Tips & Tricks: A Workaround For Cropping Pictures on Your BlackBerry

One of the things that always annoyed me about the BlackBerry pictures app is that there is no way to crop images you take. Hopefully a solution for resizing images will be coming in OS 5.0 but until then Michael Jones came up with a ghetto workaround for cropping small images on your BlackBerry. I found the workaround quite funny and cumbersome but it is the only way I know to do it so far…

Michael did a great job of writing up the instructions so I just copied them below:

Well, here’s the thing – my wife has an iPhone and it has the ability to do picture cropping right on the phone — “There’s an app for that!”.

On the Apple commercial, the girl is in a picture with a guy, drinking, and she zooms her picture in to just her face, and crops out the beer, so that she can send the photo to her parents.  This is also how you can crop out an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend from a picture – now, that’s handy!

I was jealous.  I wanted to be able to do that on my BlackBerry Bold.  I was thinking about how I could write such an app in Java.  Then I thought, well, Duh!  BlackBerrys already do that!  All you need is a free screen capture app called CaptureIt, which I already had.  Here is how you do it:

  1. Install “Capture It” (if it isn’t already on there).  It is found here:  http://www.thetechmogul.com/CaptureIt/CaptureIt.jad
  2. Move the picture file that you want to crop to the same folder that your pictures get stored to, when you take a picture with your BlackBerry.  For example mine is the main ‘root’ folder on my Micro SD Card.  This happens to be the same location that the “Capture It” app will store images that it captures.
  3. Open your picture in the BlackBerry Media app, in that particular folder.
  4. Use the various BlackBerry keys, like 3 and 9 to zoom in/out on your picture, and your trackball to move the picture around, centering it.  Zoom right into the place you like, effectively visually cropping the image, horizontally.
  5. Push the BlackBerry button, and then choose the menu item for “Capture It”.  Now a new file will be created, with that new zoomed image.
  6. Hit the Back button, to go back to the Media folder, to find your new zoomed image.
  7. Repeat if necessary.
  8. But wait, there’s more!
  9. Say that you have a very wide image with some things on the left or right side of your desired image that you want to remove.  Just Rotate your image, with the Rotate menu item.  Zoom again, as before, to effectively crop the image vertically.
  10. Push the BlackBerry button, and then choose the menu item for “Capture It”.  Now a new file will be created, with that new zoomed image.  This will probably be your final image.
  11. While you are zooming, you will capture some temporary images.  Just go back into to the BlackBerry Media app later and delete those temporary images.

NOTE: Just so you know, to do this cropping effectively, for the best results, you need to go into your Camera options, and set/leave your Picture Size at the highest setting, e.g., “Large” and your Picture Quality to “Superfine”.

See, anytime you zoom an image in,  you lose quality, just like with any camera or picture, and you need to start out with the highest quality picture.

Also, just so you know, if you have a picture of someone with a black background, just framing their face, and you associate that picture with their contact phone number, it will pop up their face on your phone in a cool way when they call (at least it looks like that on my BlackBerry Bold).  I have manually modified pictures on my Bold’s contacts to look like that, because it is just so cool.

4 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Man, that Michael Jones guy sure is clever – wait a minute, that’s me!

    I forgot to mention that it is easy to simply rotate a picture this way. Say you turn the phone sideways to get a tall picture. But the subject of the picture is now sideways. Or somebody emails you a picture that is turned sideways. Hmm, how to rotate them?

    Sure, you could copy them to your PC, and use Paint or MS Office Picture Manager. But you can also rotate a picture on your BlackBerry.

    Use the Rotate menu item in the BB Media viewer, then zoom in, crop out. Like what you see? Click the CaptureIt menu item!

    Done. You now have two pictures – the original and the rotated picture.

    I know what I am suggesting might seem elementary to some people, but sometimes it is not obvious to people. Similarly, I used to copy pictures to my PC to enlarge them to the perfect size for wallpaper on my BlackBerry Bold, and then I realized that you don’t have to do that. You just zoom any picture to fill the screen on your BlackBerry and then choose “Set As Home Screen Image”.

    See, I didn’t realize that it DOES NOT set the home screen image from the picture file, but rather what the screen looks like at the moment that you choose the “Set As Home Screen Image” menu item.

  2. ShrinkIt does not crop. This is a great solution.

  3. I know another picture tool on blackberry phone – Resize Picture for BlackBerry – it can resize and rotate picture on your phone.
    See: http://blackberrysms.yo2.cn/resize-picture

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