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How to Edit Photos Using The Preview App on Your Mac: A Comprehensive Guide

Preview App: Step-by-Step Photo Editing Guide

With the ever-growing inclusion of digital imagery in our daily lives, the importance of photo editing can’t be overstated. Mac users have a wonderful tool right at their fingertips, ready to cater to their basic photo editing needs- the Preview app. This app is a versatile utility hidden in plain sight, capable of more than just allowing you to view images and PDFs. Today, we’re going to delve deep into the Preview app to discover how you can use it to edit photos. 📷


Understanding the utility of Preview App

The Preview app on your Mac is two apps rolled into one: a PDF viewer, and an image viewer. Both of these can be used to markup and in some ways, edit the respective file types. For our purpose, we will focus our attention on editing image files. 🎨


Adjusting the color and exposure of your image

By using the ‘Adjust Color’ option under the ‘Tools’ menu, you can access the controls for adjusting the colors and exposure in the image. Options like exposure, contrast, highlight shadows, color saturation, temperature and more are available for use. For basic tweaks to the colors or exposure in the image, the Preview app proves to be quite handy. 📘


Adjusting the size of your image

Within the Preview app, you can also adjust the size of the image to fit into a certain size in pixels. This is especially useful when the image is too large and needs to be made smaller for easy uploading to a website or for sending to someone. 📉


Performing additional edits: cropping, rotating and flipping the image

The Preview app plays host to additional editing features. You could easily crop an area of the image, rotate it or even flip it horizontally or vertically. Some of these functions can be accessed without going into markup tools, adding to the convenience. ✂


Using markup tools for advanced edits

With Markup tools, you can perform even more advanced edits. From selecting certain areas, even in specific shapes like ellipses or circles, to instantly turning selected areas transparent, these tools open a new plethora of possibilities. Remember that any changes made are permanent once saved, so careful consideration is advised while using these tools. ✋


Adding texts, shapes and colors to your image

To make your image more informative or intuitive, the Preview app also lets you add text and a variety of shapes to your image. You can also experiment with colors by using the Draw or Sketch tools. These additions can significantly enhance the final look of your image. ✎️


Exporting your edited image

After you’ve made all the changes to, I, you can export it in a format of your choice. This feature comes in handy when you want to convert the image file to a different format for compatibility reasons. Once exported, you can share it directly from the app to Mail, Messages, and many other platforms. 📥

Conclusion: 🏁

In conclusion, the Preview app on your Mac is a versatile and efficient tool for basic photo editing. It offers a wide variety of editing capabilities, from adjusting color and exposure to adding texts, shapes, colors and even exporting in different formats. While it does not have all the advanced photo editing functions of some dedicated photo manipulation software, it most certainly offers enough features for most basic and intermediate users. Happy editing! 🙂


The Preview app is a tool that comes installed on all Mac computers by default. Primarily, it’s a PDF and image viewing tool, but it also has a range of capabilities such as editing and annotating PDFs, filling out forms, and editing images.

You can find the Preview app in your Applications folder. You can also use Spotlight Search to easily find it by typing ‘Preview’ in the search box.

Yes, you can. The Preview app has a variety of tools for basic photo editing like cropping, rotating, resizing, annotating and color adjustment.

You can open an image in the Preview app by right-clicking the image file, scrolling down to ‘Open With’, and selecting ‘Preview’. Alternatively, you can open Preview first and then go to ‘File’ > ‘Open’, and select the image file you want to open.

You can crop an image by selecting the rectangle selection tool in the toolbox, then dragging it over the area you want to keep. Afterward, click ‘Tools’ > ‘Crop’ to crop the image.

Yes, you can. You can rotate an image by clicking ‘Tools’ > ‘Rotate Left’ or ‘Rotate Right’. You can also use the degree box to specify a custom rotation angle.

You can resize an image by clicking ‘Tools’ > ‘Adjust Size’. In the dialog box that appears, you can input the desired width and height.

Yes, you can adjust the color of an image with the Preview app by clicking ‘Tools’ > ‘Adjust Color’. You will see a variety of sliders that allow you to adjust exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, saturation, temperature, and more.

Yes, you can. By clicking the ‘Text tool’ button, you can add text to any part of the image. You can adjust the font, size, color, and placement of the text as well.

Yes, you can draw on an image using the sketch, draw, shapes and lines tools available in the markup toolbar.

You can save an edited image by simply clicking ‘File’ > ‘Save’. If you want to save the edited image as a new file, you can click ‘File’ > ‘Duplicate’ to create a copy of the image and then save it.

Yes, you can revert changes by clicking ‘File’ > ‘Revert To’ > ‘Original’. You can also use the Undo command to reverse the most recent action.

Yes, you can use the markup toolbar in Preview to add annotations to an image. This includes adding shapes, lines, text, and even signatures.

While the Preview app does not include a sophisticated object removal tool like in some advanced photo editing software, you can use the annotation tools to potentially cover up unwanted parts of an image.

Yes, Preview also functions as a PDF viewing and editing tool. You can annotate PDFs, fill out forms, sign documents, highlight text, and more.

Yes, Preview allows you to save or export your files in a different format. You can choose from formats like JPEG, PNG, PDF, TIFF, and others.

Yes, Preview can open and display RAW image files. However, for editing RAW files, a more specialized photo editing software may provide more advanced options.

Yes, in the Preview app’s markup toolbar, there’s an option to create and add a signature to any image or document.

If you can’t see the editing tools in Preview, it may be because the toolbar has been hidden. You can reveal it by clicking on the ‘View’ menu and then ‘Show Markup Toolbar’.

While you can open multiple images at once with Preview, the editing tools apply only to the currently selected image. You can’t edit multiple images at the same time.

No, the Preview app does not support video editing. It is primarily designed for viewing and editing static images and PDFs.

Yes, you can use Preview to batch resize multiple images at once. This can be done by selecting all the images you wish to resize in Preview and then using the ‘Adjust Size’ option under the ‘Tools’ menu.

In the Preview app, you can add text annotations, arrows, shapes, lines, and even your handwritten signature to an image.

Unfortunately, the Preview app does not have a specific tool for blurring parts of images. For such tasks, you may need a more advanced image editing software.

While there’s no dedicated option for adding borders in Preview, you can use the shape tool from the markup toolbar to create a rectangle or square around your image, creating a border effect.

Yes, you can open PSD files with the Preview app. However, some complex layers and effects from the original PSD may not be displayed correctly.

The Preview app does not support layers in the way advanced graphic designing software like Photoshop does. The markup annotations made in Preview are flattened into the image.

You can share an edited image directly from Preview by clicking the Share button on the toolbar, which allows you to share the image via Mail, Messages, AirDrop, Notes, and more.

While the Preview app offers a range of basic image editing tools, it doesn’t provide advanced functionalities found in specialized software, such as layer editing, advanced object removal, advanced filters & effects or detailed color grading.