How to Crop an Image in Adobe Illustrator

Despite how straightforward this may sound, the process is a bit challenging. But don’t worry, in this article, I’ll go through the easiest ways to crop an image in Adobe Illustrator.

The first thing to realize is that there are two distinct kinds of photos that may be cropped. The first kind of picture is a typical raster image (jpg, png, etc.), while the second kind is a vector image. A vector illustration or graphic has the advantage of being easier to modify and scaling at any size without losing clarity than a raster image.

My name is Aly, I am a graphic designer and daily Adobe Illustrator user. I have my certification in illustrator and today I will be showing you how you can learn to crop an image in Adobe Illustrator. 

Note: When you crop your photos, vector graphics, text, and other objects, you may either entirely remove a portion of the item from the artwork or just conceal the portions that you want to cover without permanently deleting any others.

Method 1: Cropping Images using the Crop Tool

Follow the steps below to use the crop tool to crop an image. 

Step 1: Open the image you want to crop in Adobe Illustrator. For example, In my image, I will be wanting to crop out the woman so I can get an image of just the beach. 

Step 2: While the image is selected, if you go to the Properties panel, you’ll see a Crop Image option under Quick Actions. 

Step 4: Once you have clicked on Crop Image, you’ll see guidelines at the image’s edges that you may use to crop the picture any way you like. You can also enter values if you know the numbers you need to crop. 

And that’s it! You now have your cropped image. 

Method 2: Cropping Images using the Clipping Mask Tool

The majority of illustrator users use this technique. This tool may be used to crop a picture without eliminating the area that was cropped out. 

Step 1: As always, have your image open in illustrator. Go to the toolbar and choose the Rectangle Tool.

Step 2: Now decide which part of your image you would like to crop. For example, if you want to crop out the, create the rectangle on areas where the woman doesn’t show. In other words, draw the rectangle over the part you want to keep. 

Step 3: Select both the rectangle and image,  go to the overhead menu and choose ObjectClipping Mask > Make or use the keyboard shortcut Command + 7 (Ctrl + 7) to make a clipping mask (crop the image).

And you’re done! What you clipped can be restored because the trail can still be seen. You can view the route by moving your mouse over the image, it will then show the path of the cropped area of the image.

Final Thoughts

Cropping images, is easy enough right? Although Adobe Illustrator isn’t a photo editing software it gets the job done if you are working with images in your designs. Cropping your images can be done in a fast and efficient way if you practice the methods above.  

Any questions about cropping images in Adobe Illustrator? Leave a comment and let me know.

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