iOS 16: automatically crop the subject of a photo

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When iOS 16 launches this fall. The real star of this update might just be a feature that millions of people use (and abuse) every day on social media: a built-in function to simply cut (isolate) the subject of almost all your photos.

But not just your own photos in your own library. No, this is a system-wide feature that removes the subject from images on the web in Safari and images in files, too.

It’s not perfect, sometimes with blurry edges or weird selections, but it can be a huge time saver. Here’s how to do it step by step.

How to Crop a Subject in a Photo in iOS 16

Select the image of your choice from Photos, Safari, or the Files app and long press on the subject you want to isolate. It can be anything, as long as the subject is distinct from the background. You can select people, animals and almost any object.

When you long press to select the image, you will feel a small haptic vibration. At that time, lift your finger, you will see a white outline moving around the image, as well as a pop-up menu (if you don’t see the pop-up menu, try touching the subject again). This menu varies depending on the app used, in Photos there may only be Copy and Share options.

In Safari, a long press on an image doesn’t select the subject, but gives you options for what you can do with the full image: Share, Add to Photos, Copy, and Copy Subject.

Select the latter option to cut out the subject and copy it to your clipboard.

Place the image where you want it

Once the image is copied, paste it as you would anything on your clipboard.

Open Posts and press in thespace reserved for messagesthen select To stick on.

Open Filesnavigate to the desired folder, then long press theempty space and select To stick on.

In the Photos app or the Files app, you’ll notice that pressing and holding the subject of an image causes a copy of it to detach from the background while you hold your finger down.

You can now drag this copy, and as long as you keep your finger on the screen, use your other fingers to switch to any other application, and drag and drop the cut subject directly into it .

Long-press an image in Photos, keep your finger on the detached subject, then swipe to Messages to drop it.

Apple treats these images and PNGs with transparent backgrounds, which can be handy for those who want to be more creative.

How to crop a subject in a photo on macOS Ventura

As you might expect, this also works on your iPad with iPadOS 16, but this feature is also built into macOS Ventura!

In Safari or Photos, right-click an image and choose Copy topic to copy it to your clipboard.

If you’re using another app (or browser), save the image first, then in Finder, use QuickLook (spacebar) to open the image, then right-click and choose Copy Subject.

You can then paste this image into any application that accepts images from your clipboard, such as Messages, Mail or Notes.

It even works on paused videos!

If you’re playing a video in the Photos app, you can pause it and select the subject as if it were a still image.

It doesn’t really work on all videos on the web, especially if they’re on their own video player. The solution is to take a screenshot and then copy the subject from that image.

It’s an extra step or two, but it’s a much more reliable method.

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