A Small Primer on Cropping Pictures
using FastStone Image Viewer

This exercise presumes you have FastStone installed on your computer.
If you do not, it can he downloaded HERE. It is a well-designed free image editor and my choice for day to day image work that does not require the sophistication and advanced capability of Photoshop CS5 or the like.

Being a good camper, you want to add a properly sized image to your forum post. Using my Resizing Primer, you have resized your picture to the recommended 490p width, but now the object looks a bit lost against the black background.

resized and uncropped

What you need to do is get rid of the unwanted portions first, focusing attention on your object instead. This can easily be done in a few quick steps

Open FastStone. In the left hand panel, browse to the folder where your original image file is stored and select it with a left click [1]. In the main panel, you will see thumbnails of the images in the folder. Double click your image to open it [2]

Figure 1

With the image open, move your cursor to the left side of the screen and the main editing menu will open. Select Crop Board by clicking it or simply type X on the keyboard

Figure 3

In the crop board screen, make sure "Free Hand" is selected in the Paper Ratio field [1]. Now, move your cursor into the image and it will turn into a cross hair. Position the cross hair a bit above and to the left of the object. Holding down the left mouse key, drag your mouse down and to the right, forming a box around you object. [2]. Don't worry if you haven't got it just right -- you can change the size of the box by putting the cursor over one of the small white squares, holding down the left mouse key, and moving the box edge in or out till the object is properly framed and centered. When you are satisfied, click the crop button. [3].

Figure 4

With your image now cropped, you can resize and save it ala the instructions in Resizing Primer. With this done, your image is now ready to upload to Photobucket or whichever site you are using to host your picture.

resized and cropped

If you find FastStone as efficient and easy to use as I do, please consider making a donation to help its developers keep up their excellent work: Support FastStone

23 June 2010
© Wm Erik Voss 2010

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