When is the crop tool going to get fixed?

(David ...) #1

I’ve noticed a lot of posts complaining about the inadequacies and strange behavior of the crop tool in RT. I’d like to add my agreement with these complaints. RT is very sophisticated and generally speaking has very good usability. However, the crop tool is so bad as well as so essential that it really makes RT aggravating to use.

A thought has occurred to me which is that this problem could be exacerbated by documentation that simply fails to explain how things one would expect it to do are supposed to be done. However, based on the number of other complaints found herein I’d put my money on design deficiency. I find this strange given how easy it is to use the comparable tool in many other products in addition to how intuitive as well as similar they are. How could something so good as RT in so many respects can be so BAD when it comes to cropping?

Is there any hope for a more straightforward and user friendly implementation being developed?

(Silvio) #2

Hello ajax David,

Is there any hope for a more straightforward and user friendly implementation being developed?

Can you elaborate a bit more on that?

In essence, what exactly needs to be fixed?

The new upcoming version of RawTherapeee 5.5, to be released next month, has been improved as regards the crop tool. For instance:

Obviously, there are still many feature requests to handle concerning the crop tool. For instance:

As regards, the documentation I agree that it could be better. However, I am aware it is being updated by volunteers on their very limited spare time, for free…

BTW, I am a RawTherapee user, not a developer…

(Roel) #3

One of the developers here! The Reset button was my work and should make things a little easier.

@ajax It would be helpful if you could explain what it is you don’t like about the crop tool. Throwing around terms like “design deficiency” without pointing to an actual deficit is not helpful, at all.

From a coding point of view, the crop tool is very interconnected with many other things. You could say it’s a bit of a spaghetti. To untangle that will take time. To change the behaviour completely, is asking for the impossible at the moment. People like @Morgan_Hardwood may know more of its history.

As for the docs, I can take a look and see if things can be explained more clearly.



I would like that only the cropped area would be displayed (vithout any guide) when I close the crop tool window (and of course tool enabled).

Then cropped area becomes the whole image on which processing are done.


Do you mean this?


Perhaps I am missing something, but when I do that I, the cropped out region stays visible and you can still modify the crop.
I would like with tool enabled and closed that the crop becomes the whole image ( no black border, no possibility to further modify the crop, fill whole image to screen becomes fill crop to screen)

So 3 states for the tool:

  • disabled
  • enabled and open: you can define the crop
  • enabled and closed : crop becomes the whole image, no possibility to modify crop

(Roel) #7

I understand your proposal and I have preference for this as well. In the meanwhile, you can always set the background color to black to remove any visible clues that there is a crop and just use this button:


(Silvio) #8

Hello everyone,

I would like that only the cropped area would be displayed (vithout any guide) when I close the crop tool window (and of course tool enabled).

+1 for me too
I suppose this might "improve the compatibility"with other softwares and make new RawTherapee users less disgruntled :slight_smile:
From previous discussions on this same crop tool request, I suppose it is not that easy to code this feature (but I may be currently wrong…).

At present, as already pointed out, one workaround is to set the background in the GUIs as black.


An other workaround
I use toowagrey average surround

  • At the left using: backgroud of the preview theme based
    the output area is visible

  • At the right using: background of the preview middle grey
    the output area is no longer visible

I don’t know if it is intended and if it works with other themes? If yes, it could be documented.



This depends what you’ve set here:
If set to solid and the same color as the theme background you will not see the image outside the crop area.


Thanks. As it is now set up for me, I have a usable workaroud.

All that should be documented in the crop section to help users .

(Morgan Hardwood) #12

What exactly is missing?

(David ...) #13

I started off noticing lots of other complaints that mostly all made sense to me but a list of things that seem very conspicuous to me follows:

  1. Reset button is a very basic need.
  2. Specify a custom ratio (i.e., whatever the user wants) in a manner similar to setting other ratios. Display the ratio being used in plane sight where there is never any question about what value is being used. Overloading the current width and height parameters to make them do something different when holding the shift key is very error prone as well as confusing. It often gets screwed up in my experience and “Reset” will be a big help. Also the numbers start changing in a manner that you are never certain that the ratio is what you want.
  3. Most all other software allows for the rectangular representing the boundaries of the crop to be moved without changing its’ dimensions.
  4. Most tools have a commit action. In that, I like it this way make it my crop and turn off the tool until I come back to consciously reactivate it. RT’s seems to keep the tool in an active state once it has been turned on which risks having inadvertent actions make both unwanted and possibly unrecognized changes.

(Morgan Hardwood) #14

Still waiting for a reply @ajax

(David ...) #15

I did reply about what I thought was missing from the tool. When it comes to the documentation I think the problem is as some might say “Unknown, Unknowns”. In that, if there is a capability that I don’t know about and also is not documented I’m afraid I can’t say what it is. Something I do know is that the tool is pretty complex/sophisticated for such a limited amount of documentation.

I hope my list of missing features, at least from what I’ve been able to know, is some help. As previously stated RT is overall TOO GOOD to suffer from this defect.

(Morgan Hardwood) #16

Correct me if I’m wrong, but you could apply the same logic to, and bash in the same way, any documentation ever written since the dawn of writing, no?

(David ...) #17

Yes that combination of circumstance can be applied to all manner of things. My apologies if I sound like I’m bashing. I was only trying to point out that this very common explanation could account for some of my frustration.


While we are on the topic of feature request for the crop tool, I would love to be able to drag the crop widow to where I want it. For example, if I want to move it left, I now increase the left side and decrease the right side. It would be so much easier to drag it.

(Karlheinz Lehmann) #19

Press Left-Shift (maybe just shift) then move the crop window around …
What was your problem?


The problem was behind the keyboard. :sunglasses:
Thanks for the info, I’ll give it a shot next time I am on it. However, I would like say that many programs allow dragging the window with a mouse without any keyboard input. What is the reason fro requiring the shift key?