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So, I'm a couple days into a trial version of AP 1.7.0. So far, I like it very much and probably will join the hordes moving from Adobe. Alas, one of the first things I find missing is crop to selection. I stumbled on this forum looking online for ideas on how to do it. Pretty much astounded that it isn't possible except via workarounds that don't really seem satisfactory. In Photoshop, I had (have) a fast efficient workflow allowing me to fly through image files, trimming away excess stuff and saving the file with a few keystrokes—two actually. Draw a marquee box, use a keyboard shortcut (I created option-command-/) to perform the crop in one motion, Save (command-S). Bingo. Done. Next...

As others have pointed out, trimming excess junk from screen shots is routine, and likewise trimming scans that were not cropped during the scan is a pretty common scenario. It seems basic that image editing software should be usable for images of all kinds. Cropping should be an almost instantaneous action, if that's what the user is intending to do. 

I don't want to say this will be a deal breaker, but I do want to the Affinity development team to understand how important this feature is—obviously it is to many people (I had no idea). Dragging handles of a box using a separate tool, or copying to the clipboard and saving to a new layer or new document, then exporting, etc. isn't going to work for me. I am usually working on a set of images that are not the source files (if a mistake is made, it's not catastrophic) or I am destructively editing on purpose.

I suspect I am about to buy Affinity Photo, but I do want to chime in right from the get-go and echo the request of legions of others who have been asking for crop-to-selection for several years. This is probably the single most valuable (to me) feature I could hope to see incorporated in AP. Fingers crossed!

One last thing. The problem with the existing crop tool is that a pre-drawn grid appears on screen when the tool is selected. What slows users down is having to find the handles and drag them carefully to at least two different locations to resize the crop area. What if there was an option NOT to have the grid appear automatically but allow the user to simply click on the image and drag out the crop box to the desired size, then hit Return, and Bam—image cropped. Hit Save and move on. I know nothing about coding so have no idea whether this is a viable concept.

Anyway, tally my vote for crop-to-selection in a (not too far in the) future version of Affinity Photo. Thanks!

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12 hours ago, traildriver said:

allow the user to simply click on the image and drag out the crop box to the desired size, then hit Return, and Bam—image cropped

Strangely, the first time I open a project I can do that, but if I try to crop again, I can only move the crop.


http://redfieldmedia.co.uk

Vector app usage: Illustrator -1994-95; Freehand -1995-2010; Illustrator -2010-2014; Sketch - 2014-current; Affinity Designer -2015-current

 

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14 hours ago, traildriver said:

last thing. The problem with the existing crop tool is that a pre-drawn grid appears on screen when the tool is selected. What slows users down is having to find the handles and drag them carefully to at least two different locations to resize the crop area. What if there was an option NOT to have the grid appear automatically but allow the user to simply click on the image and drag out the crop box to the desired size, then hit Return, and Bam—image cropped

You can do that - just ignore the pre-drawn grid and draw out a new one.

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That would be great, but I'm not seeing how to do that. When I am inside the grid, moving the cursor moves the entire grid. Outside the grid, the cursor defaults to the rotate cursor. So, I'm only seeing these two options at the moment. Being able to draw out a custom crop grid would (I think) basically solve the issue that so many people have been commenting on. Is there something you are doing that might not be obvious to the first time user? Thanks!

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Yo be honest it’s a feature a lot of us would like to see implemented. Hopefully it gets implemented and if it doesn’t then their is nothing we can do about it. For me crop to selection is apart of my workflow in every project. It’s just how I like to work and I would like to see it implemented.

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Crop tool: crop rectangle or square - usually cropping a photo or screenshot

Crop to selection: crop to WHATEVER type of selection - especially irregular areas - to keep only that area in the file only discard the rest forever. It is part of a well thought out workflow.

I rarely use the crop tool at ALL when I am not working with photographs.

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10 hours ago, PaulEC said:

You can do that - just ignore the pre-drawn grid and draw out a new one.

 

3 hours ago, traildriver said:

That would be great, but I'm not seeing how to do that. When I am inside the grid, moving the cursor moves the entire grid. Outside the grid, the cursor defaults to the rotate cursor.

I think what @PaulEC is talking about works with any crop Mode except the default "Unconstrained" one you get when you first click on the tool. At least for me, even clicking the "Reset" button on the context toolbar immediately after the tool's crop window opens 'resets' the "Unconstrained" crop mode to how it should work (& I believe used to work without that extra step in the Mac 1.6.x versions).

So as things stand now in the 1.7 version, you can't just ignore the grid straight away -- you have to either change crop modes or 'reset' the default to the ... well, default ... before that will work.


