Preview (Mac OS)
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Preview 4.0 running under Mac OS X 10.5.0
|Stable release||7.0 / October 22, 2013|
|Operating system||OS X|
Preview employs Apple's implementation of Adobe's PDF specification, and makes significant use of Apple's Aqua graphical user interface, the Quartz graphics layer, and the ImageIO and CoreImage frameworks
Supported file types
Preview can open the following file types:
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.
Preview offers basic image correction tools using Core Image processing technology implemented in Mac OS X, and other features like shape extraction, color extraction, cropping, and rotation tools. Also, 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.
Preview can also 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.
OCR PDF document creation —usually from scanned physical documents— in order to make their text searchable, is not available with Preview. Though sometimes the scanner or all-in-one printer used to obtain the document image often has some manufacturer software to do this.
Some aspects of the Adobe Reader's functionality introduced in more recent releases (from Reader v4.0 onwards) are not supported in Preview yet. For example, forms can now be created in Adobe Acrobat that have dynamic content fields such as drop-downs and check-boxes. Preview will display these fields as static images without interactivity.
Import and export
Preview can directly access image scanners supported by OS X 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 OS X'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. (GIF, ICNS, JPEG, JPEG-2000, Microsoft BMP, Microsoft Icon, OpenEXR, PDF, Photoshop, PNG, SGI, TGA, TIFF)
- Apple - Mac OS X - PDF
- AppleInsider review from 2003
- MacProNews article: PDF and Panther: The Hidden Role of PDF in Mac OS X 10.3 from July 2004
- Sams Publishing sample chapter on Preview from Mac OS X Panther Applications and Utilities. Includes some instructions for use, with screenshots.