Hidden powers of Preview

Every Apple computer loaded with OS X includes the “Preview” application. In this blogpost I would like to explain some of its hidden features.

This handy app is often overlooked in its capabilities to edit pdf, jpg, png and other image files. Preview is faster and more stable than Adobe Reader. You can make Preview the default app by selecting the pdf or image file and choose:

File > Get Info (cmd + i) > Open with: Preview > Change all

Editing options for pdf's:

  • Zoom in/out
  • Share (email / messages)
  • Edit
  • Inspector
  • Mark-up (choose from 5 different colors)
  • Rotate

Edit function:

  • Cropping
  • Add lines / rectangles or circles
  • Text: lets you add text and speech bubbles
  • Note: adds a virtual sticky note
  • Signature: add your signature digitally! (video)

Editing images:

Inspector shows date, time, technical data but also a map where the picture was taken (if the gps coordinates are available…)

Make your portrait or logo stand out on a website!

Use the Instant Alpha magic wand to remove the background from an image. Select the “magicwand” tool and drag it across the background. Moving the cursor will effect the selection (red). Press "Delete" to remove the selection. Repeat if necessary. Save the image as a .png file to maintain the transparent background.

Other image editing functions:

  • Selection tools to crop
  • Adding lines, rectangles and circles
  • Adding text
  • Adjust image (brightness, contrast, sharpness etc)

Preview offers many more interesting features. I encourage you to explore all the menu's. If you need more power than Preview can offer, I suggest to check out Pixelmator. This app has almost all the power of photoshop at a fraction of the price and is much easier to use.

Posted on June 22, 2014 .