Auto Crop Advanced

Script for Adobe Photoshop
Latest update 11/1/2022, version 5.6

This script is an advanced version of the Photoshop script Auto Crop. Like the basic version, the script crops images using Photoshop’s Select Subject feature, and adds minimum margins to arrive at defined dimensions. But unlike the basic version, this advanced version gives the user independent control of all four margins, including negative values for any or all, and adds the option to scale the result when the image does not reach the crop. The advanced version also adds the option to save working PSD files if desired.

  • Set margins independently
  • Content-aware cropping, or scale to fit
  • Layers cropped without deleting pixels
  • Output to JPG, PNG, PSD, or TIF
  • Save working PSD files

Also see related scripts Crop To Margins and Crop To Template

IMPORTANT: the script depends on the Photoshop feature Select Subject that was introduced in Photoshop CC 2018 (version 19). Earlier versions of Photoshop will not run this script correctly. For best results use the latest version of Photoshop as the Select Subject feature has improved greatly in recent years.


Single-user perpetual license

How to use the script

The interface has five sections: Process, Size, Resolution, Output, and Settings. Set options as desired and click OK to begin. If processing the active image, any errors or concerns are reported immediately. If processing a folder, a progress bar is displayed. To cancel processing, press the ESC key. Otherwise, when complete, the number of images processed is reported. If any concerns are encountered, a log file is written to the output folder, and the user is notified.

The script depends on the accuracy of Photoshop’s Select Subject feature, which works well in most cases, but isn’t perfect 100% of the time. At a minimum, the user should open Bridge and scan through thumbnails of cropped images to ensure the results are satisfactory. For any images that crop improperly, open in Photoshop and crop manually. Or, for this advanced version, enable the option to save working PSD files, and any may be easily adjusted because all layers are cropped without deleting pixels.

Section 1: Process

Active image — processes the image that is currently open and the top-most window if multiple images are open. When this option is selected, the section Output is disabled. It is for the user to perform additional transformations if needed and Save As the cropped version of the image in the desired format. A revised file name should be used to preserve the original un-cropped version of the image.

Folder — processes a folder of images. Click the Folder button to select the folder of images to crop.

Include subfolders — if enabled, images in subfolders are included. All subfolders in the input folder are created in the output folder so the subfolder structure is preserved.

Section 2: Size

Width and Height — set the width and height of the desired result.

Units — the measurement units used for all values.

Margins (+/-) — a distance from the subject that is the smallest margin once cropped. This advanced version allows margins to be set independently. This is used to crop the subject off-center, or for subjects that already reach an image edge but need margin around other sides. To keep from cropping an edge, set the margin to zero, and set other margins as desired. Some margins may be greater than values set depending on the cropped width and height, but the script attempts to keep margins no less than the values set. Some margins can end up slightly less, but not by a significant amount, only a few pixels at most.

Also note that margin values can be negative. Use this to crop models above the knees, for example, or below the neck. Test an open image to find values that suit your needs, which can then be added to saved settings for the particular style of crop.

Center — enable to make all margins match the value set for Left. This makes all margins equal, which results in the subject centered in the cropped area.

When image is less than crop — when the result of sizing the image does reach one or more edges of the cropping boundary, the user may choose to complete the missing image using one (or none) of the two options.

Use Content-Aware Fill — content-aware cropping is used to complete the missing image.

Scale to fit — the image is scaled until it reaches the cropping boundary. This alters the margins, but no more than the minimum required to reach the desired size without creating additional image area.

If both options are disabled, the missing image is filled with the current background color when the original image is flattened (single background layer with no other layers). If the original image is one or more layers with or without transparency, the missing image is transparent, unless the option Flatten is enabled, in which case the missing image is filled with white.

In all cases when the image is less than crop, an alert is added to the log file along with a description of the remedy, or if cropping the active image, the alert and remedy are reported immediately.

Section 3: Resolution

As-is (no interpolation; Pixels/Inch derived from new size) — the Pixels/Inch value changes as a result of cropping and resizing the image to the desired dimensions, but no image data is resampled. The pixels of the image after cropping are precisely the same pixels from before cropping/resizing, only less the pixels cropped away.

Resample to original Pixels/Inch — after the image is cropped, the image is resampled to the original Pixels/Inch value of the image before cropping/resizing. In the event this up-scales the resolution, an alert is added to the log file, or reported immediately if cropping the active image.

Resample — enter a value in pixels per inch. After the image is cropped, the resolution is adjusted to the specified value. In the event this up-scales the resolution, an alert is added to the log file, or reported immediately if cropping the active image.

