How to Crop in Preview on a Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide


Ted Stinson

Cropping an image on a Mac using Preview is a simple process that can be accomplished in just a few steps. With Preview, you can easily select the portion of the image you want to keep and remove the rest. This quick overview will guide you on how to crop your images effectively using Preview on your Mac.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Crop in Preview on a Mac

Cropping in Preview is straightforward. The following steps will guide you through the process of selecting and removing unwanted parts of your image.

Step 1: Open the image in Preview

Open the image you want to crop in Preview by either double-clicking the file or opening Preview and selecting the file from your folders.

Once you have your image open in Preview, you’ll see a toolbar at the top of the window. This toolbar contains different editing tools, including the selection tool which you’ll use to crop your image.

Step 2: Click the ‘Select’ tool

Click on the ‘Select’ tool in the toolbar to activate the selection mode.

In selection mode, you can click and drag to create a selection box around the area of the image you want to keep. Make sure to position the box precisely where you want the new boundaries of your image to be.

Step 3: Adjust the selection

Adjust the selection by dragging the blue handles on the corners and edges of the selection box.

Once you have your desired area selected, you can fine-tune your selection by dragging the blue handles. This allows you to adjust the size and shape of your selection to fit exactly what you want to keep in the image.

Step 4: Crop the image

Once you’re happy with your selection, click ‘Tools’ in the menu bar and select ‘Crop’ or use the keyboard shortcut Command + K.

Cropping the image will remove everything outside of the selected area. After you crop the image, it will automatically resize to fit the new boundaries you’ve set.

After you complete the cropping action, your image will now only contain the selected area. The rest of the image will be permanently removed unless you undo the action. Remember to save your image to keep the changes you’ve made.

Tips: Cropping in Preview on a Mac

  • Use the ‘Command + Z’ shortcut to undo a crop if you make a mistake.
  • Hold down the ‘Shift’ key while dragging to make a perfect square selection.
  • Hold down the ‘Option’ key to make the selection from the center outwards.
  • You can use the ‘Command + A’ shortcut to select the entire image.
  • If you need a specific aspect ratio, hold down the ‘Shift’ key while dragging one of the corner handles to lock the aspect ratio.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I reset my selection if I make a mistake?

You can reset your selection by clicking anywhere outside of the selection box or by deselecting ‘Select’ in the toolbar.

Can I crop to a specific size or aspect ratio?

Yes, you can. Hold down the ‘Shift’ key while dragging to lock the aspect ratio or enter specific dimensions in the selection tool options.

Will cropping my image reduce its quality?

Cropping your image will not reduce its quality but will reduce its size as you are removing parts of the image.

Can I crop more than one image at a time?

No, Preview’s crop function only works on one image at a time. You’ll need to repeat the process for each image you want to crop.

What should I do if I can’t find the ‘Select’ tool?

Ensure you have the latest version of Preview, and if the toolbar isn’t visible, you can enable it in the ‘View’ menu.


  1. Open the image in Preview.
  2. Click the ‘Select’ tool.
  3. Adjust the selection.
  4. Crop the image.


Cropping images on a Mac using Preview is a breeze once you get the hang of it. This guide has walked you through the process, step by step, to ensure that you can confidently crop your images without any hassle. With this skill under your belt, you can now customize your photos and graphics to fit your needs perfectly.

Whether you’re a professional working with graphics or a casual user wanting to tweak your personal photos, knowing how to crop in Preview on a Mac is an essential skill. It’s quick, easy, and doesn’t require any additional software or tools—just your Mac and Preview. And if you ever run into trouble or need to make precise adjustments, remember the tips and FAQs provided in this article.

Now that you know how to crop in Preview, go ahead and experiment with your images. Try different selections, play with aspect ratios, and see how cropping can change the focus and composition of your pictures. Have fun with it, and happy cropping!