MacMost Now 784: Crop and Cut Out With Pixelmator

Learn how to crop photos using Pixelmator and then resize and export them. You can also cut out a part of an image and trim it. Pixelmator has a variety of ways to modify a selection to create better cut outs.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 784: Crop and Cut Out With Pixelmator.

Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let me show you how to crop and cut out images using Pixelmator.

So Pixelmator is becoming a very popular app for editing images because it doesn't have the huge price tag of Photoshop, is easily available on the Mac App Store, and it is pretty easy to use. Let me show you how you can use it to crop and cut out images.

So here I am in Pixelmator and I have a document here that I've saved to the desktop. I'm just going to open that up. It is just a jpeg. Now I've got all my Pixelmator tools here on the left and various other windows that I won't use right now. So here is the image and I want to simply just create a crop.

So to crop an image you can either use a selection tool or the crop tool. The crop tool makes it very easy because you simply drag across the area you want and then you can adjust dragging any of the corners or the top and the bottom, sides, and you can hit crop. Then there you go. Everything outside of the area has been removed. If the crop isn't perfect you can simply choose Edit/Undo or command Z.

I also like that on Pixelmator you can use the selection tool. Make a selection and then decide you want to crop it you can control click or right click on it and simply choose crop there and it switches to the crop tool with the selection that you have already made.

Now you can use any of the selection tools here to start an area that you can cut out. So you can use the lasso tool or the straight line lasso tool which I like and try to create an area. So for instance if I just want a cut of my head I can use the straight line lasso tool to quickly define the area. I'm not going to try and do it perfect here but you would want to take your time and use one of these two tools to define an area and then I finish the selection. Now I can hit delete and you can see it removes that selection which is probably not what I want to do.

Instead probably what I want to do is go to Edit and Invert the selection. Now it has selected everything except that area so when I hit the delete key it cuts everything out.

Now I can do a little better than that by actually going to the Edit and Refine Selection tool which combines a bunch of different things that you have to learn in other imaging editing programs but here you learn them all, put them all in one spot. So I can make it smoother. I can feather the area. It helps here of course if I would Undo and go back to just having this as the selection. So let me do that. So now I just have my head as the selection and I can feather the area around it to kind of blur it. I can also change the size which is a really nice thing. So I can bring it in a little tighter, add a little bit of feathering to it, smooth out the edges a bit. Hit Okay. Then I can go to Invert Selection, delete the remaining area. Now it is a softer area cut out around my head there.

Now once you've done something like that usually one of the things that you want to do is trim the canvas down. So you can trim it down just to get rid of the transparent pixels as close as possible while of course still retaining the rectangular shape that images must have.

Now Undoing all the way back to the main image there let's crop it again. So say maybe I was making a Facebook or Twitter profile picture there. So I wanted a nice crop like that.

So now it's time to export it. So I go to File/Export. From here I can decide what format. JPEG is probably what I want. I can actually set the quality down a little bit to create a smaller size. What I may in fact want to do is actually change the image size first. So right now it is 700 pixels wide approximately so maybe if I wanted to reduce this to about half or a little less than half I can do a 300 rather than a 700 so this will shrink the image down and then I can go to Export and then I can see under Export, here we go, I can then adjust the size. Say if I wanted to get is under 30K I could, I go Next and it is going to ask me to save the file.

Now I've saved another copy of it. If I look at it in Preview I can see the image for 30K that looks pretty good.

So there is some of the basics of selecting, cropping, and exporting using Pixelmator. Let me know if you liked this tutorial and if you want to see more tutorials using Pixelmator.

Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 31 Responses to “MacMost Now 784: Crop and Cut Out With Pixelmator”

    6 years ago

    Great, this is what I need. So yes, please create more Pixelmator-tutorials. Thanks.

      6 years ago

      I agree, more Pixelmator. Can you take this further and add your face onto another jpeg file.

    Allen Rowell
    6 years ago

    I’m a fan of your work. I purchased Pixilmator (and Keynote) partly based on your video tutorials and I’m very happy that I did. They are a very accessible way to boost my new video making hobby. Yes, please make more!

