How can I crop a single layer in Photoshop?

by amiawizard   Last Updated July 13, 2015 14:07 PM

Is it possible to crop a single layer, I can almost get the desired outcome using the eraser on a layer but surely it can be done with cropping?

Answers 7

Use a layer mask. Tutorials galore exist on the topic already, eg:

Straight from Adobe:

You can add a mask to a layer and use the mask to hide portions of the layer and reveal the layers below. Masking layers is a valuable compositing technique for combining multiple photos into a single image or for making local color and tonal corrections.

December 30, 2012 20:10 PM

You can also select the area you want to crop to with the rectangular marquee tool, invert your selection, then delete the now selected outside area. This is different from the layer mask in that it completely deletes the surrounding area, whereas the mask makes the surrounding area invisible.

December 30, 2012 21:02 PM

No, you can't crop a single layer.

The closest thing would be to copy the layer to a new image, crop that image, and copy the layer back to the original image.

It's easier just to erase or mask the part of the layer that you don't want.

December 31, 2012 04:55 AM

You'd most likely want to use one of the marquee tools. This will select an area in a crop like fashion and you can then delete the inside or the outside by right clicking and selecting 'select inverse'.

and that is how i crop inside one layer :)

January 02, 2013 02:55 AM

Just resize the layer using the transform tool. If you make the layer a smart object first, then you'll have the option to revert back to the original image size should you wish, without data loss.

Randell John
Randell John
January 03, 2013 02:19 AM

I can't believe no one suggested this yet:

Just use the rectangular marquee to select what you want to crop down to, and COPY it to your clipboard. Then delete the entire layer and PASTE what you copied to a new layer.

This is especially useful if the layer you're cropping is larger than the canvas, in which case the select-inverse technique is messy.

Jake Dooley
Jake Dooley
July 22, 2014 17:07 PM

enter image description here

A very easy trick: just crop it in another tab and move it back (screenshot here).

Guillaume Combot
Guillaume Combot
July 13, 2015 11:15 AM

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