How To Crop Photos Using Microsoft's Image Viewer

Most modern operating systems come with their own bundled image viewers or image preview. For example, Mac OS X has Preview. Windows XP has Image Viewer. These picture viewers give users a rudimentary way of editing images, which can include resizing, cropping, and basic brightness and contrast adjustments. These programs are not meant to replace full-fledged image editing suites like Adobe Photoshop, but most users will not need advanced features, anyway, and so basic features will suffice.

One advantage Image Viewer has over most other editors is that it gives users an easy and convenient way to crop photos, particularly with regard to the dimensions. Digital cameras usually take photos at an aspect ratio of 4:3. Prints, meanwhile, vary in aspect ratio, depending on size. For example, a 4R print would be 3:2.

When cropping with Image viewer, you will need to consider what purpose you will be cropping the image for.

  • Launch Image Viewer. You can open the application from the Start Menu. Alternatively, you can right-click an image file and select "Open With ..." and click "Image Viewer."
  • Make the necessary edits and adjustments to your image. You can improve the picture's brightness by sliding the brightness bar left or right. You can also enhance contrast. You might need to play around with these sliders in order to get the best image appearance.
  • If you're editing a very large image, you might want to resize it, if you will be using it for uploading on websites, forums or blogs.
  • When you're ready to crop your image, click the "Crop" button at the upper right portion of the window.
  • Choose the crop size you want your image to follow. This will lock the aspect ratio of your crop box to fit various popular formats, like 3R, 5R, Web, and the like.
  • A crop box with a grey overlay will appear over your picture. You can drag the box around to change the portion being cropped. You can drag the corners, too, to change the size. Remember, though, that if you've chosen a crop size, the aspect ratio will be locked. This means that dragging the corner will both change the width and height of the cropped image.
  • If you want a freeform crop, then select "None" in the Aspect Ratio drop-down box.
  • Once you've finalized your crop selection, click OK.
  • At this point, your image is still unsaved. You can still do edits, like improvements to the contrast, brightness or color tone. You can also resize the image for use on various mediums. Use the original size if you intend your photo to be printed by a professional photo developing shop, or on your printer. If you will just be uploading it to the Web or sending via email, then you can choose any of the predefined formats.
  • If you've made a mistake in cropping or editing, you can always close the picture without saving.
  • When your edits are final, click the save button. Or , click "File," then "Save."



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