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Any Crop

Work more efficiently with crops and avoid long-standing Lightroom bugs. Any Crop provides a floating, always-visible panel:

Any Crop provides a solution to two long-standing Lightroom bugs:

  • Crop settings are synced or copied incorrectly between different image formats. For example, if you copy settings from a raw and paste them to a JPEG, the pasted crop could have a different size.
  • The Develop crop tool won’t let you enter exact aspect ratios (this was finally fixed in Lightroom 8.1). If you enter a ratio that is too close to an existing built-in ratio, Lightroom will use the built-in ratio. For example, if you enter 10 x 13, Lightroom will use 8.5 x 11.

Try it for free for 30 days. Buy a license at a price you name.

Download and Install

Any Crop requires Lightroom 6 / CC 2015 or Lightroom Classic. (The newer cloud-focused Lightroom doesn’t support plugins.)

  1. Download anycrop.1.9.zip.
  2. If you’re upgrading from a previous version of Any Crop, exit Lightroom and replace the existing anycrop.lrplugin folder with the new one extracted from the downloaded .zip. Restart Lightroom and you’re done.
  3. If this is a new installation, extract the folder anycrop.lrplugin from the downloaded .zip and move it to a location of your choice.
  4. In Lightroom, do File > Plug-in Manager.
  5. Click Add, browse and select the anycrop.lrplugin folder, and click Select Folder (Windows) or Add Plug-in (Mac OS).

The free trial is for 30 days—after that, you’ll need to buy a license.

Buy a License

  1. Buy a license at a price you think is fair:  

    The license includes unlimited upgrades. Make sure you’re satisfied with the free trial before buying.
  2. Copy the license key from the confirmation page or confirmation email.
  3. Do File > Plugin-Extras > Any Crop > Crop.
  4. Click Buy.
  5. Paste the key into the License key box and click OK.

Using Any Crop

The menu command File > Plug-in Extras > Any Crop > Crop opens a floating panel that displays information about the current photo and its crop. In the panel, you can define and apply presets and reset the current crop.

You can position the panel anywhere on the screen. Unfortunately, the panel won’t stay on top (a limitation of Lightroom). To keep the panel visible, tuck it under the upper-left corner of the main window, with just the left half of the panel showing:

That will keep the panel visible without sacrificing much screen real estate. If the panel disappears, just do Any Crop > Crop again to bring it to the top.

Units

By default, a crop’s dimensions are shown in pixels. Use the Units drop-down menu to change that to inches or centimeters. Then set the resolution to the same value you’ll use when you print, otherwise the size shown by Any Crop won’t be accurate.

To export the photo at the exact size shown by Any Crop, uncheck the Export setting Resize to Fit and set Resolution to the same value shown in Any Crop.

Presets

Any Crop provides crop presets for all the common aspect ratios, and you can add your own.

To apply a preset, select it from the Preset dropdown menu. If you select Apply to all, the preset will be applied to all the selected photos, not just the current (most-selected) photo.

To define a new preset, select New… from the menu.

By default, the new preset will fit the largest possible crop rectangle of the given ratio inside the target image’s current crop, matching its landscape or portrait orientation. Checking Use the current image’s crop will define the preset to also use the angle, orientation, position, and size of the current image’s crop. You can control which of these are included in the preset by choosing the corresponding options.

Unlike Lightroom’s crop tool, Any Crop lets you define a crop ratio that is very close to an existing built-in preset, e.g. 10 x 13 (which is close to 8.5 x 11). When you use such a preset, the crop tool will show the incorrect ratio, while Any Crop will display the actual ratio. (This bug was finally fixed in Lightroom 8.1.)

Tip: To edit or delete a preset, you first have to select it, which will apply it to the current photo. To avoid modifying the current photo, first deselect all photos by doing Edit > Select None. Then select the desired preset and invoke Edit or Delete from the preset menu.

If you find yourself frequently manually adjusting a crop after applying a preset, in the Edit window check the option Open the Crop tool in Develop after applying.

Copy and Paste Crops

To copy a crop from the current photo to one or more target photos, do File > Plug-in Extras > Any Crop > Copy. Then select the target photos and do Paste. By default this will copy not just the aspect ratio but the angle, relative position, and relative size of the crop. But you can select which of these attributes is copied:

Unlike Lightroom, Any Crop correctly copies the crop settings between photos of different formats, e.g. from a raw to JPEG.

Applying Multiple Crop Presets

Use the Batch command to prepare multiple crops of a set of photos. For example, once you have an edited set, you may wish to prepare crops at 8.5 x 11 for printing, 3 x 4 for iPad, 5 x 8 for Android, and 9 x 16 for HDTV.

Select the photos and do File > Plug-in Extras > Any Crop > Batch. Choose a crop preset, a collection set or publish service, and the name of a collection within that set or service. Any Crop will create the collection if it doesn’t exist, and it will place virtual copies of the selected photos in the collection, cropped by the preset:

You can apply up to five presets at a time. Then you can review the individual virtual copies and, if necessary, adjust their crops.

Tip: For each of the presets, set the option Same number of pixels as target image’s current crop. This will ensure that if the original image has already been cropped, the crop created by the preset will have the same number of megapixels and will be centered over the original crop. Otherwise, the preset’s crop will be placed inside the original crop, making it smaller than you probably want.

Dividing Contact Sheets into Frames

The Divide Contact Sheet command divides a contact sheet into individual frames, one virtual copy or JPEG per frame, stacked with the sheet.

To divide a sheet, rotate it to level its strips and crop it to the edges of the strips. The Crop tool’s Auto often does a very good job of leveling the strips, but if they are skewed, try the Transform > Guided tool.

