Preview (macOS)

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Preview
A component of macOS
Preview icon.png
Preview (Mac OS X).png
Preview 8.0 running on OS X 10.10 Yosemite

Preview is the image viewer and PDF viewer of the macOS operating system; it enables users to view and print digital images and Portable Document Format (PDF) files. Preview uses Apple's implementation of the PDF specification, the Aqua graphical user interface, the Quartz graphics layer, and the ImageIO and Core Image frameworks.

History[edit]

Like macOS itself, it originated in the NeXTSTEP operating system from the company NeXT.[1][2] It was part of every release of NexTSTEP OS since 1989.

Supported file types[edit]

Preview can open the following file types:

  • AI – Adobe Illustrator Artwork files
  • BMP – Windows Bitmap files
  • CR2 – RAW Image file used by Canon Cameras
  • DAE – Collada 3D files
  • DNG – Digital Negative files
  • EPS – Encapsulated PostScript files (after an automatic conversion to PDF)
  • FAX – faxes
  • FPX – FlashPix files
  • GIF – Graphics Interchange Format files
  • HDR – High Dynamic Range Image files
  • ICNS – Apple Icon Image files
  • ICO – Windows icon files
  • JPEG – Joint Photographic Experts Group files
  • JPEG 2000 – JPEG 2000 files
  • OBJ – Wavefront file
  • OpenEXR – OpenEXR files
  • PDF – Portable Document Format version 1.5 + some additional features
  • PICTQuickDraw image files
  • PNG – Portable Network Graphics files
  • PNTG – MacPaint Bitmap Graphic files
  • PPT – PowerPoint files
  • PS – Adobe PostScript files (after an automatic conversion to PDF)
  • PSD – Adobe Photoshop files
  • QTIF – QuickTime image files
  • RAD – Radiance Scene Description files
  • RAW – Raw image files
  • SGI – Silicon Graphics Image files
  • STL – STereoLithography 3D format
  • TGA – TARGA image files
  • TIF (TIFF) – Tagged Image File Format files
  • XBM – X BitMap files

The version of Preview included with OS X 10.3 could loop animated GIFs via an optional "play" button that could be added to the toolbar. With OS X 10.4, Preview lost playback functionality and animated GIFs would instead display as individual frames in a numbered sequence.[3][4]

Features[edit]

Editing features - PDF[edit]

Preview can encrypt PDF documents, and restrict their use; for example, it is possible to save an encrypted PDF so that a password is required to copy data from the document, or to print it. However, encrypted PDFs cannot be edited further, so the original author should always keep an unencrypted version.

Some features which are otherwise only available in professional PDF editing software are provided by Preview: It is possible to extract single pages out of multi-page documents (e.g. PDF files), sort pages, and drag & drop single or multiple pages between several opened multi-page documents, or into other applications, such as attaching to an opened email message.

Editing features - Image files[edit]

Preview offers basic image correction tools using Core Image processing technology implemented in macOS, and other features like shape extraction, color extraction, cropping, and rotation tools. When annotating images, Preview uses vector shapes and text until the image is rasterized to JPEG, PNG or another bitmap format. PDF and image documents can also be supplied with keywords, and are then automatically indexed using macOS's system-wide Spotlight search engine.

Import and export[edit]

Preview can directly access image scanners supported by macOS and import images from the scanner. Preview can convert between image formats; it can export to BMP, JP2, JPEG, PDF, PICT, PNG, SGI, TGA, and TIFF. Using macOS's print engine (based on CUPS) it is also possible to "print into" a Postscript file, a PDF-X file or directly save the file in iPhoto, for example scanned photos.

Beginning with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Preview restricts the Format option popup menu in the Save As dialog to commonly used types. It is possible to access the full format list by holding down the Option key when clicking the Format popup menu.[5] (GIF, ICNS, JPEG, JPEG-2000, Microsoft BMP, Microsoft Icon, OpenEXR, PDF, Photoshop, PNG, SGI, TGA, TIFF)

New Features in Version 7[edit]

Preview 7.0 screenshot

A new "edit button" where the picture can be edited is introduced in Version 7. The "edit button" allows options to insert shapes, lines, do cropping, and among other things [6] .

Issues[edit]

As of OS X 10.9.2, Preview does not support ISO-standardized PDF (ISO 32000), and when saving, destroys aspects of PDF files without warning to the user.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]