Cutting Out Part Of An Image In Preview

One of the most powerful tools in Preview is the Smart Lasso. You can use that to quickly cut out part of an image to create a new one with a transparent background, or insert an object from one image into another. While Preview lacks a lot of the image editing tools found in more powerful apps, the Smart Lasso is probably easier to use than similar features in expensive apps.

Comments: 8 Responses to “Cutting Out Part Of An Image In Preview”

    Douglas Brace
    2 months ago

    Gary, in Preview when using the Smart Lasso tool, is it possible to edit (or adjust) what has been automatically selected?

    2 months ago

    Douglas: Nope. It is frustrating, but reason to go with a slightly better tool if you need it.

    Laverne Lachaplle
    2 months ago

    You have a dog and you take him everywhere with you. You just went up tenfold.

    Lorenz Rychner
    2 months ago

    What version of Preview are you showing? My Macs both run OS 10.14.6, Preview is 10.1 (944.6.16.1), and my Markup Toolbar is different from yours. Far left: (Blue) Aa = Text Selection. 2nd from left: Square in broken lines = Rectangular Selection. No pull-down triangle next to the square. No drop-down with options of elliptical or lasso or smart lasso as you’re showing. Ditto under Tools from menu bar on top. How come? Apple Store shows no version of Preview as downloadable.

    2 months ago

    Lorenz: Are you editing an image? You get a different markup bar when you are editing a PDF. This video is about editing images.

    Lorenz Rychner
    2 months ago

    Gary, it works when I use Preview to open .dng, or .jpg, or .tif files – I get the various lasso options. How strange that it doesn’t work when I want to excerpt from an image with one of those lasso options if the image is in a .pdf – the file type for which we most commonly use Preview? Anyhow, going back to your video and seeing that the backpack pic was a .jpeg pointed me in the right direction. Thanks!

    Lorenz Rychner
    2 months ago

    Gary, please check me on this: To use Gary’s suggested method with an image that happens to be in a .pdf, use shift+control+command+4 to copy the image to the Mac’s Clipboard, then – still in Preview – go to > File > New from Clipboard, and now you get the lasso options Gary suggested when you click on the Markup icon. And to save that image on its own, use > Save and pick your format (.png is default, not .pdf).

    2 months ago

    Lorenz: You could do that. Note that when you take a screenshot like that you are grabbing the image usually at a much lower resolution. So it would work is some cases, but not others. Better to open as a PDF in Preview, then use File, Export and choose PNG as the format with a higher resolution. 300 pixels/inch would be good, but ideally using whatever the resolution of the images in the PDF are would be ideal — if you even know what they are in that case.

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