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How to crop a single layer in Photoshop?

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  • 3 min read

Photoshop is a great image editing and manipulating tool, and we can all agree on that. However, for those who haven’t yet spent their nights staring at their monitors in frustration, Photoshop can also be a bit of an annoyance, especially when talking about cropping here.

Suppose you’re working on a design and have a hundred effects and layers going on; suddenly, you realise that you need to crop something on a layer a little bit. The instinct would be to select that layer and reach out for the crop tool, right? Mine certainly was, and guess what? I was wrong.

The crop tool will crop the whole image. If you’re looking to crop a single layer on Photoshop while working on multiple, here is how you can do that.

Also read: 65 Photoshop keyboard shortcuts to make your workflow quicker

How to crop a single layer in Photoshop?

Aforementioned, the crop tool is useless when it comes to cropping layers. Here’s we’re going to have to use layer masks.

Step 1: Fire up Photoshop and load up your design. I will use a business card design I made for this article.

Step 2: Select the layer you want to crop. I’m selecting the second layer, where our logo is, and I’ll try to crop that.

Step 3: Select the Rectangular Marquee tool and select the area you want to crop from the layer. You can use any other selection tool that you’d like.

Step 4: After you’ve made your selection, go to Select > Inverse. This will select all pixels that are outside your selection.

Step 5: To remove the unwanted part, go to Edit and then select Clear. This will remove all selected pixels on the layer except the ones we selected in Step 2 and give an effect similar to cropping.

There you go. Now we have a weirdly cropped Candid.Technology logo.

Also read: How to fix rough edges in Photoshop?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: