I did some Photoshop training last week, and was reminded again how much some people dislike the behavior of the “new and improved” crop tool that was introduced in Photoshop CS6.
What people dislike the most is the new behavior where Photoshop continuously centers the crop area on the screen as you resize and reposition the crop boundary. If this bothers you, pick up the crop tool, click on the gear icon in the Options bar, and uncheck the Auto Center Preview option. This will turn off the auto centering behavior, and the crop tool will behave similar to previous versions.
Another complaint I hear is that people dislike the way Photoshop applies a crop boundary to the image as soon as you click on the Crop tool. If you don’t like where the crop boundary is positioned, it takes longer to move and resize the boundary than to just create a new one. But did you know that you can just ignore the crop boundary that Photoshop creates, and drag to create an entirely new boundary? You don’t need to resize/reposition the boundary that is there.
In case you’ve missed it, I’d like to point out the Delete Cropped Pixels choice in the Options bar. If you uncheck this option, cropping is non-destructive. In other words, as long as you save your image as a layered PSD or TIFF file, the pixels outside the crop boundary are retained, so that you can adjust the crop boundary in the future.