Editing Photos On Mac Preview: A Brief Guide

Did you think Mac’s Preview only contained PDF-editing features? It would be best if you thought again because this in-built tool is also a photo editor. Preview offers basic photo editing features to help users crop, rotate, resize, annotate and make minor edits to the pictures before uploading them on social media or sending them to friends or family.

So, if you are an amateur photographer, love taking many selfies, and don’t want to spend money on an Adobe subscription, you can turn to Preview. However, before you start editing pictures, it is crucial to go through your Photo library and delete the images you don’t like or remove the duplicate photos.

Wondering how to delete photos on Mac? It’s effortless! Open the Photos application on your Mac, select the images you wish to delete, and press Delete. You can also follow the same method to delete photos from the Downloads or Picture folder. But after you have pressed Delete, the photos will be sent to the Trash, and you must not forget to empty the Trash to delete the pictures.

So, now that you have shortlisted the pictures you like and would like to edit them to fine-tune some details, here’s how you can use Preview to your advantage.

  • Open the image in Preview

It is not a monumental task to get a photo into Preview. First, double-click on the picture file; it will open in Preview unless you have changed the image file associations. In that case, right-click on the picture file, select Open With and then select Preview.

The Preview app can also be opened from the Applications folder or by pressing Command + Spacebar to launch Spotlight and searching for Preview in the search bar. Then, you can directly open the photo file.

If you have opened the Preview app, you can click on File > click New From Clipboard to improve a picture file. Then, you can edit the photo and send it back onto the clipboard by clicking Edit > Copy.

If you want to edit a screenshot, you have to first take a screenshot by pressing Command + Shift + 3 (for the entire screen) and then save the screenshot as a .png file. Then, open it with the Preview app and edit it.

  • Crop the picture

To crop an image, Preview uses the rectangular selection by default. So, you can quickly click and drag it to crop your photo. If this isn’t working as expected, you can click the Tools menu and choose Rectangular selection.

You can click and drag it anywhere in the picture to choose a rectangular section of the picture. Then, click Tools > click Crop afterward, and the app will crop the selection. Next, it will cut everything else in the picture. Then, click File > click Save to save the changes.

  • Resize the photo

You can resize an image instead of cropping it by clicking on Tools > Adjust Size. A window will pop up, and here, you can see that you can resize your image to different preset dimensions, or you can select custom values. The tool will also display the file size before and after resizing.

By default, the resize tool will scale your picture proportionally and resample it. If you do not want this to happen, deselect the checkboxes. Once satisfied with the size, you can click OK and save the changes.

If you don’t have much time and too many pictures to resize, you can batch resize the pictures in the app to save time.

  • Rotate the picture

Need to rotate an image? Click on the rotate button on the toolbar one or more times, or you can click on the Edit menu and select either the Flip or Rotate option. Then, save your changes.

You can also click File > select Duplicate to create a duplicate copy of your picture and save the changes as a new file. This will ensure you had kept the original image before the changes were made.

If you wish to undo the changes, click the Edit menu and choose Undo. The image will revert to its original image file.

  • Adjust the image color

Suppose you want to sharpen a picture or change its saturation or brightness. You can do so with the app’s color and light adjustment tool. Bring up this tool by clicking on Tools > clicking on Adjust Color.

The tool comes with sliders allowing you to adjust the different parameters like contrast, exposure, and saturation. You can use these to create sepia-toned, grayscale, or warmed-looking images.

If you are unhappy with the changes, you can click the Reset All button and start from scratch.

The Bottom Line

So, what are you waiting for? Start editing your images and make them look better using the Preview application.

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