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Workaround for the Cropping Bug(s) in Aperture 3.2

PhotoJoseph's picture
October 19, 2011 - 10:15am

There are some well publicized bugs showing up in Aperture 3.2 in regards to cropping, one of which I’ve been trying to come up with a reasonable work-around to. I have something for you; it’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing.

The Problem

When you select the crop tool, even on a vertical (portrait) image, and even though the crop ratio is set to “Master Aspect Ratio”, the crop ratio is set to horizontal (landscape) when you first load it. Not a huge deal; click the aspect swap icon (between the Width and Height numbers) and it reverses. Crop away.

The real problem is that if you close Crop, then re-open it, and touch the corner of a vertical crop, the crop box pops back to a horizontal ratio. Damned annoying.

The Workarounds

There are a few options to avoid this re-orientation problem. (Nothing that can be done about the default orientation that I’ve found… and I did trash the aperture preferences to see if that reset anything, and it did not).

  1. When you go to re-crop, instead of grabbing the corner, grab the center-control point. It may mean more clicks as you resize and reposition the crop box, but at least it won’t flip sideways on you.
  2. If you have a trackpad (either on the laptop or the Magic Trackpad) and have Enable Gestures turned on in the Aperture preferences (under General), you can pinch to resize the crop without re-orienting it.
  3. Set “Aspect Ratio” to Do Not Constrain. You can do this after you’ve already cropped with a constrain turned on, and it won’t move the crop when you switch it to no-constraint, but then of course you’ll be free-cropping, which may not be ideal for your needs.

Both of the first two “solutions” expand the crop from the center, so it’s obviously not the same as grabbing a corner, but I think it’s better than getting frustrated at it popping to a horizontal crop.

The only ratio that doesn’t appear to exhibit this behavior is Screen Aspect Ratio. Which I realize is mostly useless in a vertical orientation, but that setting doesn’t appear to make the crop re-orient.

Needless to say, if you have any other workarounds, do let us know in the comments.

Apple Aperture

Interesting. There’s alos another issue that I’m aware of, and seems to be related to this.

When viewing portrait orientation images in crop mode, the top 1/3 or so of the image “disappears”. It’s still there, you just can’t see it.

From what I’ve learned you can see your pic again by turning off the onscreen proofing profile (under view menu). Obviously not ideal, as people find the onscreen proofing profile useful, but I’m sure this bug will be ironed out eventually - seems to be related to reading orientations in the metadata or something.

You can always switch it back on when done cropping.

Awaiting 3.2.1!

Anyone else having a problem with Aperture forgetting image crops?!? I have no idea what’s going on, but I’m seeing some absolute craziness, with edges of other images showing up in the sides/corners of images I’ve straightened and cropped. I believe this is related to Aperture 3.2

Interestingly, Aperture 3 hasn’t forgotten my crop settings. In fact, the crops are selected in the images, but the image looks wrong - very wrong - on my screen. If I deselect the crop adjustment and then reselect it, literally just clicking the check box twice, the image corrects itself.

Very weird.


There are clearly many crop-related issues at the moment, however from what I can see, the good news is it’s only affecting the redraw on screen, and as long as you disable Onscreen proofing and possibly go forward and back a photo, you should be seeing the right image — and certainly on export.

It’ll get fixed soon, I’m sure.

-Joseph @ApertureExpert

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How can I tell if onscreen proofing is enabled or if it isn’t? I don’t see it checked in the menu. If I type Option Shift P, I still don’t see it checked.

That being said, I DO see the photos as having messed up crops when I view them on my iPhone (I have a few smart albums synced).

Here’s more info, including images: Link!

Wow Rob, it’s worse than I though then.

At this point… all we can do is wait for a fix. Considering the severity of this, I’m sure it’ll happen soon.

-Joseph @ApertureExpert

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I’m experiencing another bug which relates to the resizing of the crop window.
When you grab any of the border edges, the crop window resizes from the centre-point. This is expected behaviour.
When you grab one of the small white boxes at the corners of the window, the window scales with the pivot located on the opposite corner (basically it leaves the opposite corner where it is). This is also expected behaviour.
But when you grab one of the white boxes in the centre of the horizontal or vertical edges, it still scales from the centre point. I think I’m pretty sure that it didn’t do that in the previous version. It would extend the crop with the pivot based on the opposite edge. Which would make sense.
So at the moment it doesn’t make a difference if you grab an edge or one of the boxes in the centre of an edge. The boxes only work properly at the corners.
As I already mentioned in a previous post, it’s beyond my understanding of how they could mess up the crop tool that much.



Hm, I’d have to look at a previous version again. It seems to me that it’s operating as always (but I could certainly be wrong).

-Joseph @ApertureExpert

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I’m having the same issue as Rob. Contrary to what he sees, I do not get back to the original crop, by de- and reselecting. The crop does snap back to within the rotated boundaries, but the crop is not the exact same as before. The size of it is the same, but the position is not.
I know this from 2 observations: 1) I had an image which I cropped very carefully to avoid a certain part. That past is now showing, when Aperture updates the preview. 2) I had multiple versions of this image with the exact same crop. I didn’t click each image individually, so I could hit ‘P’ in time before checking them, and then compare the old renderings with the new ones directly.
I’m thinking this might apply to Ron too, as you would probably only notice it, if you had a very particular crop.
To me this is very scary. Lossless - yeah, but only to your masters. I can’t help but think, that any edit I do in Aperture is potentially lost.

I will definitely begin using the following workaround more rigorously:
I still feel confident in the masters being safe (if nothing else they can be extracted from an TM-backup). So basically what needs to be done is to create a new master from version. Aperture doesn’t have this as an option, but you can trick it into doing it anyway. Simply open the image with an external editor, and close the editor. Aperture will now have created a new file with the image that was exported. Being a rendered file, with your previous edits applied, Aperture will see it as a new unedited picture, and its database thus holds no edits on that picture for Aperture to mess up.


The cropping issues were fixed in the 3.2.1 update. Are you still seeing problems after the upgrade?

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Hi Joseph,
I only noticed this after I installed 3.2.1 - so I beg to differ about cropping issues being solved.
As i only found a few pictures with this issue, I can’t say if the problem was there before 3.2.1.



Interesting… well, it was supposed to be fixed in 3.2.1!

Is it only happening on photos that were cropped previously, or are you seeing it on newly cropped photos, too?

Do me a favor… can you start this discussion in the User Forum as that will let us have a conversation the others will see and can contribute to.


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Shure thing. It’s here:

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