Preview Tips for Mac Computers: Did You Know That…?

Among the many things that Macs can do, Preview stands out as a sort of powerhouse, in and of itself, especially in later OS X versions. There’s a lot that it can do, which is why today’s post focuses on Preview tips for Mac computers, particularly suitable for newbie users.

… you can import with Image Capture?

Ever needed to capture a picture of your desktop, only to go on a downloading spree for apps and add-ons that promise to do this? Forget about them, as the number one trick on our list of Preview Tips for Mac computers is the function’s ability to control your scanner, the scanner function of your multifunctional printer, import from digital cameras, iPhones, iPads, etc. The pop-up panel in the bottom left corner of the Preview bar gives you a lot of bonus features. You can teach your Mac what app to fire up when you connect a device, for instance.

… you can annotate PDF files and pictures?

With Preview, you can even annotate images and PDFs, which is a much-needed feature, yet one that, in the past, would be complicated to pull off. The biggest conundrum with annotating PDFs was that annotation standards of various apps would often conflict with those required by the traditional application used by most people to open PDF formats, Acrobat. In other words, you could find yourself annotating a file off your Apple computer, only to realize that the annotations were not viewable by users of Windows-operated computers. So here’s a priceless addition to our list of Preview tips for Mac computers. Enable the Edit Toolbar in the View menu and check out all your options for annotations: arrows, speech bubbles, various highlighting colors, strikethrough text, notes, etc.

… you can add your signature to docs?

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Some documents need a personal, hand-written signature – contracts, personal statements, and the like, for instance. Apple actually thought of that, which brings us to the third item on our list of personalized Preview tips for Mac computers: the ability to add a signature to your documents. It’s only available on devices which run the OS X 10.7 (and upward). In Preview, there’s a Signatures tab. Click the + sign there, sign your name on a piece of paper in black ink, then take a picture of it with the webcam on your Mac. You will need to align the piece of paper with the grid displayed on screen, then click Accept and check the Save this signature option in the menu.

… you can edit images?

In later versions of the OS X, Preview turned into a genuine powerhouse of a function, coming to rival even such complex (and expensive) apps like Photoshop. Opening images in Preview mode will let you crop, edit, and tweak images to your heart’s content. The crop function, for instance, allows you to cut out rectangular shapes with Rectangular Selection, followed by Crop in Tools, or Command + K. Alternatively, you can opt for irregular, complex crop shapes, with either Instant Alpha, or the Smart Lasso. Adjust Color lets you play with the palette with the aid of simple and self-explanatory sliders and a histogram of the image, while resizing is also achievable in Preview. Zoom in with the backtick key, in order to get a feel of what’s going on with your picture at 100 per cent zoom.

Know more Preview tips for Mac computers?

Don’t hesitate to tell us all about them in the Comments section. Know a good shortcut or an update to a trick we’ve already mentioned? We’re looking forward to hearing from you!