How to squeeze macOS Preview to the fullest

by Kelvin
How to squeeze macOS Preview to the fullest

Preview and all its potential

First, do not confuse Preview with Quick View. The first is an integrated tool that, by selecting any file in Finder and pressing the space key it will show it. And depending on the type of file will be displayed or played in the case of audios and videos.

From Quick View, when you open any of the compatible files is when you will be given the option – in the upper right corner – to open it with Preview. This is an application to view files and, in addition, it has very interesting options that are worth knowing. So let's do it.


Export images to other formats

When you open an image file with Preview then you can export it to a different one. For example, a PNG convert it to JPEG. This can be useful if you need to upload an image to a service that only supports certain formats, or if you need to reduce its weight. Here it depends on each one of you.

Regarding the supported formatsBy default, the application allows us to export in the following types of files: JPEG, JPEG-2000, OpenEXR, HEIC, PNG, TIFF and PDF. But the interesting thing is that there are more options, only that they are hidden. To see all compatible formats you just have to keep the ALT key pressed and click on the drop-down to select it. You will see that the list has increased, these are all:

– Microsoft icon
– JPEG-2000
– Microsoft BMP
– OpenEXR
– Photoshop
– PostScript
– QuickTime video

As you can see, the list is more extensive than you might think at the beginning. And that, even, you can even export an image as Photoshop (PSD) format.

Photo editing

Photo editing Preview

Although Photos for Mac is a good editor, and you already have it natively installed on the system, if you need to make a quick edition you can also use Preview. You open the image and press the icon Dialing Tools

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There you will find an icon that opens a floating window, Color settings. In it you will find different tools with which to adjust the exposure of the image, contrast, points of light, shade, saturation, temperature, tone, sepia and sharpness. You can even vary the levels with the histogram that you will see at the top.

Sign documents

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If you need sign a PDF document or any other quickly, with Preview you can do it. Again, in the Dialing Tools you will find the option to add your signature. That signature may have been previously imported or created from the TouchPad of your device, signing in the same way you would on a Wacom type digitizer tablet. It is a very useful and fast function.

Trim and add items

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Finally, again from Dialing Tools, you can add geometric figures, draw lines, arrows or other elements with which to highlight those parts that may interest you in an image, text, etc. They are utilities that can prevent you from opening more powerful but also heavier applications, and they are not always necessary if you are trying to do something fast.

In summary, Preview is much more than a simple file viewer. You can take advantage of it, and once you know everything it offers it becomes one of the great tools of macOS. And eye, because With the arrival of macOS Catalina will improve.