GIMP Casual User Series — Comparison of Photo Cropping Tools
This is the final article in the series about which tool to use to crop a photo. If you've been following along, you'll have seen that there are three tools that can be used in GIMP to crop photos: the Crop Tool, the Rectangle Select Tool, and the Ellipse Select Tool.
All three tools have very similar features, each having the ability to:
- Select a rectangular area
- Move the selection box
- Change the size of the selection box via handles
- Change the size of the selection box via the Size field
- Change the position of the selection box via the Position field
- Expand the selection from the center
- Select a fixed aspect ratio, width, height, or size
- Turn highlighting on or off
- Show guides
- Auto shrink
What is important to understand are the differences, so that you know which tool is best for which job.
The Crop Tool is distinct in that:
- It has Highlight turned on by default.
- In order to move the selection box beyond the edges of the image, you must tick the Allow growing option.
- By default, the Crop Tool works on the entire image. To crop only the current layer, you must tick the Current layer only option.
- You cause cropping to occur by clicking quickly inside the selection box or by pressing the Enter key.
The Rectangle Select and Ellipse Select tools share a few features between them.
- You can crop either the entire image or a single layer by choosing Image or Layer > Crop to Selection.
- You can select a Mode to replace, add to, subtract from, or intersect with the current selection.
- You can feather the edges of the selection. (Not useful for photo cropping.)
The Rectangle Select Tool has one feature uniquely its own. You can put Rounded corners on the image, adjusted by a Radius field. Turning on rounded corners makes the Antialiasing option available to be turned on or off.
The Ellipse Select Tool has Antialiasing on by default because the purpose of this tool is to create a rounded image. Antialiasing can be turned off at any time.
In summary, here is how you can make a decision about which tool to use to crop a photo.
Use the Crop Tool if you want to drag out and adjust a highlighted box, then crop the entire image quickly.
Use the Rectangle Select Tool if you want to crop a rectangular image and:
- you're not interested in a highlighted selection,
- you want to crop a layer, not the entire image,
- you want to put rounded corners on the image.
Use the Ellipse Select Tool if you want to crop an oval image.
I hope you've found this series informative. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.
Related GIMP Articles
GIMP 2.8 Tutorial: Which Tool Should I Use to Crop a Photo? -- Part 1
GIMP 2.8 Tutorial: Which Tool Should I Use to Crop a Photo? -- Part 2
GIMP 2.8 Tutorial: Which Tool Should I Use to Crop a Photo? -- Part 3