Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Design > Adobe Acrobat

The Power of Preview: Ten Tricks for Getting More Out of Apple's Little PDF Viewer

  • Print
  • + Share This
Can you dump Photoshop in favor of Preview? Probably not, but Preview is a little gem of a program capable of doing far more than you might imagine, says Neale Monks.
Like this article? We recommend

Most people know Preview as Apple’s own PDF viewer and already appreciate its speed, stability, and simple interface. But underneath its unprepossessing exterior is a surprising amount of power. Of course, Preview will never replace a heavyweight image-editing tool such as Photoshop, but for some jobs Preview is a more-than-adequate alternative. Out of the box it includes tools for performing basic color correction and saves files to a nice variety of different formats. You can also use Preview to add keywords to image files, making it much easier to manage and locate them via Spotlight. With a bit of fudging, Preview can even be used to resize images and create simple contact sheets.

Here are 10 tricks for getting the most from Preview.

1. Prepping Preview

Preview isn’t the most configurable application in the world, but there are a few settings and features worth tweaking to get it working its best. A good place to start is with the window toolbar. Like most other OS X applications, Control+clicking the toolbar brings up the Customize Toolbar options. From there, you can add or remove any buttons you want.

You’ll want to add the Scale and Crop buttons to use some of the other tricks described below, but the Print button is a useful timesaver, so you might as well install that one, too. Also, take a look at Preview’s Preferences, in particular those in the Images tab. Be sure to set Preview to open batches of images in a single window instead of each to its own window.

Figure 1

Figure 1 To get the most from Preview, unleash its hidden toolbar buttons.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account