Straighten tilted photos and crop them to specific sizes for picture-perfect results in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic.

Golden Gate Bridge photo taken from the shore shows crop marks.

Choose a photo to crop and straighten

Select a photo in the Library module that you want to crop or straighten. Click Develop in the Module Picker at the top of the screen, or press the D key, to open the selected photo in the Develop module.

Note: If you’re using the sample file provided with this tutorial, first import the sample file into your Lightroom Classic catalog.

Open the Crop & Straighten panel

Select the Crop tool in the tool strip on the right side of the Develop module, or press the R key. This opens the Crop & Straighten panel showing controls for the tool.

The Develop module is open, Crop tool is selected, and Golden Gate Bridge photo is open in Lightroom Classic.

Straighten the horizon with the Angle tool

The example photo is tilted a bit and the horizon is not level. To straighten a photo with an obvious horizon line, select the Angle tool in the Crop & Straighten panel and drag along part of the tilted horizon in the photo. Doing this tells Lightroom Classic that this line should be level. When you release the mouse, the photo automatically rotates to make the horizon level.

An arrow illustrates how to drag along the horizon to straighten it using the Angle tool in the Crop & Straighten panel.

Lightroom Classic slightly rotates the original image so that the horizon is level. Portions of the image are cropped.

Rotate the image to straighten a photo

Another way to straighten a photo is to rotate it manually. Hover your cursor just outside the crop boundary until the cursor changes to a curved double-ended arrow. Then drag to rotate the photo within the frame. You can use the grid overlay as a reference while rotating.

A grid overlay appears for reference when manually straightening a photo.

Crop your photo with locked and unlocked aspect ratios

Drag any corner or edge of the crop boundary to resize the crop area.

Next, drag the photo within the crop area to select which part of the photo to keep.

Note: Take a look at the Lock icon in the Crop & Straighten panel before resizing the crop area. If the lock is closed, when you drag the crop boundary the width and height change together and keep the same proportion they had. If you want to crop to a different proportion, open the Lock icon by clicking it. Now you can drag any edge of the crop boundary independently.

Locking the crop aspect ratio constrains the cropped image to the same dimensions as the original image.

Crop your photo with an aspect ratio preset

If you want to crop your photo to a preset proportion commonly used for print, web, or video, click the word Original in the Crop & Straighten panel to open the Aspect menu. Here you can select a standard-size aspect ratio for the crop, such as 1x1 or 5x7. You can also constrain the crop to the aspect ratio of the original photo or enter a custom ratio that will be saved as an option in this menu.

Tip: Press X to switch the orientation of the crop area to horizontal or vertical.

For the sample photo, select the 5x7 aspect ratio from the dropdown menu, drag the crop boundary inward to make it smaller, and drag the image so the surfer is in the lower left of the crop area.

Crop presets are available for commonly used sizes for print and online media.

Apply the crop

To apply your crop to the photo, click the Done button at the bottom of the workspace or click Close at the bottom of the Crop & Straighten panel.

Cropping in Lightroom Classic, like all adjustments, does not permanently change the photo. You can change the crop at any time by selecting the Crop tool in the tool strip again.

Selecting Done in the crop preview window applies the crop to the photo.

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