Then invoke File > Plug-in Extras > Divide Contact Sheet. (You can divide more than one sheet at a time.) The command provides step-by-step instructions for handling the gaps between strips, extra margin around frames, the number of rows and columns, previewing the cropped frames, setting the copy names of the virtual copies and the JPEGs, and setting a metadata field with the sheet and frame number.

The first video shows how to include the spaces between frames, the second how to exclude the spaces:

Dividing a contact sheet into strips of 3 frames using the Any Crop Lightroom plugin

Dividing a contact sheet into frames using the Any Crop Lightroom plugn

Measuring the gaps between strips and frames: If you want the cropped frames to include the horizontal and vertical spaces between frames, set Horizontal gap and Vertical gap to 0%. Otherwise, you’ll have to measure these gaps. The steps are a little tedious due to Lightroom’s inability to zoom in on a crop. But you’ll only need to redo the measurements if you change to a different negative storage page with different spacing.

  1. Rotate and crop the contact sheet to the edges of the frames.
  2. Make a virtual copy of the sheet and make a small crop of the vertical gap between two frames, including a generous amount around that gap.
  3. Repeat step 2 two more times with different vertical gaps.
  4. Make a virtual copy of the sheet and make a crop of the horizontal gap between two strips of frames, including a generous amount of the strips above and below the gap.
  5. Repeat step 4 two more times with different horizontal gaps.
  6. Select those 6 virtual copies, do File > Export, selecting the options Export To: Same Folder as original photoAdd to This CatalogAdd to Stack: Below Original, Image Format: JPEG.
  7. Edit each of those exported JPEGs in Develop, cropping them to exactly to the horizontal gaps between strips or the vertical gaps between frames.
  8. Select all 6 of the cropped JPEGs, do File > Plug-in Extras > Divide Contact Sheet, click on the Divide tab, then click Measure.
Measuring gaps on a contact sheet with the Any Crop Lightroom plugin

Setting Rotation of Photos

The Set Rotation command sets the absolute rotation of many photos at once (a function inexplicably absent from Lightroom):    

Keyboard Shortcuts

To assign a keyboard shortcut to a preset, edit the preset and in the Menu shortcut dropdown at the bottom of the Edit window, select one of the menu commands Preset 1 through Preset 5. This lets you invoke the preset using File > Plug-in Extras > Any Crop > Preset i. Next, assign a keyboard shortcut to the menu command Preset i.

Windows: You can use the standard menu keystrokes to invoke the Crop or Preset i commands. For example, to invoke Crop: ALT+F opens the File menu, U selects the Plug-in Extras submenu, Enter/Return opens the submenu, and C invokes Crop. To invoke Preset 1: ALT+F, U, Enter/Return, 1.

To reassign a different final keystroke to an Any Crop menu item, edit the file Info.lua in the plugin folder. Move the & in front of the desired letter in the menu command’s name, changing the name itself if necessary.

To assign a single keystroke as the shortcut, download and install the free, widely used AutoHotkey. Then in File Explorer navigate to the plugin folder anycrop.lrplugin. Double-click Install-Keyboard-Shortcut.bat and restart your computer. This defines the shortcut Ctrl+Alt+C to invoke Crop and Ctrl+Alt+1 to invoke Preset 1. To change the shortcuts, edit the file Keyboard-Shortcut.ahk in Notepad and follow the instructions in that file.

Mac OS: You can use the standard mechanism for assigning application shortcuts to plugin menu commands. In System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts, click + to add a new shortcut. In Application select Adobe Lightroom Classic CC. In Menu Title type “Crop” or “Preset 1” preceded by three spaces: “<space><space><space>Crop” or “<space><space><space>Preset 1”  (omit the quotes, case matters). In Keyboard Shortcut type the desired key or key combination.

Support

Please send problems, bugs, suggestions, and feedback to ellis-lightroom@johnrellis.com.

I’ll gladly provide free licenses in exchange for reports of new, reproducible bugs.

Known limitations and issues:

  • In Lightroom 8.1 and later, if you apply an Any Crop preset in Develop and then resize the crop with the aspect ratio locked (the lock icon in the Crop Tool panel closed), the aspect ratio will reset to Original. To work around this Lightroom bug, apply the preset in Library rather than Develop. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to automate this workaround reliably in Any Crop, so we must wait for Adobe to fix the bug. Please visit the bug report, add your opinion, and click Me Too and Follow in the upper-right corner.
  • Any Crop requires Lightroom 6 / CC 2015 or Lightroom Classic—it relies on features missing from earlier versions. 

Version History

1.2

  • Initial release.

1.3

  • Assign keyboard shortcuts to presets.
  • Option for preset to leave Crop tool open.
  • Worked around intermittent Lightroom bug causing Any Crop to raise an error when you delete a photo.

1.4

  • Worked around the Lightroom bug causing the aspect ratio to revert to Original after applying a preset and then trying to resize the crop. Any Crop now switches to Library, applies the preset, then switches back to Develop. If this continues to fail for you, please contact me at the support email address above.

1.4

  • Removed the workaround introduced in version 1.4, since it behaved unpredictably due to Lightroom bugs. Documented above the inconvenient user workaround, which is to manually switch to Library before applying an Any Crop preset.
  • If a photo’s current aspect ratio matches its original ratio, “Original” is now always displayed in the Preset menu, even if there’s a preset with a matching ratio.

1.6

  • The Set Rotation command sets the absolute rotation of a batch of photos.

1.8

1.9

  • Worked around Windows Lightroom bug in Divide Contact Sheet that caused an Extra Margin value of 5.00 to be displayed as “00”.