Professor Tips

Recompose with Ease

These five items will help you precisely crop and compose with ease. Below, each of the items are explained.

  • Mask – An opacity mask, which dims the areas of the image that is cropped out
  • Frame – A thin white line around the cropped area of the image
  • Labels – Numerical tags on each axis of the crop showing the value in Pixels, Centimetres, Inches or Millimetres
  • Grid – A series of lines to assist with positioning when applying a crop
  • Guides – A vertical and horizontal line, which can be dragged into any position.
General points on cropping


To crop an image, choose the Crop cursor tool or press “C” on the keyboard. Click and drag a crop over the image. If you haven’t changed any of the Crop options in the Capture One 7 preferences, this is what you will see. When moving the crop, the image stays centered.


The labels at each edge show the size of the crop, as specified in the process recipe. The unit of the side lengths are configured here as well. To delete a crop quickly, you can click anywhere outside the current crop (in the Mask) once, or reset the crop tool. To create a new crop within a previous one, hold the shift key to and drag and drop the crop mask where you want it.

The labels, in the example above, are circled in orange and the grid, as well as the mask area is indicated with orange arrows. The behaviour of these elements can be changed in the Crop option on the Capture One 7 preferences.


So for example, with regard to the Mask, you can configure the Opacity and Brightness to your liking or even completely disabled.


The frame option will draw a thin white line around the crop edge as seen in the example below.


By default the grid will only show when you adjust the crop, but you can change this behaviour as well as add more lines to the grid and change their color.


Guides can be shown by clicking the icon in the toolbar or choosing View>Show Grid and Guides.


The guides are shown as a horizontal and vertical line centered in the crop frame.  However, they can be moved to a location of your liking by hovering the cursor near to the lines and click-dragging.


This can be a very useful feature when capturing in a tethered workflow, assisting in a precise alignment.  You can also change their position in the preferences and adjust the color.


All the best,



The Image Quality Professor
The Image Quality Professor

The digital pioneer, Niels V. Knudsen, is Phase One’s Image Quality Professor and founder of the IQP blog. Moreover, he is responsible for breakthrough advancements in image quality both in Phase One’s medium format camera systems and in Capture One Pro.

Comments (16)

Charles Rankin

I found out about Phase One when I read a story about the $55.000 camera; the first question to my mind is what software are they using. That’s when I was introduce to Capture One. I have reduce my use of Adobe CC & Lightroom 5 until I lean Capture One. As a Marine disable veteran; learning to use the software make the day & time go by with a smile on my face.

Stay blessed


Thank you for an easy tutorial with the crop tool. However, you never covered what happens if the cursor tool doesn’t update the crop you just selected. What should I do so that my final crop takes effect?

David Grover

Hi Matthew,

I am not quite sure I understand your question? You don’t need to necessarily ‘apply’ the crop. As soon as you deselect the crop tool, the current crop sticks.

Does that help?


hello:) I have question about crop toll. previously I used lightroom. when you turn on crop in Lr you have frame with mesh/grid around image. if I will keep option (mac) and start drag any corner into centre my crop will change proportionally on every side so I am pretty sure my object is exactly in the centre – please see attached. if I have turn on grid from C1 how can I get crop exactly from centre proportionally around my item like in Lr? sorry if it’s not clear. thanks. jacek

The Image Quality Professor

Hi Jacek,

Unfortunately we do not have such a feature. But I will take your input back to the team.
Thanks for your input.

All the best,

Hi Niels, I echo with Jacek about the flexibility of the crop tool in C1. I wish they’d allow me to adjust the crop box from any area of the box (not only from the corners) so we can crop exactly from centre proportionally around my subject

Pravin M

It would be a good idea to be able to add fibonacci ratio and spiral gridlines and save them or just call them up from the program. LR and PS have these options and more in their crop tools.

David Grover

Hi Pravin,

Ok, they can be useful grids to have. Thanks for your feedback!


steve swain

+ a big fat One

Hi. Is there any way to nudge the crop frame selection using the arrow keys rather than the mouse? Sometimes it’s useful to move in horizontal or vertical axis slightly without affecting the other axis – especially when applying the same crop to multiple images. This is something I use all the time in photoshop and would like to be able to do the same in capture one.


Where should I go to adjust the spacing of the grid?

I’m desperately looking for this so basic and much needed feature!


David Grover

Hi Magnus,

Capture One>Preferences>Crop


John Siberski

Twice now I have moved the vertical alignment guide line to far to the left. It disappeared from the screen. I cannot recover it. I did the same thing about a month ago. Was stuck with only the horizontal guide. About a week ago the vertical magically reappeared. Made same mistake this AM. Help. I depend on the alignment grid a lot.

David Grover

Hi John,

View>Add Guide should sort you out!


Wish list:

Grid lines-

• Would like to have the ability to angle the grid lines and see the angle they represent (i.e. 18 degrees , 36 degrees) as well as have the ability to save and name them.

This would be very helpful for maintaining angle standards for a product or just shooting multiples of a similar item that need to maintain the same angle

Made a big discovery yesterday and found out we can now set golden ratio gridlines and even a fibaniccio spiral in crop preferences! I read all your release notes but missed this addition – when did it happen – very pleased anyway.

My question: is there anyway to move between different gridline types on the fly without having to go back to preferences?