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Crop an image to a circle in Photoshop



Adobe Photoshop logo

In Adobe Photoshop, it is easy to quickly crop an image to a non-rectangular shape, such as a circle, which can be useful when visualizing circular social media headshots. Here’s how to do it.

First, open the image you want to crop with Photoshop on your Mac or Windows computer. In the Photoshop window, find the “Layers”

; panel, located in the sidebar on the right. In the Layers panel, find the “Background” layer and click the lock icon next to it. If there is no lock icon, you do not need to do anything.

Note: If you don’t see the Layers panel, click Window in the menu bar and select Layers.

Click the lock icon in the Layers panel in the Photoshop window

In the vertical toolbar, right-click on the Marquee Tool icon (which looks like a rectangle with a dotted outline) and select “Elliptical Marquee Tool”.

Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool from the Photoshop window

With the Elliptical Selection tool activated, hold down the Shift key and use your mouse or trackpad to draw a perfect circle outline over the area you want to crop in your photo. If you don’t use the Shift key, draw an ellipse.

Make a circle selection on your photo in the Photoshop window

After making your selection, right-click on the selected area on your photo and click ‘Select Inverse’. This will select everything in your photo except the circled area.

Click Select Inverse from Photoshop's context menu

If you are using Windows, press the Backspace key. If you’re on a Mac, hit the Delete key. This will delete the area that is outside of the circle in your photo.

Circled photo in Photoshop

Your photo still has a lot of unused area around it. To remove this area, click Image> Trim from the Photoshop menu bar.

Trim option in Photoshop's Image menu

In the cropping window, select “Transparent Pixels” in the “Based on” section. Next, make sure all the boxes in the “Trim Away” section are checked and click “OK”.

Remove transparent pixels from Photoshop's crop window

The canvas size of the image will be reduced to just the circle portion that you cropped from the image.

A circular image in Photoshop

To save this image, click File> Save As in the menu bar.

Select Save As from the Photoshop File menu

In the Save As window, select “PNG” from the “Format” menu. The PNG format retains the transparency (which your circular photo uses), but JPEG does not.

Save an image with Photoshop's save window

Then enter a name for your photo, select a folder to save it and click “Save” at the bottom of the window. That is it!

RELATED: What is the difference between JPG, PNG and GIF?




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