Elements: Slow drag for precise measurements

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  • Updated 3 months ago
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Is there a way to slow down the speed of the drag when trying to crop a photo to exact pixels or inches?  If I wanted to crop at 4.875 height but when dragging the dotted line I can't get it to stop exactly at that parameter, is there a keystroke to make the drag slow down for more precision?  Thanks.
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James Thomson

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Posted 3 months ago

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Which product are you referring to?
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James Thomson

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Hi.  
Photoshop Elements 2020 (18.0)
 
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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the max precision is to move pixel by pixel with the arrow keys. You can't split pixels.
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James Thomson

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Thank you for your help.  Using the arrows must be what I'm looking for (instead of dragging with trackpad or mouse), but I don't know how to start the drag and then switch to arrows.  The dotted line outline always disappears on me if I try to alter it after I let go of it after initially dragging it into place.  How do you highlight or maintain the dotted outline to adjust it after creating it by dragging into place?  Or the other question, how do you create it with arrows alone?
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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You don't drag at all, you simply use the arrow keys of your numeric keypad.
Shift + arrow key moves 10 pixels at a time.
If you need such precision,
- be sure to display the info palette with the right measure unit for dimension, (pixels,  in, mm...)
- rather than the crop tool (which does three things at the same time), use the rectangular marquee tool followed by the menu IJmage >> crop.
- you define your rectangular dimensions to the pixel precision ("fixed size"), then you use the arrows (no drag) to move the selection to the pixel precision.


If you absolutely want to use the crop tool, be sure to display the info panel and preferably zoom to 50% or 100% view and drag very slowly.  I don't know any way to slow down the drag, but I can achieve the pixel precision. Anyway, I always use the other method, marquee tool plus menu Image >> crop.
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James Thomson

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HI.  I still don't have an answer for this question.  The only way I know how to lasso and then cut and/or crop is by dragging the dotted line.  This is very inprecise and near impossible if you want to stop the drag to pixel precision.  Either there must a a key stroke while dragging to way slow down the drag so you can select at which pixel number you want to stop or maybe after you stop dragging there is a way to adjust the size of the dotted lined shape.  Please help me with this as I know it is a basic function to be able to drop to precise pixel measurements but I am not able to do so.  Thanks.

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James Thomson

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Hi. Thank you for answering.  There is still a disconnect here though.  I understand what you are saying.  I should not have said lasso, because I meant and am indeed using the marquee tool, square, and it is set to show the measurements and does as I drag and then cropping or cutting is just what I wish to do.  But I am not able to start the process as you describe.  Shift + arrows does not activate the marquee tool to appear on the photo.  The only way I can start the tool is too click (or three-finger tap) on my trackpad, then I can drag, but if I let go without dragging there is no activation of the process (no dotted line appears to drag) and if I then shift + arrows the cursor just disappears;  or if I start to drag and then stop it does not allow me to switch to shift + arrows, that only makes the finished square moved on the surface but does not change the dimensions of the box.
(Edited)
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Let's see where there is a difference.
Step by step.
My photo is opened and displayed (I prefer to use floating windows)
Shortcut 'M' to select the marquee tool
In the options, choose 'fixed size' and enter the dimensions (I choose pixels)
single click on the image displays the marquee rectangle
For better control, I open the Info panel in which I have set the panel options to pixels for dimensions and ticked 'Document sizes'.
Once I am in 'fixed size', I can no longer change the pixels dimensions but I have two ways to move the rectangle.
- dragging with the mouse (very fast, not precise)
- and/or ignoring the mouse or trackpad, using only the arrow keys with the numeric keyboard (easy on a real desktop keyboard). A single arrow click moves one pixel, shift click moves ten pixels at a time.
On the info panel, I can check both the X, Y coordinates and the rectangle size.
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James Thomson

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Thank you!  I was not aware of being able to fix the size in advance and only used the "normal" setting.  Fixing the size, choosing the size and then having it appear is all new to me and the answer!  Thank you.  By the way, I also only use floating windows.  I feel totally trapped unless they are floating.  I was very unhappy when they removed the option to open up or clear the background of the working desk, so that you were able to see your own desktop.  Is that option still no longer available?  An Adobe tech support said last year that was no longer an option.  What I would really like is to have my layers box and all my tools floating but I don't see this as an option.  I don't like the fixed frame, but at least in earlier versions you could delete the solid grey background and see your own desktop....