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Take Control of Preview
Price
$15.00
Pages
166
Formats
PDF EPUB Mobi
Version
1.0
Published
Jul 19, 2016
The Author

Josh Centers is the managing editor of TidBITS and a freelance writer who has written for Macworld, the Magazine, Boing Boing, and the Sweethome. He has been featured on Daring Fireball, the Loop, TUAW, and Scientific American, and is a frequent guest on MacVoices and the Tech Night Owl. He lives in Tennessee with his wife, Hannah, and their son, Harris.

The Author

Adam C. Engst is the publisher of TidBITS and Take Control Books. He has written numerous technical books, including the best-selling Internet Starter Kit series, and many magazine articles - thanks to Contributing Editor positions at MacUser, MacWEEK, and Macworld. He has been turned into an action figure.

Take Control of Preview

Discover Preview’s hidden features for editing images and manipulating PDFs!

Apple bundles the Preview app with every Mac, but few people realize what it’s capable of. The Mac experts behind TidBITS, 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 to bring files into Preview from a camera 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 the two types of passwords you can use to protect your PDFs, explaining what each is good for.

Preview is a veritable Swiss Army Knife — don’t miss out on the many ways it can make your life easier!

More Info

Did you know that you can do all these things in Preview?

  • Import photos from your iPhone.
  • 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.
  • Create a PDF-based image catalog.
  • Resize and change the resolution of images.
  • Crop out undesirable content.
  • 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 one of 19 formats.
  • Create basic animated GIFs.
  • 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.
  • 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, edited, printed, or copied from.
Blog
  1. Sierra Users: Don’t Edit PDFs in Preview

    macOS 10.12 Sierra has been plagued with PDF problems. First, there were problems with PDFs created using ScanSnap scanners, but those issues turned out to be relatively mild and Apple addressed them in the 10.12.1 update.

    Unfortunately, 10.12.2 Sierra ushered in even more troubling issues with PDFs. Developers have reported a number of PDFKit problems, most notably the OCR text layer being deleted when manipulated by apps using PDFKit, including Preview. The main takeaway is that you shouldn’t use Preview to edit PDFs until these issues are resolved, hopefully in 10.12.3. In the meantime, if you have to edit a PDF, either work only on a copy, just in case, or consider investing in Smile’s PDFpen, which annotates and edits PDFs independent of Apple’s PDFKit.

    For more about this problem, read the TidBITS article Sierra PDF Problems Get Worse in 10.12.2.

    [Fixed? In the release notes for the 10.12.3 Sierra update, which were made available on January 23rd, Apple says that the update “fixes an issue that prevented the searching of scanned PDF documents in Preview.” Other PDF-related problems appear to remain in Preview, so continue to work with caution even after you install this update. See Apple Releases macOS Sierra 10.12.3, iOS 10.2.1, tvOS 10.1.1, and watchOS 3.1.1, in TidBITS, for more information. —Tonya, 1/24/2017]

    Posted by Josh Centers (Permalink)

  2. MyMac’s Review of “Take Control of Preview”

    Elisa Pacelli of MyMac.com reviewed Take Control of Preview, saying “Once again, TidBITS hits it out of the park with their latest book.” Pacelli offers a summary of Take Control of Preview and shares a few of her favorite parts. “Some tips can literally be life changing,” she said.

    Posted by Josh Centers (Permalink)

  3. Tip: Control Object Layering in Preview

    When you add text boxes and shapes to an image, they’re added in layers corresponding to the order in which you created them. For example, a rectangle created after a text box will obscure the text if you position it over the text, which may not be desirable. Other graphics apps tend to have Bring Forward and Send Backward commands to rearrange objects, but Preview lacks any such controls. Here’s the workaround: Option-drag the bottom shape to create a duplicate, which is newer and thus will appear on top of any other object. After making and positioning the duplicate, you can delete the original object.

    Posted by Adam Engst (Permalink)