Years ago, before computers took over, I worked with a photo cropping tool; I hope someone can tell me its name.

The gizmo I used was for sizing photos so they could be used in offset printing. They were never sliced physically. I marked them with a grease pen.

It was made of a soft metal, and it was in an open accordion shape, so it expanded and contracted. When opened up, it looked like a bunch of lower-case x's like so:


There were numbers on it corresponding to inches that you used to gauge how big you wanted the photo to be so you could size things.

I have hunted for a picture but can't find one. Any help is much appreciated.

Does anyone know the name of the tool I have described?

  • 1
    You mean the cropping tool or "cropping L" It looked just like the icon for cropping in Photoshop right? It was just a crop tool as far as I remember.
    – Scott
    May 1, 2014 at 22:23
  • Do you mean that little square thing? No, that's not it. But thanks.
    – terpy
    May 1, 2014 at 22:54
  • Do you mean a "Pantograph?" May 2, 2014 at 0:12
  • if you can sketch it in any way you will get the picture in minutes from us
    – Ilan
    May 2, 2014 at 5:57
  • 3
    I'm pretty sure he means scrissors.
    – Joonas
    May 2, 2014 at 10:21

4 Answers 4


A analogue photo cropping tool is a Scaleograph

I used Google and the query: 'analogue photo cropping tool'.

Photo cropping tool / Scaleograph

Scource: http://tinytutorials.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/cropping-tool-scaleograph/

Update: adjustable easel or masking frame

In a dark room a adjustable easel or masking frame is used as 'margin locator' and 'automatic paper holding system'. The position of a masking frame on a base board in combination and the distance of the enlarger head defines the position and size of projected image. Therefore this could be considered a cropping tool. But it won't change the paper size. You need a knife and rulers or photo cutter for that.

Adjustable easel

Masking frame

Source: https://www.etsy.com/market/darkroom/

  • I used to use a Brandt Scalograph when I was a layout editor for a high school yearbook in the early 1980's.
    – Bruce G
    Jan 15 at 5:38

I believe that this is the tool that's being looked for, but I don't know the name either. enter image description here


Old question but I'll answer it anyway. It's called a pantograph.



It is called an Equal Spacing Divider

  • 1
    We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations, with images if necessary. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.
    – Luciano
    Mar 15, 2017 at 9:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.