Exploring Mac OS X Preview PDF Annotator

Exploring Mac OS X Preview Hidden Features


Exploring Apple’s PDF Annotator


In a previous post, Mac OS X Preview: Unlocking Previews Hidden Features, I point out some of the hidden features for managing your PDF’s in Preview. In this article I would like to point our some of the more advanced annotating and markup features hidden within Preview. Preview usually launches as you default image and PDF viewer and we close it sometimes as quickly as it opens. What you are missing is that Preview is a fast and efficient way to share comments and to mark up a PDF, even more effectively than working with Adobe Reader.

If you go to Preview’s Tools menu you will find sub-menus for Mark Up and Annotate. Mark Up allows you to highlight, strike through or underline selected lines within a portable document file. Annotate enables you to draw graphic and comment based elements such as rectangles, ovals, notes and links (hyper-link style).



Using Mark Up
To use the Mark Up tool start by selecting the text that you would like to either highlight, strike through or underline. Next to Previews menu at the top and select Tools > Mark Up and select you desired formatting type.

Add Shapes
Using the Annotation features such as oval and rectangle tools is simple.

  1. Select the Annoation Tool you would like to use: Circle or Rectangle
  2. Click anywhere in the PDF.
  3. A colored shape will appear in the document.
  4. Move, drag and size to your specifications.


Notes and Links
Using Add Note or Add Link annotation features are done in a similar manner as with the shapes. Simply select the annotation tool you would like to use: Add Note or Add Link. Click anywhere in the PDF where you would like to relate the note or the link.

Notes:

  1. A box will appear in the side-margin.
  2. Double click into the box to edit.
  3. An annotations tool box will appear in the upper corner of your screen. You can also open this window by holding down Command+I.
  4. You can change the color of your note using the Inspector Window.


Links:

  1. Select the area within the PDF you would like to Hyperlink. You can drag the link square to any size you like.
  2. Double click into the box to edit.
  3. An annotations tool box will appear in the upper corner of your screen. You can also open this window by holding down Command+I.
  4. In the Inspector Window you can Link within the PDF or you can create a URL.


If you make annotations regularly you can add them to your Preview Toolbar. To add them select View > Customize Toolbar… from Previews menu. Drag the tools that you use the most to Previews toolbar.

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