Freehand Cropping

Easel allows you to crop images with 4 different shapes (rectangle, ellipse, burst, and freehand). A freehand crop allows you to define an irregular shape that gives an image a "torn from the picture" appearance.

To perform a freehand crop on an uncropped image:

Step to take

Easel Response

1. Click image with right mouse button

Image menu appears

2. Left click Crop on image menu

Crop menu appears

3. Left click Freehand on crop menu

Menus disappear, cursor changes to pencil

4. Position the cursor at any point on the shape you wish to define, then press and hold left button

Cropping begins

5. Drag mouse to outline desired crop area

Dashed line outlines area

6. Release left mouse button

Crop area defined (tentative)

7. Adjust crop area (if desired): move cursor over any part of outline, hold down the left button, move mouse, then release the button. Hold the Shift key down to stretch or shrink.

Crop area adjusts

8. Adjust crop location (if desired): same as adjusting crop area, but hold down Ctrl key.

Crop position adjusts

9. Click inside crop area to complete, or outside crop area to cancel

Crop complete or cancelled

10. Repeat #1 & 2, click Set Background Color on crop menu.

Color dialog appears.

11. Select background color, click OK.

Bounding rectangle fills with chosen color.

12. Repeat #1 & 2, click Adjust Freehand Border Properties on crop menu.

Freehand border properties dialog appears.

13. Adjust border properties, click OK.

Easel processes border zone pixels.


Changing the crop of an image that is already freehand cropped takes almost identical steps, except that when Freehand is clicked on the crop menu, Easel redraws the image in its entirety with the dashed line showing the current crop. To change it, proceed as above at step #7 or 8.

To uncrop an image, right click it for the image menu and select Crop/Uncrop.

Freehand Border Properties

This is an experimental feature intended to help define a crisp contrast-based outline around specific objects in an image. I have to admit that it doesn't work very well, but I left it in just for the heck of it. See Freehand Border Properties for more info (or don't bother).

Note: Constrained cropping does not affect freehand cropping.