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Crop with "Rule of Thirds"

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2. Crop with "Rule of Thirds"

Select the Custom Shape tool Custom Path in the tool bar of Photoshop:

Custom Shape tool


Make sure that the option Paths Path in your option bar is still selected.

In the option bar click on the button marked with A and then double click on your custom shape:

Selecting a custom shape


Open an image that needs to be corrected. Move your mouse cursor to the upper/left corner of your image and push and hold down the mouse button, move the cursor the the lower/right corner and release the mouse button (it doesn't have to be extremely accurate). The reason why we start like this is to store the aspect ratio of the current image. You'll see later what I mean.

Select the Path selection tool Path Selection Toolin the tool bar and click once on the shape:


Make sure that the option Show Bounding Box in the option bar is selected: Show Bounding Box

Move your mouse to one of the corner points (see red circle in image above), hold down the shift key and then push and hold the mouse button. Drag the corner inward until you're satisfied with the size of the shape. You can then move the shape in any direction after placing the mouse cursor inside the shape and holding down the mouse button. Repeat the whole process of resizing (while holding shift) and/or moving the shape until you're satisfied with the way it's aligned with the most important areas in your image:

Resized and moved shape

When you're done, double click inside the shape to finalize the transformation.


Open the Paths palette by clicking on its tab (A) and click on the Load path as a selection iconLoad Path(B) at the bottom of your paths palette:

Paths palette


Your path is now converted to a selection:

Path converted to a selection


Finally select in the menu Image / Crop to crop the image using the current selection:

Final image


So from now on you can crop any image using the rule of thirds using your custom path.

I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial.


For more help with Photoshop check out ourPhotoshop Trainingsection.
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