Affinity Photo 1.7.0 & Affinity Designer 1.7.0; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.0.135 & Affinity Designer 1.7.0.9 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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Might be getting there, and this touches on what @Nathan and @PaulEC said. I just discovered that when you bring an image into AP, then go to the crop tool, the FIRST time the tool opens, the overlay is displayed (not always a grid so I will stop using that word). The FIRST time is key, because if you move the cursor inside the overlay frame before doing anything else, a crosshair cursor appears allowing you to do just as @PaulEC said—you CAN draw out your own crop box, hit Return, and voila, you've got your crop. It seems that if you do anything else with the crop tool open, the option to draw your own frame evaporates—at least that's been my experience thus far. I've repeated this a couple times now. If you inadvertently do anything when the crop tool is opened—like click a handle or click the rotate cursor outside the initial crop frame, the option to draw your own frame is gone. The solution: close the image and bring it back into AP, go to the crop tool, and immediately go inside whatever frame is showing and see if you get a crosshair cursor that allows you to drag out your own frame. Wow. This seems pretty obscure, and it merits further tests. I have no idea if this works if you've done other things to the image in AP. But if your main intent is to crop using a rectangular shape, try this.

And I concur with @Jowday about crop to selection. I usually use a rectangle, so was describing it that way, but technically it can (or should be) be any shape selected. And I don't think the AP crop tool allows anything but four straight sides, right? So the crop tool is not really the same as "crop to selection." But it feels like progress. Thanks everyone!

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@traildriver 

I noticed that as well and was going to make a video to see if anyone was experiencing that aside from me.  Thanks for saving me the time of having to do that.

I did notice this:

If you click the Reset button, you can click and drag again.

image.png.3c42a73f8d98d5c29ea3b9c9daa298d0.png

 

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10 minutes ago, traildriver said:

Awesome—yes, it works! Thanks @koskow ! @R C-R mentioned Reset too and it works for me regardless of the Mode setting.

I can't figure out if this is a bug or 'by design' -- but I think this is a new behavior in 1.7.


Affinity Photo 1.7.0 & Affinity Designer 1.7.0; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.0.135 & Affinity Designer 1.7.0.9 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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Winding down here—maybe... The conversation has, I think, been about the crop tool in the Photo Persona. I've discovered there is a crop tool in the Develop Persona as well. The two crop layouts are very nearly the same, except the layout in the Develop Persona is missing the Reset button. Why? It seems the only recourse if you need to back up is to either select Undo in the Edit menu (or Command-Z) or hit the Cancel button. Neither option is very elegant. If you choose Undo, you still lose the ability to draw out a custom crop area until you leave the Develop Persona and come back in again. If you hit Cancel, you are jumped back to the Photo Persona and have to then re-enter the Develop Persona and try the crop again. IMHO this seems really clunky. Why not just have a Reset button the same place it is found in the Photo Persona? The screen real estate is there to do it—I don't get it. Echoing @R C-R is this a bug or by design?

All that said, as a newbie, I don't yet have a grip on what circumstances lead the user to cropping in the Develop Persona, and if one is inadvertently bounced back to the Photo Persona, one can just do the crop there. I think my point is that the crop tool layout/behavior is inconsistent between the two modes or personas. Once a user figures all this stuff out (and can remember the quirks) I'm sure you eventually get used to things, whether they make sense or not.

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Hoping not to wear out my welcome...  please advise if this should be a new thread. It does have to do with cropping however.

Photoshop [Perspective Crop Tool] allows the user to correct (straighten the edges of) a distorted / skewed rectangle (trapezoid) by dragging a warp mesh (?) to the corners. Hitting Return straightens everything (sets the corners to 90 degrees) and crops in one keystroke. I'm looking for how to do this in Affinity Photo. I did experiment with the Distortion slider which is found under the tab for Lens > Lens Correction in the Develop Persona. Moving the slider makes edges either uniformly convex or concave, but this doesn't solve the issue of "squaring up" a distorted rectangular shape.

The Mesh Warp tool in AP (Photo Persona) seems to be for adding "distortion" rather than correcting it. Any idea about how to "square up" corners of a skewed/warped rectangle? (Sorry if my terminology is off a bit). Thanks!

Edited by traildriver

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I think there should be several ways to do this in the Affinity Suite. Right now you can do it by creating a New From Clipboard document, but 1) it doesn't actually keep the DPI of the original file, which is a big no no in my eyes, and 2) this is hidden away in a menu when it could just as well be shown in the R click menu when clicking on layers.

Here's a list of ways I would like to see in Affinity to make pixel perfect crops:
 

  1.  The crop tool has a menu option to make crops based on selected layers or on empty pixel space.
     
  2. Create new document from clipboard needs to create a document based on original document DPI and should be accessible in the R click menu in the Layers panel.
     
  3. The Export Persona should have the option to make slices based on layers selected with pixel perfect cropping if you want to work with non-destructive cropping. Right now you can crop based on layers, but I haven't found a way to make it crop based on pixel perfect dimensions when working in Photo.
     
  4. Finally, the ability to create an Embedded Document while using R click on selected layers, which is basically what a Smart Object is in Photoshop. This would both solve two issues at the same time, since 1) it would make your original file do non-destructive cropping since it is embedded into the original file, and b) make creating embedded layers a lot faster than it currently is.

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