Crop Tool horror

Is something not working like it should? Let us know.
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2019-03-09 09:01:01

I spent hours making a multi layer piece, then i duplicated one layer and tried to crop only that layer. I thought it was “stepping into” a 3 layer section I was working on but instead it cropped out everything else, all the layers gone. The only three layers i can see now are the ones contained within the cropped area. I went to the main library level for a minute, and that caused me to not be able to use the “undo” feature. What happened? Are all my layers in there somewhere? Please help, this is a huge bummer.
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2019-03-09 09:49:03

Hi Noelle.

Pixelmator Pro keeps hold of image data that lies outside of the canvas. Have you tried going back into the crop tool and changing the crop back to what it was? (Alternatively use Tools > Reveal Canvas to set the crop to the whole canvas.)

Hope this helps. If not, post back with what happened and we'll try something else.

- Stef
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2019-03-09 16:53:01

Hi Stef, Thanks for your reply. I tried just using the crop tool to expand back out, but the borders are blank outside the cropped area. I made the project on my iPad on the iOS version, and that is where the crop tool debacle happened. And I don't see Reveal canvas on the iPad version. So I went to my laptop version (Phoenix 3.8.1) and pressed Reveal Canvas... it only shows the cropped image which is much less that 10% of my original image.

When I look at the crop tool settings on my laptop I see that the crop tool settings say "delete", as in delete out the cropped area... But my iPad doesn't have this option. Maybe it did delete the cropped out area though. If so how can I go back in time, since Undo apparently doesn't work once I've gone to the library/desktop of Pixelmator?

thanks for any advice
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2019-03-09 16:55:42

In addition, I now only see 3 layers in my image, whereas before the crop there were at least 20 layers. It seems as if I've stepped into a microcosm of the overall project, but I'm not sure if that is a feature.
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2019-03-09 20:17:10

Hi Noelle.

I suspected you weren't using Pixelmator Pro when you mentioned the 'main library level'. I should have checked with you you then what you were using. My apologies. Whereas Pixelmator Pro keeps information when you crop an image, Pixelmator for iOS and Pixelmator for macOS both (I think) discard that data. In addition, if cropping an image will leave a layer empty, Pixelmator for iOS and Pixelmator for macOS will discard the now empty layers which explains why you've dropped from twenty or so layers to three.

But let's move on to putting things right. I'm not a heavy user of Pixelmator for iOS but I'm not aware of a way to recover the data within the app once you've got beyond the limit of Undo. That doesn't necesarily mean there isn't one, just that I don't know about it. So... onto things I do know about...

You mentioned going back in time, so let's do that.
1. Close Pixelmator on your Mac and iPad. (I'm not sure you have to do this but better safe than sorry).
2. Find the problem file in Finder on your Mac.
3. Launch Time Machine*.
4. Navigate back to a version before you did the crop but (hopefully) with as much of your work intact as possible.
5. Restore that version. If you're feeling cavalier, restore it over the top of the original. If you're feeling cautious restore it with a different name.

I hope this works.

- Stef.
*You can restore versions from within Pixelmator for macOS but I just tried it and couldn't see the backup so I'm going to recommend going through Finder instead.
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2019-03-09 20:24:09

...Oh... and now that (hopefully) you've got your image back to trim an individual layer to (say) a rectangle in the middle using Pixelmator for iOS:
1. Choose the layer.
2. Use the select tool to select the rectangular area you want to keep.
3. Invert the selection.
4. Go to the layers panel, tap on the layer and select Cut. The bit you don't want will be removed from the layer (and put on the clipboard, just in case you want to put it somewhere else).
There may be an easier way, but I'm not a heavy Pixelmator for iOS user so the above is the best that occurs to me.
Hope this helps.
- Stef.
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2019-03-12 14:56:41

I really hope that Noelle knows about Apple's Time Machine app and doesn't think that I'm advising the building of a literal time machine. I'm not saying that this approach wouldn't work but it does sound like overkill.
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2019-03-12 18:16:30

Ha! I do know about it, but unfortunately I don't have it right now. My other main computer died, and I'd forgotten to hook up my new devices to a Time Machine

At this point I just had to start re- creating the project from scratch. Pixelmator didn't answer with any official advice, everything is lost from the crop tool on iPad, and I didn't have a backup system.

Thanks for your help though!