How To Crop Circles

Ever wonder how to crop circles without using Photoshop? Maybe you are trying to a make a blog button and want it to be a circle shape but can’t figure out how to get rid of the white square around the circle. This tutorial will show you how using a free online editor called Pixlr.

How To Crop Circles Without Photoshop

I’ve been working on making some changes to my banner and some new social share buttons. They aren’t up yet but while I was working on the buttons, I remembered the first time I tried to crop a circle and got really frustrated. So, I wanted to share with you the way that I go about doing it without using Photoshop.

I made a screen capture video to go along with this post because sometimes it makes more sense to watch someone do it than to read about how to do it. The video does not have audio to go with it but shows you all the steps.

Pixlr Canvas Size

Go to and choose theΒ  Pixlr Editor (Advanced) option. Select Create New Image. Change the Width and the Height to the size you want your canvas to be. I used 1025 x 800. Change the Name and then check the Transparent box before clicking OK.

Open Image In Pixlr

Go to Layer in the menu bar and down to Open Image As Layer. Find the image you want to crop and open it.

Marquee Tool Pixlr How To

Next, choose the Marquee Tool from the toolbox on the left. It is a dotted square.

Pixlr Tutorial Elliptical Marquee

Click on the Elliptical Marquee which is the dotted circle on the tool bar that is across the top of the screen.

Aspect Ratio Pixlr Tutorial

Next, change the Constraint. Chose Aspect Ratio from the drop down box.

Pixlr Tutorial Invert Selection

Select the area of the photo you want to crop. Then, under Edit, choose Invert Selection. This will select everything in the photo except for the circular area you chose.

How To Crop Circles

Then, go to Edit and down to Cut.

Crop Tool

That will cut away everything but the circular area you want. Now choose the Crop Tool from the toolbox on the left. It is a square with a diagonal dotted line running through it. Crop away any of the transparent background you don’t need.

Save As A PNG

Finally, go to File and down to Save. Move the Quality slider all the way to the right for the highest image quality. Change the Format to PNG to preserve the transparency and choose a Name for the image.

In the screen capture video, I show you the difference between saving an image with a transparent background as a PNG and a JPEG. When I grabbed the PNG image and moved it around my desktop, only the circle is visible and the area around it is transparent. When I did the same with the JPEG, you can see how the white area around the circle is visible.

Interested In Learning More About Pixlr? Here some other tutorials I’ve posted:

Edit Pictures With Six Easy StepsEdit Pictures With 6 Easy Steps

Free Chalkboard BackgroundHow To Use Chalkboard Fonts in Pixlr

How To Adjust Color Level With PixlrHow to Adjust Color Levels With Pixlr

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  1. Josiah says

    Thanks so much! I’ve had been having the most difficult time attempting to cut out pictures in a circular fashion. I’m a coin collector, and as you might tell, coins are circular πŸ™‚ going about this led to be a very difficult pursuit without spending any money and yet, by sure grace, I stumbled upon your site and have been able to create some absolutely beautiful shots for my collection… and the best part, absolutely free. Thanks so so much!

  2. Carina says

    Thank you SOOOO much, just spent 30 minutes trying to do this on several different websites and getting nowhere. And this is so easy. I will def be using Pixlr often. Cheers.

  3. Elizabeth says

    Oh my gosh, thank you! I was trying to figure out how to crop a photo of my little boy for his birthday invitations. I was having no luck with simple cropping sites, as the photo was too big. You showed me how to do it so easily. Thank you thank you thank you!

  4. says

    I love Pixlr….my free trial to Photoshop expired so I started using Pixlr and was amazed how much it was just like Photoshop + free! I didn’t know how to crop circles, this is a great tip! Thanks for sharing it. πŸ™‚


  5. BWH says

    Thank you so much for posting this! I adore step by step instructions
    and I’ve always gotten so frustrated with Pixlr (advanced ) that I’ve never used it
    much. This is awesome!

    • Tonia says

      You are very welcome! It took me awhile but I learned to use many of the options and think it is a great program!

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