructions.

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