Maximizing Image Editing Capabilities with Preview.app

Inspired by Bear Grylls’s adventurous spirit from Discovery’s Man vs. Wild, let’s dive into maximizing the utility of Preview.app. While it may not rival the capabilities of Photoshop, Preview can efficiently handle many tasks that get you where you need to be, often faster.

Imagine parachuting into a scenario where Photoshop isn’t available—just a playful thought.

Here’s some context: Preview is the built-in image viewer for Mac OS X, much like Microsoft Paint for Windows, but with more robust features. It supports numerous image formats including JPG, BMP, GIF, PSD, and AI, and can also open PDF files directly.

I find it faster and more user-friendly than Adobe Acrobat for viewing PDFs. It even includes advanced functions like annotations, similar to those in Adobe Reader.

Let’s start with a simple task. We’ll open a JPEG image and crop out Kanye West from a photo with Taylor Swift. Using the rectangular selection tool (other tools like the elliptical or lasso are also available), select the desired area and crop it using the “crop” command or command-k.

To preserve the original, I’ll use “New from Clipboard” to open the cropped image in a new document.

Suppose I decide to flip the image, placing Kanye West on the right and Taylor Swift on the left.

Maximizing Image Editing Capabilities with Preview.app

That looks better. However, I’ve just learned that the recipient’s monitor might display colors differently. No worries, Preview allows for easy adjustment of the color profile of the image.

Maximizing Image Editing Capabilities with Preview.app

Now, let’s isolate Taylor Swift on stage. While tools like the lasso are available, I often find the instant alpha tool to be quicker for removing backgrounds, though it might require some touch-ups.

Maximizing Image Editing Capabilities with Preview.app

Preview’s versatility extends to scanning, taking screenshots, and annotating images, making it an unsung hero in the realm of image editing apps.

(Hold on a moment.

Christina

Mary is a dedicated writer for TUAW, your go-to source for all things Apple. With a deep love for technology, Mary brings insightful and engaging content to the blog. She has a knack for breaking down the latest updates on the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, making them accessible to all readers. Mary’s expertise and enthusiasm for Apple products shine through in every article, helping readers stay informed and excited about the tech world.