You can create custom folder icons by using only the software that comes with your Mac. By taking the existing folder icon graphic and bringing it into Preview, you can tint the color and then add text, emoji or shapes to create a useful custom folder icon. Changing folder icons can be a little tricky and buggy, however. You can also use graphics apps to create more highly-customized icons and download icons online to use.
Remember when Macs came with a basic Paint app? There hasn't been a default app like that for a long while, but you can use Preview and Photos for most things. If you want to be able to draw with pixels, however, you'll need a graphics app. Here are some suggestions, including one that is free and easy to use.
You can use the brush selection tool in Affinity Photo to cut out a subject in a photo. With the subject on a separate layer, you can apply adjustments, filters and effects to just the subject or the background. You can also copy and paste the subject onto another background image.
If you need to open PDF files or just want a decent image editing app that doesn't cost too much or require a subscription, there are plenty of options in the Mac App Store and elsewhere. All of these and 64-bit apps that work with macOS Catalina and beyond. See https://macmost.com/mac-photoshop-alternatives.html for links.
The double exposure effect is an interesting way to combine two ideas in the same image. You can create this by using tools like Photoshop. But on your Mac, there is also a way to do it using Apple's Keynote app. You can cut out an image using Instant Alpha and place another image in that space. You can then blend it with the original image.
Preview is a great tool for viewing image files. But you can do much more than just viewing. In addition to the annotation tools you may already be familiar with, you can also use Preview to export images into a different format, crop, resize and adjust colors. You can even import images from cameras or scanners.
The Mac Color Picker will appear when you want to choose a color in most Mac apps. You'll see it when you want to set the color of text, shapes, adjust images, draw, and many more places. There are several ways to choose colors and some of them are highly customizable.
If you need to draw text along a circular path on your Mac, you'll find you need a third-party app to do it. One general image editing app that will do it is Acorn, available in the Mac App Store at a much lower cost than anything from Adobe. You can easily add text outside or inside of a circle, and make adjustments to the text afterward. You can then export the result to use in any app.
If you want to convert a group of JPG image files to a single PDF, you can use a variety of methods. Most people will tell you to use Preview. But there are other ways that are either simpler or more versatile. You can use a Quick Action to do it without even opening up an app. You can also use Pages and Keynote to create richer PDFs with border, text and other features. The best way may be to use Photos which offers a variety of printing options that can be used to create PDFs.
If you need to capture an entire web page as an image, it can be difficult to do so because macOS screenshots don't allow you to capture all of the contents of a scolling window. However, you can use many different techniques to get the entire contents of a web page. Safari has a hidden feature to do this, but sometimes it won't work on certain pages. You can buy third-party pro capture software that will let you take perfect screen grabs of entire pages. You can also use a feature of the free Firefox browser, though it sometimes doesn't work perfectly.
It isn't always possible to take a photo at the location and angle that you want. But you can straighten the photo afterwards on your Mac using most major image editing tools. Learn how to change the perspective and straighten a photo in Pixelmator, Acorn and Photoshop.
SVG images have been around for a while and are widely used on websites and in clipart collections. But you cannot import an SVG file into Pages or Keynote directly, without first converting it using professional software. But since Safari handles SVG images without a problem, and you can export as a PDF from Safari, you can use Safari to convert the image to a format that can then be used inside Pages and Keynote documents.
If you want to watermark your photos before sharing them using a logo or other graphic, you can build a semi-transparent image in Pixelmator and then use an Automator Quick Action to easily apply that watermark to any image file. A special Pixelmator watermarking action helps to make it a one-step Automator workflow.
In Preview you can open multiple images at the same time and export them all at once in a new format. You can also resize all of the open images at once, forcing them images to scale to a specific percentage or fit into a specific size. You can also do some other things in batches, such as rotations.
The new shapes included with updates to Pages, Numbers and Keynote can be customized by altering the points, lines and curves in the shape. You can also combine multiple shapes into one. You can save your new shape so it appears in all three apps for future use. If you break apart some shapes, you can apply different colors to different parts.
You can use Automator to apply Apple system (Quartz) filters to image files. This simple Automator app will convert an image to ASCII art. There are color and size options you can adjust to get the look you want. You can also try out some of the other Quartz filters for various effects.
Learn how to preview a large number of images in macOS Finder. You can use the Preview pane, large icons, cover flow, the Quick Look window, the Preview app and the Finder slideshow feature. See how these techniques can help you quickly locate the right image.
If you need a transparent image, like a circle, arrow or piece of text, you would usually create it in a graphics app. However, there is a way to create transparent images quickly using only Keynote. You can then use these as overlays on other images in Preview or in iMovie.
A good alternative to Photoshop on your Mac is Acorn, an inexpensive but powerful image editor in the Mac App Store. In this tutorial, learn how to cut out a person in one photo and place them in another.
If you want to add some text to a photo, you can do it with the Preview app that comes with your Mac. You can add some large text to create a funny or inspirational image to post to social media. Or, you can add a watermark to protect your images before uploading them to the web.