iOS 16: Automatically crop the subject of an image

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

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

It’s not perfect, sometimes with blurred edges or strange choices, but it can be a huge time saver. How to do it step by step.

How to crop a subject in an image in iOS 16

Select the desired image from Photos, Safari or the File app and long press on the item you want to isolate. It can be anything as long as the subject is separated from the background. You can choose humans, animals and almost all objects.

When you press and hold to select the image, you will feel a slight haptic vibration. By the time you lift your finger, you will see a white outline moving around the image, as well as a pop-up menu (if you do not 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 does not select the subject, but gives you options for what you can do with the whole image: Share, Add to images, Copy and Copy subject.

Select the last option to cut out the item and copy it to your clipboard.

Place the image where you want it

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

Open Posts and pressspace reserved for messagesand then select To hold on.

Open Filesnavigate to the desired folder, then press and holdempty room and select To hold on.

In the Photos app or the Files app, you will notice that if you tap and hold the subject on an image, a copy of it will be released from the background while you hold down your finger.

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

Long press on an image in Photos, hold your finger on the detached subject, and then swipe to Messages to release it.

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

To crop a subject in an image 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 on an image and select Copy topic to copy it to your clipboard.

If you are using another app (or browser), first save the image, then in the Finder, use QuickLook to open the image, then right-click and select Copy Item.

You can then insert 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 are playing a video in the Photos app, you can pause it and select the subject as if it were a still image.

It does not really work on all videos on the web, especially if they are 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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