The Preview App is a hidden gem, mainly because the editing toolbar in Preview is hidden by default. Preview is the default app on the Mac for viewing and editing PDFs and image files. It is great for completing forms, attaching an e-signature, combining files, and sharing. Adobe Acrobat, available in Self Service, is a full-featured PDF reader.
Edit PDF files
Preview opens PDF (Portable Document Format) files so that you can view, edit and share them. To open a PDF file in Preview, double-click the file. You can also open files directly from the File menu in Preview (File > Open), or by dragging a PDF file onto the Preview icon in the dock or Finder.
Highlight, underline, or strikethrough tool
To highlight in a PDF, click the arrow next to the pencil icon and choose a highlight color, underline, or strikethrough. The highlighter icon will have a dark gray background when active. Click and drag to highlight text.
Markup tools (source: Apple support)
|Text Selection||Select text to copy or delete. See Select and copy text in a PDF for more information.|
|Rectangular Selection||Select a rectangular area in an image to copy or delete.|
|Sketch||Sketch a shape using a single stroke.
If your drawing is recognized as a standard shape, it’s replaced by that shape; to use your drawing instead, choose it from the palette that’s shown.
|Draw||Draw a shape using a single stroke. Press your finger more firmly on the trackpad to draw with a heavier, darker line.
This tool appears only on computers with a Force Touch trackpad.
|Shapes||Click a shape, then drag it where you want. To resize the shape, use the blue handles. If it has green handles, use them to alter the shape.
You can zoom and highlight shapes using these tools:
See Rotate and modify shapes for more information.
|Text||Type your text, then drag the text box where you want.|
|Sign||If signatures are listed, click one, then drag it where you want. To resize it, use the blue handles.
To create a new signature:
See Create and use signatures for more information.
|Note||Type your text. To change the note color, Control-click the note, then choose a color. To move the note to a different location, drag it.
See Add notes and speech bubbles to a PDF for more information.
|Shape Style||Change the thickness and type of lines used in a shape, and add a shadow.|
|Border Color||Change the color of the lines used in a shape.|
|Fill Color||Change the color that’s used inside a shape.|
|Text Style||Change the font or the font style and color.|
Double click an image to open it in Preview. To edit an image, open the Markup tools at the top of the Preview window. This opens the editing toolbar. Choose one of the tools from the editing toolbar to change or annotate an image.
You can use the selection tool to grab a portion of an image that you want to copy. Click the selection tool button, or click and hold the button to see a menu of selection options.
- For Rectangular selection and Elliptical selection, drag your pointer across the image to select part of it. Hold the Shift key while dragging to constrain your selection to a square or circle.
- The Lasso tool allows you to outline a selection by dragging your pointer in a free form around the image.
- The Smart Lasso tool lets you create a free form selection that “snaps” to elements of the image that appear to be a similar color.
Once you’ve selected an area, you can cut or copy it to the clipboard from the Edit menu. You can then paste your selection into another document. You can also use this tool to crop an image to just the selected area by choosing Crop from the Tools menu.
For some image types, such as PNG, you can use the Instant Alpha tool to select and remove a background or other objects from an image. Select the Instant Alpha tool, then click the area you want to remove. As you click, drag your pointer to select more or less of the image to remove. The area you select highlights in red to let you know what is selected. Press the Delete key to make this part of the image transparent. This works best on a solid image with a white background.
Click Adjust Color button to open the Adjust Color window. From here you can control image levels, tint, exposure, contrast and more.
You can scale an image by clicking Tools > Adjust Size.
When you’re done editing a file, you can save it as a new file. Choose Export from the File menu to save the file in a new format. Select the format you want to use from the Format pop-up menu that appears in the save sheet.
You can also share files directly from Preview by using the Share button in the toolbar of the Preview window. This makes it easy to quickly email or chat a file, or add images to iPhoto. You can also share files using any social network accounts you’ve set up.
Customize the Preview Toolbar
Right-click on the preview toolbar and choose Customize Toolbar from the menu. Drag icons to add them to your Preview toolbar. Be sure to try the Magnify icon.
Source for directions from Apple, with my own images.