How to Use Preview to Combine Multiple Images, Batch Resize, Rotate and More

Preview as Image EditorA lot of us who have Macs and don’t rely entirely on smartphones (yes, there’s still a few of us left) like to do at least some basic image editing from time to time. However, sometimes we tend to believe that only advanced programs will suit our needs to do so. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, we have already shown you before how the Preview application that comes included with every Mac not only can perform some advanced image editing tasks, but also how you can even edit and manage PDF files with it.

This time, we’ll discuss a few tips that will show you how Preview can perform more than acceptably as a basic image editor, allowing you to carry out some neat tweaks when working with your image files.

Let’s get started.

Combine Multiple Images in One PDF File

What happens when you have several images that you want to either showcase or just keep to yourself, but you also don’t want to have to scroll through all of them or to have to show each file one at a time?

For this, Preview has a great option that allows you to create PDF files that can contain up to 16 of your images. To create these files, open your images in one Preview window, select all of them on the left sidebar and press Command + P to bring up the printing panel.

Preview All Selected

With this panel open, click on the Show Details button to expand it and display the Layout section at the bottom right of the panel.

Preview Show Details

There, select Layout from the drop-down menu as shown below and then choose the number of pages per sheet, which determines the number of images that will appear on each page of your PDF.

Preview Layout 1

Preview Layout 2

Preview Layout 3

Once you are done, click on the PDF button and select Open PDF in Preview to display all your files, this time in far less pages.

Preview Open PDF

Preview 9 Images

Open Multiple Images in the Same Preview Window

Sometimes, when you need to work with a group of image files, having them open individually or in separate groups in Preview can be quite inconvenient. Thankfully, if you head to the app’s Preferences, under the General tab you will find the option to open all files in the same Preview window.

Preview Open Same Window

Preview Same Window

Rotate and Resize Images in Batches

This tip is very simple but extremely convenient. If you have a bunch of images that you would like to rotate in the same direction, resize to the same size or both, instead of doing it one by one just open all of them in one Preview window and select them all on the left sidebar.

Then, on the top of the screen, click on Tools and then on Adjust Size…. This will bring up a panel where you can select the new size of your images, as well as choose other parameters.

Preview Adjust Size

Preview Size Parameters

In similar fashion, after selecting all your images, clicking on the Rotate button at the top of the Preview window will rotate all of them.

Preview Rotate

Change the Overall Look of Your Images

If you want to change how your images look, Preview has a great feature for that, which works somewhat similarly to when you apply filters to photos on your smartphone. Preview calls this feature Color Profiles.

To change the color profile of any image file, open the file and on the menu bar click on Tools and then on Assign Profile…. A new selection box will show up.

Preview Assign Profile

On it, select the the new color profile from the ColorSync Profile: field and then click on OK.

Preview Color Profile

Preview Color Profile 2

Additionally, by clicking on Tools on the menu bar and selecting the Adjust Color… option, you will have access to a quite powerful color adjustment tool that will allow you to tweak your image even further.

Preview Adjust Color

Preview Color Panel

And there you have them. A series of options that you perhaps didn’t even know that preview had and that turn it into a pretty decent basic image editor. Have fun!

Alvaro Bernedo

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