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Viewing Images and PDFs in the Mac OS X Lion Preview

You use Preview to open, view, and print PDFs as well as most graphics files (TIFF, JPEG, PICT, and so on) in Mac OS X Lion. One of the most useful things the OS X Lion Preview can do is change a graphic file in one file format into one with a different file format.

For example, you’re signing up for a website and want to add a picture to your profile. The website requires pictures in the JPEG file format, but the picture file on your hard drive that you’d like to use is in the TIFF file format. Preview can handle the conversion for you:

  1. Open the TIFF file with Preview by double-clicking the file.

    If another program (such as Adobe Photoshop) opens instead of Preview, drag the TIFF document onto the Preview icon or launch Preview and choose File→Open (shortcut: Command+O) to open the TIFF file.

  2. Choose File→Export (Command+Shift+S).

  3. Choose the appropriate file format from the pop-up Format menu.

    image0.jpg
  4. If you want to make sure you don’t confuse your original image with the one in the new format, change the name of your file in the Save As box, too.

  5. Click Save.

Preview lets you convert any file it can open to any of the following file formats: JPEG, JPEG-2000, OpenEXR, PDF, PNG, and TIFF.

Chances are good that you’ll never need to convert a file to most of these formats, but it’s nice to know that you could if you needed to.

Almost every OS X program with a Print command lets you save your document as a PDF file. