Edit and Resize Photos on the iPad

Woman holding an iPad with photos on it

Public Domain/Pixabay

You don't need to download a special app just to resize a photo on the iPad. In fact, there are a number of ways you can edit your photos without the need for a third-party app.

  1. Simply launch the Photos app.
  2. Navigate to the picture you want to edit and tap the Edit button.

This puts the photo into edit mode, and a toolbar appears on the screen. If you are in portrait mode, the toolbar will appear at the bottom of the screen just above the Home Button. If you are in landscape mode, the toolbar will appear on either the left or right side of the screen.

The Magic Wand 

The very first button is a magic wand. The magic wand analyzes the photo to come up with the right mixture of brightness, contrast, and color palette in order to enhance the photo's colors. This is a great tool to use on just about any photo, especially if the colors look slightly faded.

How to Crop (Resize) or Rotate a Photo

The button for cropping and rotating the image is just to the right of the magic wand button. It appears to be a box with two arrows in semicircles along the edge. Tapping this button will put you in a mode for resizing and rotating the image.

When you tap this button, notice that the edges of the image are highlighted. You crop the photo by dragging a side of the photo toward the middle of the screen. Simply place your finger on the edge of the photo where it is highlighted, and without lifting your finger up from the screen, move your finger toward the center of the image. You can also use this technique to drag from a corner of the photo, which allows you to crop two sides of the image at the same time.

Notice the grid that appears while you are dragging the highlighted edge of the image. This grid will help you center the portion of the image you want to crop.

You can also zoom into the image, zoom out of the image, and drag the image around the screen to get the perfect position for the cropped photo. You can zoom in and out using the pinch-to-zoom gestures, which is basically making a pinching with your finger and thumb resting on the display. This will zoom out of the photo. You can zoom into the image by doing the same thing in reverse: placing your finger and thumb together on the display and then moving them apart while keeping the fingers on the screen. 

You can move the photo on the screen by tapping a finger on the display and, without lifting it from the screen, moving the tip of the finger. The photo will follow your finger.

You can also rotate the photo. On the lower-left side of the screen is a button that looks like a filled-in box with an arrow circling the upper-right corner. Tapping this button will spin the photo by 90 degrees. There is also a semicircle of numbers just below the cropped images. If you place your finger on these numbers and move your finger left or right, the image will rotate in that direction.

When you are finished making your modifications, tap the Done button in the lower-right corner of the screen. You can also tap on another toolbar button to move directly into a different tool.

Other Editing Tools

The button with the three circles allows you to process the image through different lighting effects. You can create a black-and-white photo using the Mono process or use slightly different black-and-white effects like the Tonal or Noir process. Want to keep the color? The Instant process will make the photo look like it was taken with one of those old Polaroid cameras. You can also choose Fade, Chrome, Process, or Transfer, each of which adds its own flavor to the photo.

The button that looks like a circle with dots around it will give you even greater control over the light and color of the photo. When you are in this mode, you can drag the film roll left or right to adjust the color or lighting. You can also tap the button with three lines just to the right of the film roll to get even more control.

The button with an eye and a line running through it is for getting rid of red-eye. Simply tap the button and tap any eyes that have this effect. Remember, you can zoom into and zoom out of the photo using the pinch-to-zoom gestures. Zooming into the photo can make it easier to use this tool.

The last button is a circle with three dots in it. This button will let you use third-party widgets on the photo. If you have downloaded any photo editing apps that support being used as a widget, you can tap this button and then tap the More button to turn the widget on. You can then access the widget through this menu. These widgets can do anything from allowing you more options for cropping the photo, adding stamps to decorate the photo, or tagging the photo with text or other processes to run through the photo.

If You Made a Mistake

Don't worry about making mistakes. You can always revert back to the original image.

If you are still editing a photo, simply tap the Cancel button in the lower-left corner of the screen. You'll revert back to the nonedited version.

If you accidentally saved your changes, enter edit mode again. When you tap Edit with a previously edited image highlighted, a Revert button will appear in the lower-right corner of the screen. Tapping this button will restore the original image.