Regarding “aspect ratio” versus size: the option As-is exists to satisfy users asking for cropping based on aspect ratio. This option changes the image size, but lets the resolution adjust to whatever value that size makes it, without removing any pixels beyond what cropping requires. The real size of any image is its pixel dimensions, not inches, millimeters, etc. Those are real-world units of measure for the benefit of humans. Without resampling pixel data, size expressed in inches (for example) simply sets how many pixels represent one inch. The point is, the As-is option makes specifying size identical to specifying aspect ratio. The only pixel data lost is the portion cropped away to arrive at the desired ratio of width to height.

Section 4: Output

Folder — the location to which cropped images are saved. Click the button Folder and navigate to the desired location.

Format — choose from four common file formats: JPG, PNG, PSD, or TIF.

Flatten — reduces layers to a single background layer. If disabled, layers remain, but understand that some formats and situations always flatten the image. For example, output to JPEG, because the format does not support layers. The PNG format is always converted to sRGB web standard, and this can also trigger flattening. As well, images converted from RGB to CMYK may flatten to preserve the effect of adjustment layers, which cannot convert from one color space to another.

Quality (JPG format only) — valid range is from 0 to 12. 0 is extreme compression resulting in low quality. 12 is light compression that is virtually indistinguishable from the original, the highest possible quality, which of course, results in the largest file size. 10 to 12 is recommended for print or other high-quality reproduction. For web images, 5 to 8 is an acceptable range.

Convert to profile — the cropped image is converted to the specified profile. Note that PNG always converts to sRGB web standard. All other formats embed either the original color profile or the profile to which the image is converted.

Original file name + — a suffix of characters appended to each cropped image file name. The characters entered must be legal to use in file names. As Width and Height change, the suffix is updated to match. Having no suffix is allowed, and if desired, the suggested value may be cleared once sizes are set and before processing. However, without a suffix, output to the input folder is not allowed to prevent overwriting input files.

When cropped images are output, any existing cropped images of the same name are replaced without alert.

Save working file (PSD) — saves a copy of the cropped image with all layers intact and cropped without deleting pixels. Click the Folder button to choose a location to store working PSD files.

Section 5: Settings

The current options may be saved and restored later. Select from the Load drop-down list to choose saved settings, and the current options are updated. Click the Delete button, and the saved settings selected in the Load drop-down list are permanently removed. Click the Save button, provide a name for the settings, and the current options are preserved. If the name already exists, the user may choose to replace the saved settings. Or click the checkbox Replace settings, and choose the settings to replace.

The script provides default saved settings named [Default]. These settings cannot be deleted but may be updated to the current values. Save settings, click the checkbox Replace settings, and choose [Default].

When settings are saved, there is also the option to include Input folder, Output folder, and/or Working folder.

Auto Crop Advanced Save settings

Each time the script is launched, the input, output, and working folders are restored to the last location used. To override these defaults, enable the options to include Input folder, Output folder, and/or Working folder. When the saved settings are loaded, the input, output, and/or working folders are restored to the values saved.

Available color profiles

For the option Convert to profile, the list of profiles from which to choose is compiled by searching known locations in the system for .icc/.icm files and extracting the profile name. This occurs each time the script is launched. The list should include most of the same profiles Photoshop displays in dialogs such as Color Settings, but it doesn’t match exactly. If a needed profile does not appear in the list, add the profile to a location both Photoshop and the script look for profiles (below), and relaunch the script.






Single-user perpetual license

Change log: auto-crop-advanced.txt

For help installing scripts, see How to Install and Use Scripts in Adobe Creative Cloud Applications.

Custom solutions based on any script, or completely new ideas, are possible at reasonable cost. Contact William for more information.

IMPORTANT: by downloading any of the scripts on this page you agree that the software is provided without any warranty, express or implied. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Always make backups of important data.

IMPORTANT: fees paid for products purchased from this site, or for programming custom solutions, are the purchase of a non-exclusive license to use the software and do not grant the purchaser any degree of ownership of the software. Author of the intellectual property and copyright holder William Campbell retains 100% ownership of all code used in all products and custom solutions.

IMPORTANT: scripts are developed for the latest Adobe Creative Cloud applications. Many scripts work in CC 2018 and later, even some as far back as CS6, but may not perform as expected, or run at all, when used in versions prior to 2018. Photoshop features Select Subject and Preserve Details 2.0 definitely fail prior to CC 2018 (version 19) as the features do not exist in earlier versions. For best results use the latest versions of Adobe Creative Cloud applications.