Photoshop: Can't crop image without cropping layers

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  • Updated 8 months ago
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Please help! I'm using Photoshop CC 19.0 on an iMac with OS Sierra 10.3.3. I'm sure this is an easy fix, but I can't figure it out after hours of searching online. No matter what I do, Photoshop crops my image AND the layers beneath it, even *with* the correct image layer selected. I thought the whole point of layers was to let you work on one element at a time?!? Here are more details:
  • I started with a .psd file containing a book cover. 
  • I created a new layer and pasted an image into it (later tried importing the image from the file, but that didn't help). 
  • I tried to crop the image, but the other layers are connected to it. 
  • I've tried isolating layers, unlinking layers, unlocking layers, applying invert/inverse, moving the image layer out of its group, turning the background into a layer, etc. but no luck. 
Can anyone solve this mystery? Thanks so much!
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Melissa3200

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Posted 8 months ago

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David, Official Rep

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Howdy Melissa,

Crop works on ALL the layers of your document and sets the "edges" of your image.

If you simply want to edit one layer, go to the Layers panel and select it.  Then, if you want to just "crop" that one, use the Marquee selection tool (M keyboard shortcut), make a selection, and then invert your selection (Select > Inverse or SHIFT+CTRL+I) and press Delete.  *Poof!*  All gone.  If you want to do non-destructive edits, then just use the Marquee tool to make a selection and in the Layers panel click the Layer Mask icon (third from the left at the bottom of the panel, look like a white rectangle with a dark circle cut out of the middle).

That should accomplish what I believe you're trying to do.  If I've misunderstood, just ping me here.

Thanks,
David
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Melissa3200

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Thanks very much for your help, David. I did select the layer in the Layers panel. I also tried the Marquee tool yesterday. That worked for cropping the image, but I couldn't figure out how to get out of it. Supposedly clicking Esc works, but it didn't for me. How do you return to the other layers after making edits in inverse mode? I googled the heck out of that question, too, and couldn't find an answer. 
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David, Official Rep

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Howdy Melissa,

Any selection in Photoshop can be deselected via Select > Deselect or just CMD+D.  ESC will abort a Crop.

I'm not quite following what you're trying to do.  But, on the bright side (cuz it's Good Friday?), I'm having a particularly quiet day, so if you'd like I can walk you through what you'd like to do via a web-hosted screenshare.  All you need is an internet connection (and preferably an independent phone line cuz sometimes it's hard to hear via computer microphones and speakers -- the call is toll free), so please just let me know and I'll set one up for today.

Thanks,
David
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Melissa3200

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David~Thank you so much for your kind offer! We went out of town for a funeral, and I'm just now getting back to this. I'm still having the same issues. If you have any time during the coming week and your offer is still good, I'd be very grateful for your help. My schedule is flexible, since I work from home. It's probably an easy fix. I'm still new to Photoshop. I love the flexibility of using layers, but sometimes they trip me up.
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David, Official Rep

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Howdy Melissa,

Sorry to hear about your loss.

I actually appear to have a fairly light day today, Monday.  I'll follow up via email.

Thanks,
David
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Melissa3200

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Thanks!