Straighten a Photo with Content-Aware

Straighten a Photo with Content-Aware

  1. Open the Beach Notice that the image is crooked, and the horizon line is slanted. Select the Crop tool from the toolbar. In the Options bar at the top of the screen, check the Content-Aware check box to turn on the Crop tool’s Content-Aware option.

Using the Content Aware option when cropping a photograph allows you to keep more of the photo. This is helpful when you feel comfortable allowing Photoshop to fill in the empty area. Obviously, if you have a person or defined object near the edge of a photo Photoshop cannot accurately create new pixels. In this photo, the sand, water, and sky are easy to reproduce.

  1. Click on the photo to enable to crop bounding box. This will indicate what part of the image will be kept.
  2. Select the level icon next to the word Straighten. Drag the cursor along the horizon that should be parallel with the edge of the photo. Photoshop will instantly determine the degree of change that needs to be made and rotates the image accordingly.

Notice the white areas around the image. This is missing content that does not exist around the image. Because you have selected Content-Aware, Photoshop automatically fills the edges with content that matches the rest of the photo. 

 To complete the step and commit the crop, click the check mark in the Options bar or press Enter/Return on your keyboard.


Photoshop also allows you to use preset ratios when cropping your image. In the example we are using, we would like to use a 1:1 square ratio that has been made popular by social media.

When you choose the ratio, Photoshop will automatically create a crop bounding box that is fixed to the ratio. If you make adjustments the ratio is kept. Press the check mark in the Options bar or press Enter on your keyboard to commit the crop. Save your finished image.


You can customize the size and resolution that you want your finished image to be after the crop.

I find this useful when I am reducing files for the web. I can reduce a large size, high resolution image quickly by choosing something like 4in x 6in, 72ppi. If you do this, I suggest that you save the smaller image in a separate file so that you still have the original, high res image.


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