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What Is Preview (and Why You Should Use It)
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Preview's Behavior

It's worth remembering that Preview behaves slightly differently, depending on what kind of file it is displaying.

To see the differences, try opening two files: one image, and one PDF.

Compare the toolbars on the two windows. They're different, offering different tools and controls. Some things you can do with images, but can't do with PDFs, and vice versa.

Try customizing those toolbars (Control-click anywhere on the toolbar and a sheet will slide out with options on it), and you'll see that what you're offered for these different file types varies.

Some of the choices are a bit odd in this regard. There's a toolbar button for cropping PDFs, but not one for cropping images, even though the same function is available with both, and can be invoked with the same keyboard command (Command+K).

Another oddity: the Tools Mode selector (more about this later) is not available when viewing images, so you might think that, if you've zoomed in on a photograph, there's no means of dragging it around with the mouse, because you have no access to a Move tool. Turns out you can dragójust hold down the Space bar while dragging.

Once you've noticed these strange quirks, you'll start to feel much more at home in Preview.

A Simpler PDF Viewer ... and More

Long-time Mac users will remember the old days, when Adobe's Reader (then known as Acrobat Reader) was pretty much the only consumer application available for opening PDF files.

Admittedly, in those early days it didn't matter much anyway, because without widespread internet access, PDFs weren't distributed very far.

Now that broadband Internet access is everywhere, corporations and governments don't think twice about releasing PDF-format documents at every opportunity. With Preview, Mac OS X has offered an easy-to-use alternative for the first time.

Preview makes for a very capable, speedy, and usable PDF viewer, and includes some handy little tools that you might not have tried experimenting with.

Lots of PDFs (especially long, wordy documents) come with "bookmarks" that let you jump around within the document, from one place to another.

Preview supports this idea, using either page titles or thumbnails in the drawer to display all the bookmarks you might want to access.

But there's also a bookmarks feature that's new in Preview 3.0.1 (shipping with Tiger) that allows you to add a bookmark to any PDF, or intriguingly any image, or your computer and reopen it from Preview.

You could think of it almost like a browser bookmarks menu. If you're halfway through a huge text document and need a break, you can hit Command+D to add a bookmark. The same applies for images you might want to use often.

The bookmarks list
The bookmarks list

Give your bookmark a name, and in future it will be available in Preview's own Bookmarks menu. One click, and the file is opened. If it's a multipage PDF, it will snap straight to the page where you applied the bookmark.

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