    Scott McDonald
    6 years ago

    Thanks so much for the Pixelmator tutorial. I’ve considered buying it before but now I’m nearly sold. I own Photoshop but never had training for it, which makes it very hard to use. I’ve used Preview to do a lot of editing for my church, but Pixelmator looks so much more powerful. You do an awesome job with your tutorials! Please keep them coming! (Yes, even Pixelmator-tutorials)

    Edward Anton
    6 years ago

    Your tutorials are always very clear, helpful, and concise. You are the American Don Mc. I was very excited to see you head down the path of Pixelmator. Please consider more in this area. In particular, “switching heads” to improve a group photo from a series of similar photos (we’re about to take our family Christmas pic). Thanks.

    6 years ago

    Love your tutorials. Please make lots more on Pixelmator.

    6 years ago

    I’ve been checking all your newsletters now for a couple of years. What a wealth of useful information I’ve accumulated since then. Thanks. And yes… more Pixelmator tutos are welcome. I thought I knew about cropping with Pixelmator… Wrong… Thanks.

    David Schneider
    6 years ago

    Thank you for such excellent tutorials. I would like to see more Pixelmator and any other tutorials that you come up with.

    6 years ago

    Yes, please! More Pixelmator. Even the basics of image editing would be helpful.

    6 years ago

    That was a really good help. I’d appreciate more tutorials for pixelmator since I just got into the whole photo processing in general and chose pixelmator to do it.

    Sara Connaughton
    6 years ago

    Hi Gary, I’ve been a fan of your great Apple Tutorials for over a year! Great help! Adding pixelmator is also a big help and very informative! Looking forward to more with Pixelmator!

    Eric Kestler
    6 years ago

    Bravo! More, more!

    6 years ago

    Please do a regular Pixelmator tutorial. Would watch them all!

    6 years ago

    I’ve been puzzling how to crop a face and put in on a different background? You’ve almost got me there……

    6 years ago

    Yeah!. more Pixelmator tutorials please. Your tutorials are very easy to follow.

    6 years ago

    thanks Gary I bought this app a long time ago but found it daunting so just used preview and Cmd K to crop photos

    I will revisit the app now so more tutorials would be great

    for some reason I find everything easy except pixelmator and garageband they just dont seem to think like I do :-)

    Sven Mogelgaard
    6 years ago

    An awesome tutorial. I use this app all the time and still learned something. Keep ’em coming!

    Joseph Allen
    6 years ago

    Gary, please do a tutorials that (1) compare Pixelmator and Preview, and (2) explain how to work at the individual pixel level in Pixelmator and how to touch-up the colors and/or gray-scale in a photo/image.

    david fisher
    6 years ago

    good stuff as usual Gary, really interested in the Pixelmator macmost tutorials

    Robert Spiva
    6 years ago

    Gary, great Stuff!! Yes, pleaese more tutorials for Pixelmator.

    6 years ago

    Hi Gary. Love Pixelmator on Mountain Lion. One of the best value apps in the Mac App Store. Please carry on producing more video tutorials for this great value application.

    Storm Garelli
    6 years ago

    Hi Gary,

    Yes, I’d very much like you to produce more Pixelmator tutorials.

    It is low cost and powerful, but it also has a non-standard interface that can be a bit confusing at times (despite the hype about it being Mac-like, it often isn’t).

    I think we could learn a lot from watching you walk through the main features.

    Thanks for all you do. I never miss an episode.


    6 years ago

    Yes please, more with pixelmator! Especially creating a layered picture.

    6 years ago

    Thanks Gary for this tutorial an thumb up for more Pixelmator videos.

    6 years ago

    Thank You Gary for this and YES to more Pixelmator videos. Perhaps creating a mosaic or other effects would be cool.

    Dennis Sigona
    6 years ago

    Yes, I purchased the Pixelmator application and I am looking forward to see more Pixelmator tutorials. I enjoy the videos. Keep up the great work.

    Richard Greene
    6 years ago

    Add me to the list of those who have answered “yes” to your question. Thanks, Gary.

    Ernie Valdez
    6 years ago

    I think it is unanimous!!! More Pixelmator! Thanks for all your work….

    Storm Garelli
    6 years ago


    Gary listened and has produced another Pixelmator tutorial about layers & masks.

    Check your feeds.

    Thanks Gary.

    Larry Mortimer
    6 years ago

    Yes Gary, please do more tutorials on Pixelmator. Thank you so much for doing what you do.

    6 years ago

    I “bit the bullet” and bought Pixelmator, largely based on your tutorials. So yes, please keep them coming!

Comments Closed.