Got It
This website uses cookies. More details


Learn Photography

Lightroom > Develop Module >

7 - Six Tools on Top of the Basic Panel >

Tool #1 - Crop Overlay


Crop Overlay

Click the dashed-rectangle icon to open the Crop panel.


By default, a tic-tac-toe grid is displayed on the photograph.

Use this overlay to apply the rule of thirds when cropping.

Place subjects of interest along the lines of the grid, or at points where the lines intersect.

While this is called the rule of thirds, but it's only a guideline.

To hide the grid, press Ctrl + Shift + h.

Press o to cycle through the overlays below.

• Grid

• Thirds

• Diagonal

• Triangle

• Golden ratio

• Golden spiral

Padlock Icon


Padlock Icon

The padlock icon is used to toggle between using only a certain aspect ratio, and allowing any aspect ratio.

Aspect Ratio Tool


Aspect Ratio Tool

You can drag out a box that has a certain aspect ratio.

First, let's look at aspect ratios.

Aspect Ratios

Many digital SLR cameras use an aspect ratio of 3/2.

The 3/2 aspect ratio is rectangular.

The width is 3, and the height is 2.

4 x 6 inch and 8 x 12 inch prints have the same aspect ratio, 3/2.

When printed as an 8 x 10 inch print, the photograph is cropped.

That's because the aspect ratio of the 8 x 10 inch print is 2.5/2, not 3/2.

Many point-and-shoot cameras use an aspect ratio of 4/3.

This aspect ratio is less rectangular than the 3/2 ratio.

When printing point-and-shoot photographs, the images will usually be cropped.

A few labs offer 4 x 5.33 inch prints, which have the 4/3 aspect ratio.

To Use an Aspect Ratio when Cropping

Open the menu to the left of the padlock icon, and select an aspect ratio.

The 4/3 aspect ratio isn't on the menu.

If you need to use this ratio, select Enter Custom on the menu.

Enter 3 and 4 as the aspect ratio values.

Next, click the Crop Frame tool icon.


Portrait (Vertical) or Landscape (Horizontal)

To switch between portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal), press x.

Move the Photograph

To move the photograph inside the crop box, click and hold inside the crop box, and drag.

Change the Shape of the Crop Box

To change the shape of the crop box, place the cursor over an edge or a corner.

Then, click and hold, and drag the edge or corner of the crop box to change its shape.

Straighten the Photograph

To straighten the photograph, place the cursor on the outside of the crop box near a corner.

Then, click and hold, and drag.

You can also use the Straighten tool, below.

Free Hand Crop

Unlock the padlock icon.

Click, hold, and drag on the photograph to create a crop box with any shape.

Straighten Tool


Straighten Tool

Click the Straighten tool icon.

Click and hold, and drag out a line on your photograph where the horizon should be located.

You can also use the slider to rotate the photograph.