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Need to figure out how to crop an image in InDesign? In this walkthrough, we'll show you how to crop in InDesign, step by step. It's simple! Let's get started.

How to Crop an Image in InDesign

Step 1

First, let's start with really simple image cropping. I'm using this photograph from Envato Elements in this example. I imported it into InDesign by going to File > Place and then selecting the image on my computer. InDesign will then place it into your document for you.

indesign image placeindesign image placeindesign image place
InDesign Portfolio Template from Envato Elements

Step 2

But let's say I want to crop this rectangular shape into something that isn't so tall. In this case, with the image selected, I can click and drag on the resize handles. This resizes the rectangular frame containing the image. The resize handles that I used to crop this image are highlighted in the example below.

indesign resize handlesindesign resize handlesindesign resize handles

Step 3

However, there's another simple way to crop an image in InDesign.

You can also select any of the Shape Tools or the Pen Tool to create a custom shape—and then add any image of your choice to it. So, for example, if I know I want to crop my image into a circle, I can use this approach.

I'll demonstrate with the Pen Tool. With the Pen Tool selected, click to draw points to create a custom shape, like this example:

indesign pen toolindesign pen toolindesign pen tool

Step 4

Now, we have two choices. We could import and place an image again, by going to File > Place. Then, click our custom shape to insert the image into this cropped space.

Or, if you're trying to crop an image already imported into your document, double-click to toggle between the image frame and the image itself. Once you've selected the image, you can go to Edit > Copy to copy it, and then choose Edit > Paste Into to insert it into your custom shape. This an easy way to crop in InDesign, if you're looking for a simple shape-based approach.

indesign paste into shapeindesign paste into shapeindesign paste into shape

Now You Know How to Crop an Image in InDesign

Now that you know how to crop in InDesign, it'll be easier to make simple image edits when you're in the software. For more extensive cropping, you may want to turn to Adobe Photoshop—it has more bells and whistles for this job. However, for easy cropping while you're working in InDesign, turn to these simple techniques. Happy designing!

Learn More About Adobe InDesign Today

Looking to learn even more about Adobe InDesign? Check out these free tutorials here at Envato Tuts+. From basics to advanced walkthroughs, there's plenty more to check out today.

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