32 Replies Latest reply on Oct 10, 2016 6:26 AM by darioluca

    Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop

    SebastiaoV Level 1

      Hi guys,

      I decided to start this post with "Really?" like a SNL sketch...hehe. I have been using Illustrator for quite a while but i am not expert with it. One feature that really bothers me is that i can't really fast crop an image unless i draw a rectangle on top and then apply a crop mask. Why so many steps? Some might say illustrator is for vector and if you want image and text editing go to Photoshop or InDesign. I don't agree with that. I use it for a fast presentation and friends that just started to use it last week tell me "Why i cannot crop an image fast?"

       

      So is there any way to fast cropping an image in the CS5 Illustrator that i might not be aware? I might consider an external plugin or script...but again paying for bottle water is always a rip off. That should be a internal feature long time ago, even Corel Draw has it.

       

      Thanks and cheers,

      S.-

        • 1. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
          Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          Sebastio,

           

          Is there no Crop to Artwork option in your version?

          • 2. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
            SebastiaoV Level 1

            Jacob,

            Thanks for the fast reply. Where is Crop to Artwork? Do you mean thani can just crop an image without using any mask or rectangle? Can i just crop it by moving its bezier point with the white arrow like in most other Apps around? Has that changed now?

             

            Cheers,

            • 3. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
              emil emil Level 4

              I think Sebastio is talking about cropping a raster image.

              Sebastio, unfortunately there is no dedicated tool for this yet.  There is one big thread and many others about all workarounds, which may be what you are currently using if not check this:

              http://forums.adobe.com/thread/319423

              • 4. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                SebastiaoV Level 1

                Thanks emil, i just don't get it why there is no simple solution like in InDesign...just moving the borders of the frame around. I guess maybe somebody has designed a script or plugin for that.

                 

                Cheers,

                • 5. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                  Steve Fairbairn Level 5

                  simple solution like in InDesign...just moving the borders of the frame around.

                  InDesign is just fooling you. That “frame” is really nothing other than a clipping mask. The image is still there behing the mask.

                  (As you will discover if you copy bits of InDesign files to Illustrator – the whole thing will be a mess of clipping masks.)

                   

                  Illustrator doesn’t automatically put clipping masks in front of images, so you have to do it manually.

                   

                  As many people have pointed out over the decades, you cannot physically crop raster images in Illustrator. You must go to Photoshop for that. for that

                  • 6. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                    SebastiaoV Level 1

                    As many people have pointed out over the decades, you cannot physically crop raster images in Illustrator. You must go to Photoshop for that. for that

                     

                    Well, that is my point, why two steps if i can do it in one? Don't you think it would be a better and faster workflow not having to go to Photoshop or placing rectangles in front of you images everytime you want to crop an image?

                    • 7. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                      Steve Fairbairn Level 5

                      Masking is just not the same as cropping.

                      Generally speaking, masking is a better option than cropping because it doesn’t damage anything.

                       

                      If you crop a raster image you are damaging it irretrievably. There’s no way to re-create the bits you deleted.

                      With a mask you can uncover whatever bits of an image you need to, but the whole image is still there in its entirety for later, or other, use.

                      • 8. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                        Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

                        The OP is looking for

                         

                        1. a masking set of tools ot a masking mode such as in after effects. In AE you can use all your drawing tools to create artwork or you can use it to create masking shapes depending on the mode you are in. Very handy!

                         

                        2 A crop art tool to actually crrop the art. That should be possible in AI since it is now 64bit and will not crimp the processing.

                         

                        These should be doable in AI CS 7

                        • 9. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                          SebastiaoV Level 1

                          Masking is just not the same as cropping.

                          Generally speaking, masking is a better option than cropping because it doesn’t damage anything.

                          I usually refer as "crop/masking" as the possibility of using a part of the image for editing / design purposes. I don't want to damage the original image. Corel Draw, which is no the industry standart at all has that ability to do it.

                           

                          I would like the same that InDesign does with images in Illustrator, why would that be a problem and not an advantage? That would make anybody's design workflow way faster.

                          • 10. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                            CarlosCanto Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            how about something like this,

                             

                            1. draw a rectangle that will act as crop bounds

                            2. select both the image and the "crop area" rectangle

                             

                            run the script

                            var idoc = app.activeDocument; 
                            var image = idoc.selection[1];
                            var clip = idoc.selection[0];
                            
                            idoc.rasterize (image, clip.visibleBounds);
                            

                             

                            I could do a more elaborate script with a bunch of options...if that's what's needed.

                            Warning the script IS destructive, so use with care, on a copy of your image...anyway Undo is your friend.

