We show you how to edit your photos professionally using
Apple’s free software
What you’ll need
You could try
What you’ll learn
How to make the most of using Preview to edit your photos
In this menu you’ll find Preferences where you can tweak the
main settings of the program.
Choose your view, or even make a contact sheet – very useful
for viewing lots of images!
Helpful tools are situated above your open images for quick,
You can bring up separate tool windows, making the editing
Here you will find four view modes. Use the thumbnail option
for lots of open images
This is where you can open, duplicate, export and save as
different file types
Preview comes preinstalled on Mac OS X systems and is most
commonly used as a quick way to view images and PDFs. However, many are
misusing this program and its very useful editing functions are ignored – there
is much more to this package that needs to be discovered.
Preview doesn’t allow you to be exceptionally creative with
your images as it is primarily a simple editing tool. However, for many people
this will be enough, and it may mean you can avoid spending out for an
alternative, more costly editing program.
Preview contains a great selection of the most useful
photo-retouching functions that people new to editing require. You can improve
the colour and tones, sharpen, rotate, crop and even extract an object from its
background. It also opens up many different file extensions including RAW,
however you will need a more up-to-date version of Mac OS X for it to open
files from newer camera models. Its batch-processing function means opening and
applying effects to multiple images in one go is a great way to save time.
Best of all, Preview is already installed on your Mac for
free – what more could you ask for? So keep reading as we run through the most popular
and useful features every photographer should know about.
Make easy edits in Preview
Simple tweaks to make your images stand out
Step 1 - Import from your camera
Whether you have placed your memory card in the side slot of
your Mac or hooked your camera up via a cable, you can import directly into
Preview. Go to File>Import and select your device. Shift + click to select
specific photos of hit import all.
Step 2 - Exposure adjustments
To open an image go to File>Open and select your photo. To
correct exposure go to Tools>Adjust Color and a very easy-to-use dialog box
will appear. Slide the Exposure slider to the far end then experiment with the
other sliders for further improvement.
Step 3 - Add a little warmth
Preview has a temperature function allowing you to cool down
or add in a touch of warmth to your snaps. With your chosen photo open go to
Tools>Adjusts Color once more then play around with the Temperature slider
for you desired effect.
Step 4 - flip or rotate images
Rotating or flipping is a quick process as you can apply the
effect to multiple images needing the same treatment. Ensure all images are
open, Shift + click the thumbnails on the left of the photos in question, go to
Tools>Rotate Left or Right.
Step 5 – add annotations
Personalize your photos by adding some text. Go to
View>Show Annotation Toolbar. Click onto the Text tool, draw a text box onto
your photo then type. You can alter colour, font and size of the text by
clicking through the other toolbar buttons.
Step 6 – batch resizing
Save time using batch processing. To resize multiple images,
drag and drop them over the Preview icon to open in one window. Shift + click
all thumbnails in the Preview display, go to Tool>Adjust size and all images
will be edited in one go!
Step 7 – flip to suit
Experiment with how you present your images by flipping
them. To do this, have your image open and go to Tools in the top bar, then
select Flip Horizontal. You may be surprised that such a simple edit can vastly
improve the overall look of the image.
Step 8 – crop
Add more impact by cropping in and focusing on the focal
part of the image. This can also help get rid of any distracting unwanted
elements in your photo. Click on the Select tool at the top of the image,
select the area you wish to keep and go to Tools>Crop.
Step 9 – sharpen
Preview comes with a Sharpen tool that is found in
Tools>Adjust Color and is over-sharpen of your image will start to blur.
Moving the slider a small amount should be enough to make a noticeable