Editing Images With Preview

You can use Preview to edit images without needing to take them into iPhoto or an app like Photoshop. You can adjust the colors in an image, crop it, rotate it and even copy and paste portions of the image from one image to another. You can also resize and then export an image, which is something you may want to do before sharing a photo online.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Editing Images With Preview.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Let me show you basic image editing using Preview.

I'm using Preview version 7 here. You can open up lots of different types of files in Preview like PDF's. But you can also open images.

So we're going to open an image file and once we have it opened there are a lot of things we can do to edit this. It is not as comprehensive as say using a tool like PhotoShop but there is some basic things that we can do with the image.

Let's start off by bringing up the Editing tools. I can do that by clicking this button here and it brings up this extra tool bar. There are several different tools you've got in here, most of which have to do with annotations or making selections. Not really necessarily to do with image editing.

We can adjust size though which will allow us to resize this image. Say there is something you want to post online and this is a pretty large image here. So we can reduce its size, maybe to 400 by 300 for instance, we can set whether or not we want it to scale, whether or not we can just pick a custom size there, you know a specific size like 320 by 240 and we can resize the image like that. There we go.

We can also zoom in. I'm going to use the Command + to zoom in. It is under the View menu. You can do zoom in, zoom out, and actual size will be zero. Command 0 gets you that and that is the actual size of it which looks pretty good especially for something posted online, so certainly doing this will reduce its size.

So now we can export it now that we reduced its size. Exporting is an important part of this. We can select a format and JPEG is probably what we want to use. We will give it a name; -small so we know it is small and we can adjust the JPEG quality. So we can, for instance, create a really low quality but a very small file or go to high quality a very large file or do something there in the middle. So let's just choose right there, 21K, not bad.

We can also make color adjustments to this. Here is the button for color adjustments. It brings up the same panel that we will see say in iPhoto except we don't have to actually bring this photo into our iPhoto library to adjust it. So you can make these adjustments as well and get the picture to be more like what we want.

You can also crop the photo by using the Rectangular Selection tool. Take a selection like this, make an adjustment or two to it, and then we will see under Tools we have Crop and now we have cropped it. You noticed there there were a bunch of other tools. There was Rotating, Flipping, so you can actually do a lot if the image was rotated the wrong way. For instance you can rotation right here in Preview and then export it and you will get the resulting image.

You can also copy and paste. I can make the selection here or just select All and I can copy. Let's open up another image here, say just this one, and then I can paste this image on top of the first one. So you can see you can combine images.

You can even create a new document in a little bit of tricky way. I have selected and copied this here. So I say New from Clipboard. Now I have a second document called Untitled that has never been saved and it has this image in it. Now I can go and adjust its size, let's do that, adjust it to fit without scaling and do 200% across. So I'm going to end up with an image that is really long, like that. That is not what I want. I want is to be able to paste this on the left and the other image on the right. So I can paste again in here since I still have this copied. You see it pastes another copy of it but this one is not scaled so I can move this over to the left and then say if I opened up another image like this one I could copy it and paste it here like that.

Now I still have this new unsaved document called Untitled and I can now export it.

Comments: 5 Responses to “Editing Images With Preview”

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    5 years ago

    I use Preview before I take the file into Photoshop for the Blacks,and Whites.

    5 years ago

    Hey Garry,

    for me you are hidden jewel, you always come up with awesome videos, i never knew that about preview, but the video just finished all of a sudden when you said you can export and thats it, lolzz

    keep it up, people like you are great for rookies like us.

    5 years ago

    If preview is making changes in real time to your photo, what is the point in exporting after you resize? Your original photo will already be resized and saved in its original location…right? Thanks!

      5 years ago

      Format and compression. If your original image is a png, tif, psd or high-res jpg, then exporting as a low-res jpg for email or web is very useful.

        5 years ago

        I see..thank you. And thanks for all the great help and tutorials!

Comments Closed.