                            • 11. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                              SebastiaoV Level 1

                              Thanks for the script Carlos, indeed is interesting. By the warning saying IS destructive, i guess the picture will be definitely crop after that, right?

                               

                              Cheers,

                              • 12. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                emil emil Level 4

                                I don't write scripts but I can tell by looking at

                                idoc.rasterize (image, clip.visibleBounds);

                                that it will rasterize and crop the image and my question to Carlos is at what resolution that would be?

                                • 13. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                  CarlosCanto Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  correct, it'll be cropped, not masked

                                  • 14. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                    CarlosCanto Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    emil, 300 it can be changed, either as an input option or I could probably read the original resolution and apply the same.

                                     

                                    Range: 72.0 to 2400.0. Default: 300.0

                                    • 15. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                      emil emil Level 4

                                      I think keeping the original resolution is best in case it is higher and image printed at eventual larger scale. The user can always rasterize the image again at the desired resolution.

                                      • 16. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                        SebastiaoV Level 1

                                        Thanks again for the script. If you ever make one to put a masking frame on each raster image like InDesign that would be fantastic! i don't know how complicated is it, but it would means the best of both worlds.

                                         

                                        Cheers,

                                        • 17. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                          CarlosCanto Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          you're confusing me, do you need to crop images? or clip them?

                                          • 18. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                            SebastiaoV Level 1

                                            Sorry about that. I think the ideal thing is always to clip (or mask) the picture, so if you or the client don't like the design you can always change it, like you can do in InDesign, Freehand or Corel Draw. I was looking for a faster way than having to create a mask and placing it in front of picture. Thanks,

                                            • 19. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                              Monika Gause Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                              Select an image and click on the mask button in the control panel. Then immidiately drag the handles.

                                              • 20. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                                SebastiaoV Level 1

                                                Monika,

                                                Thanks for the info. Where is the mask button in the control panel? could you send a print screen of its location? I usually do Cmd+7 to apply a mask.

                                                 

                                                Cheers,

                                                • 21. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                                  Monika Gause Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                  It's called "mask". Cmd-7 does the same as the button.

                                                  • 22. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                                    CarlosCanto Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                    so, after all, you needed to apply a clipping mask to your image, not to actually crop it...but hitting Ctrl+7 was too slow for your workflow?...your job must be very demanding, talking about a "fast paced industry" this days.

                                                     

                                                    ...the only option I could think of is...practice, practice, practice, the more you do it, the more you'll see your hands flying across the keyboard to hit Ctrl+7.

                                                    • 23. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                                      SebastiaoV Level 1

                                                      but hitting Ctrl+7 was too slow for your workflow?...your job must be very demanding

                                                       

                                                      Nice sense of irony but i rather watch a Woody Allen movie for that purpose. I am just a regular user who would like to see these useful feature in Illustrator, like InDesign, Corel Draw, Freehand vector software have. Is that wrong? Thanks for you comments.

                                                      • 24. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                                        Steve Fairbairn Level 5

                                                        You don’t get it do you? The feature IS there and has been there for ages, just like (well almost) in InDesign (I can’t vouch for Corel or Freehand but I’ll take youyr word for it). You just need to get used to using it.

                                                        • 25. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                                          SebastiaoV Level 1

                                                          is NOT the same feature that InDesign, can't you at least grant me that or not?  I know how to make a mask in Illustrator but In InDesign is quicker and easier to handle any raster image. Why can't have that in Illustrator? I am sorry but I don't want to get used to i want something better. Why is that a problem? Software do evolve too and Illustrator is far from being flawless software like the great Perspective Tool or the Artboard handling which are very annoying indeed.

                                                           

                                                          Never mind, this is going nowhere. Thanks.

                                                          • 26. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                                            CarlosCanto Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                            we're all regular users here and we're trying to help...maybe if your choice of words would have been "is there a way to make a clipping mask in Illustrator faster than the way Indesing does it?" then the answer would have been "no", end of story...

                                                             

                                                            I don't understand your quest for speed, usually working with illustrator is not associated with churning out the most artwork per minute as humanly possible, but who knows, you might have a legitimate reason for shaving off micro seconds of an operation, otherwise you wouldn't be asking.

                                                             

                                                            but now that we know what you need, being, a quick way to apply a clipping mask and a quick way to modify such clipping mask, I think this is the best Illustrator can offer, based on what others have said above

                                                             

                                                            - right after placing your image, hit Ctrl+7, no need to draw a rectangle, or if it is already placed, select it and hit Ctrl+7 or as Monika said push the "Mask" button on the Control Panel.

