You can crop linked or embedded images in Illustrator. While cropping, you can use intuitive widget controls to work with the selected image. The Image Crop feature works only on the currently selected image. Also, linked images become embedded after you crop them.
- The cropped portion of the image is discarded. It is not recoverable.
- You cannot transform an image while cropping it. If you try to transform an image after selecting the Crop Image option, Illustrator exits the cropping interface.
Drag the widget corners and edge handles to define the crop boundaries. For details, see Adjust the crop widget.
For any image, the crop widget is always rectangular in shape. Moreover, you cannot rotate the crop widget.
(Only on Windows 64-bit and macOS )
When you select the Crop Image option to crop an image on the artboard, Illustrator identifies the visually significant portions of the selected image. A default cropping box is then displayed based on this identified portion of the image. You can adjust the dimensions of this cropping box if needed. Once you are done, you can click Apply in the Properties panel or press Enter (Windows) or Return (macOS) to crop the image.
To disable this feature, deselect the Enable Content Aware Defaults option in the Edit > Preferences > General (Windows) or Illustrator CC > Preferences > General (macOS). By deselecting this option, the default experience for Crop Image, Freeform gradient, and Puppet Warp is disabled.
At any point, to exit the cropping interface without applying changes, do one of the following:
- Click Cancel in the Control panel.
- Press the Escape key.
- Select any tool from the Tools panel, except the Zoom tool and the Hand tool.
Do one of the following to resize the crop widget:
- Specify the Height and the Width in the Control panel.
- Drag the corner or edge handles.
- Press Shift to scale the widget proportionally.
- Press Alt to scale the widget about the center.
- Use the pinch-to-zoom gesture on touch screen devices.
Note: The Illustrator Touch workspace for Windows tablets does not support cropping.
Do one of the following to reposition the crop widget:
- Click-drag from anywhere within the bounds of the crop widget.
- Press the arrow keys to move the crop widget.
- Press Shift + arrow keys to move the widget by ten units (default) or as specified in your Preferences.
To reposition the crop widget precisely, use guides and grids. Smart Guides help you align the crop widget relative to other objects. Choose View > Smart Guides to enable smart guides.
A. Resolution in pixels per inches B. Reference position C. X and Y coordinates D. Width E. Constrain width and height proportions F. Height
Choose a resolution for the cropped image from the available options. Alternatively, specify the resolution in pixels per inch (ppi). If the resolution of the image is lower than the options available in the drop-down list, the options are disabled. The maximum value that you can enter equals the resolution of the original image or 300 PPI for linked artwork.
All transformations are performed around a fixed point called the reference point. By default, this point is at the center of the crop widget you are transforming. However, you can change the reference point to a different location using the reference point locator in the Control panel.
Height and Width
Specify the size of the crop widget. If the width and height fields are linked, they maintain proportions when changed. Click the link icon () icon to delink and modify the width and height values independently.
You can define your own keyboard shortcut for the Crop Image command. For more information, see Customize keyboard shortcuts.