Photoshop crop tool has one big problem. If you want to crop while maintaining aspect ratio, you need to fill in the width and height value. The resulting crop has then been resized from the original. This leads to unnecessary resampling or reduction in resolution. I always want to crop while maintaining a 4×6 or 8×10 (widthxheight) ratio.

The Rectangular Marquee Tool does the job, but its difficult to resize the selection once its made. Photoshop does provide a way to resize the selection but you need to perform an extra step.

To crop your image, without resizing or resampling and maintaining the same aspect ratio, follow these steps:

  • Start with the Rectangular Marquee Tool.
  • Set Style to Fixed Aspect Ratio. Fill in Width and Height suitable for the ratio you want (e.g. Width=6 and Height=4 for a 6×4 photo print).
  • Make your selection. Try to make it somewhat close to the final crop as you can. Don’t worry you can resize this later.
  • Now invoke Select | Transform Selection. Note:This is different from Edit | Transform.
  • You’ll see resize handles all around your selection.
  • Before jumping in and start dragging the handles around, select the Maintain Aspect Ratio button (the one with a chain link icon).
  • Now use the corner handles to resize the selection.
  • Once you are happy with your selection, click on the Confirm transform toolbar button. (Return works on windows)
  • The final step is Image | Crop