                                                             

                                                            - to modify the mask A La Indesign, with your masked image unselected, grab the Direct Selection Tool (A), click on the Mask (not on the image), and grab the Selection Tool (V) (or hit V on your keyboard) to get the bounding box. At this point you can  modify the mask exactly the way you do it in indesign.

                                                             

                                                            man, if that's not fast enough for you, then, are you racing with your coworkers? maybe try bugging Adobe with a feature request pronto.

                                                            • 27. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                                              JETalmage Level 6

                                                              I am just a regular user who would like to see these useful feature in Illustrator, like InDesign, Corel Draw, Freehand...

                                                              FreeHand and Draw, like Illustrator, do not automatically place imported raster images inside clipping paths. Nor would I want them to.

                                                               

                                                              That behavior is common to conventional-wisdom "page layout" programs like InDesign, ExPress, PageMaker, and it's more appropriate there.

                                                               

                                                              The difference you're raving about is that Draw and FreeHand (and Canvas) provide actual bitmap cropping tools, which actually do crop away (delete) the pixels outside the crop area (without re-rasterizing), not merely clip (mask) them with a clipping path. Illustrator doesn't provide that, but most certainly should.

                                                               

                                                              JET

                                                              • 28. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                                                emil emil Level 4

                                                                I think what Sebasiao may be happy with is an easier way to select the clipping mask. Illustrator does this when you apply the mask but as soon as you deselect the object,  to select the clipping path again, you have to either dig in the Layer's panel and find it or go to Outline view find it and click it with the white pointer which may be hard in a complex artwork. Smart Guides can also show the path if mouse is over it but the label says only "path" which again can be hard in a complex artwork, - it would have been better if the label say "clipping path".

                                                                 

                                                                I think they should have made the Mask button on the control bar do this by first applying the mask for images without it but then remains active and serves as a selection tool for the clipping path of the selected image.

                                                                • 29. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                                                  MW Design Level 5

                                                                  I just assigned ctrl+shift+7 to the edit mask command for my keyboard shortcuts. If I need to "move" the image inside the mask, that is the keyboard shortcut I press.

                                                                   

                                                                  Does that help you?

                                                                   

                                                                  Really, I usually crop original images in my image editing application. On the slightly rare occassion that I want to place an image and mask it (because I feel a client is going to want the display subject moved a bit), then I simply place the whole image, hit ctrl+7. Then if and when the client wants the subject of the image moved, hitting ctrl+shift+7 makes it fast and painless.

                                                                   

                                                                  Well, painless enough for me anyway.

                                                                   

                                                                  Still, it is a slightly weird way of working with what is inside the mask.

                                                                   

                                                                  Take care, Mike

                                                                  • 30. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                                                    emil emil Level 4

                                                                    Oh, I actually forgot about the "Edit Mask" command. But it still can be improved. The Edit Mask is available from Object > Clipping Mask > Edit Mask only if the image is selected with the white pointer. Otherwise, if the group is selected it says "Edit Content" and will function as such. I think this is unnecessarily complicated and both items should have been in the menu so that the user should be able to select the clipping mask or the content in any kind of selection.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                                                      autopark_at Level 1

                                                                      @Carlos, thanks for the script, did what I was searching for, and I haven't found anything better on the web.

                                                                       

                                                                      However, usually I use a clipping mask first and want to apply the crop at a later stage, so I modified the script (my first for Illustrator) to crop the image to its clipping-mask:

                                                                       

                                                                      var idoc = app.activeDocument;

                                                                      var image = idoc.selection[0];

                                                                      idoc.rasterize (image, image.pathItems[0].visibleBounds);

                                                                       

                                                                      Next enhancement:

                                                                       

                                                                      Copy the current clipping mask, crop the image and apply the copied clipping mask back to the image, so that it works not only for rectangle masks..

                                                                       

                                                                      var idoc = app.activeDocument;

                                                                      var image = idoc.selection[0];

                                                                      var newgroup = idoc.groupItems.add();

                                                                      image.pathItems[0].duplicate(newgroup);

                                                                      imgnew = idoc.rasterize (image, image.pathItems[0].visibleBounds);

                                                                      imgnew.move (newgroup, ElementPlacement.PLACEATEND);

                                                                      newgroup.pathItems[0].clipping = true;

                                                                       

                                                                      Maybe this is useful for someone finding this topic like I did ;-)

                                                                      • 32. Re: Illustrator, Really? Fast Image Crop
                                                                        darioluca Level 1

                                                                        Read here:

                                                                        How To Crop A Photo in Adobe Illustrator - Astute Graphics

                                                                        ...from "apply any blending mode other than Normal" to "We cropped an image"

                                                                        It's not all about the plugin!