Take Control of Preview

Book description

Discover Preview’s hidden features for editing images and manipulating PDFs!
Version 1.3, updated May 24, 2023

Apple bundles the Preview app with every Mac, but few people realize what it’s capable of. Mac experts Adam Engst and Josh Centers have plumbed Preview’s depths to create a cheerful, colorful book that explains dozens of techniques for importing, viewing, editing, and converting images in Preview. The book also puts you in control of reading, annotating, manipulating, and encrypting PDFs.

Packed with real-world examples and tips, the book teaches you how to bring files into Preview from a camera, iOS or iPadOS device, or scanner (or just from the Finder). Once you discover Preview's surprisingly capable collection of image-editing tools, you'll soon be editing imported photos by tweaking the exposure, color saturation, sharpness, and more. You can even mark up your images with circles, arrows, and text, plus numerous other shapes.

In the second part of the book, Adam and Josh focus on PDFs in Preview, describing how to configure Preview to make reading PDFs as fluid as possible. Since so many paper forms now come in PDF, the book shows you how to fill out PDF-based forms, complete with quick insertion of your digital signature. Those who read digital textbooks or who collaborate on documents will learn to annotate PDFs with highlights, notes, and bookmarks. You'll even learn how to create PDFs from a scanner, the clipboard, and the Print dialog. Finally, Adam and Josh cover various ways protect your PDFs, including encrypting them, restricting permissions, and redacting portions of them.

Preview is a veritable Swiss Army Knife. Don't miss out on the many ways it can make your life easier, including these capabilities:

  • Import photos from your iPhone or iPad.
  • Scan paper-based documents and images.
  • Add a scanned page to an existing PDF.
  • Take a screenshot that includes the pointer.
  • Open hundreds of images in a single window.
  • Trash unwanted images with a keystroke.
  • Duplicate, rename, and move images without leaving Preview.
  • Play a manually arranged slideshow of images or PDF pages.
  • Resize and change the resolution of images.
  • Crop out undesirable content.
  • Identify people, landmarks, and objects in images.
  • Mark up screenshots with shapes and text labels.
  • Magnify a portion of an image with a loupe.
  • Add text captions and speech bubbles to photos.
  • Tweak the white point and black point in photos.
  • Make photos sepia or black-and-white.
  • Edit a photo while comparing it to its original version.
  • Export to any of numerous formats, including HEIC.
  • Put thumbnails, table of contents, notes, or bookmarks in your sidebar.
  • View search results by rank or page order.
  • Copy text and images from a PDF, and copy text from any image.
  • Highlight text just like you would in a college textbook.
  • Add notes to highlighted text and as freestanding objects.
  • Review notes in the sidebar or Annotations inspector.
  • Create bookmarks to pages you want to revisit quickly.
  • Annotate a PDF with customizable shapes and arrows.
  • Fill in PDF forms, whether or not they’re interactive.
  • Create and insert a digital version of your signature into PDF forms.
  • Add, remove, and rearrange pages in a PDF.
  • Rotate PDF pages that were scanned at the wrong orientation.
  • Encrypt PDFs so they can’t be opened without a password.
  • Set restrictions on who can perform various actions on a PDF document.
  • Redact sensitive information from a PDF.

Table of contents

  1. Read Me First
    1. Updates and More
    2. Settings vs. Preferences
    3. What’s New in Version 1.3
    4. What Was New in Version 1.2
  2. Introduction
  3. Preview Quick Start
  4. (Re)Acquaint Yourself with Preview
    1. Make Sure Preview Opens Everything
    2. Configure Preview Settings
    3. Tour and Customize the Main Toolbar
    4. Tour the Markup Toolbar
    5. Sharing from Within Preview
    6. What Preview Can’t Do with PDFs
  5. Open and Import
    1. Opening Images and Documents
    2. Importing from the Clipboard
    3. Importing from a Screenshot
    4. Importing from an iPhone or iPad
    5. Importing from a Camera
    6. Importing from a Scanner
    7. Taking Screenshots
  6. View and Manage Images
    1. Navigating Images via the Sidebar
    2. Viewing a Contact Sheet
    3. Zooming Images
    4. Viewing in Full-Screen Mode
    5. Playing an Image Slideshow
    6. Examining Image Metadata
    7. Identify Photos with Visual Lookup
    8. Managing Images
  7. Edit Images
    1. Selecting Content in Images
    2. Copying, Pasting, and Deleting Image Content
    3. Cropping Images
    4. Resizing Images
    5. Rotating Images
    6. Inserting and Manipulating Basic Shapes
    7. Using the Mask and Loupe Shapes
    8. Adding Text to Images
    9. Adjusting Colors
    10. Remember Undo!
    11. Use Preview Editing Tools Outside Preview
  8. Convert and Export
    1. Exporting to Other File Formats
    2. Choosing a File Format
    3. Restricting PDFs
  9. Read PDFs
    1. Tweaking the PDF View
    2. Navigating Your PDFs
    3. Searching Within a PDF
    4. Examining PDF Metadata
    5. Copying Text and Images
  10. Annotate PDFs
    1. Highlighting Text
    2. Adding Notes to a PDF
    3. Quickly Viewing Highlights and Notes
    4. Bookmarking a PDF
    5. Adding Shapes and Text to a PDF
    6. Working with Forms
    7. Signing PDFs
  11. Manipulate PDFs
    1. Rearranging, Deleting, and Adding Pages
    2. Rotating Pages
    3. Cropping Pages
    4. Changing PDF Color
  12. Create PDFs
    1. Printing to PDF
    2. Other Ways to Make PDFs
  13. About This Book
    1. Ebook Extras
    2. About Josh Centers
    3. About Adam Engst
    4. About the Publisher
  14. Copyright and Fine Print

Product information

  • Title: Take Control of Preview
  • Author(s): Josh Centers, Adam Engst
  • Release date: May 2023
  • Publisher(s): Take Control Books
  • ISBN: 9781615424733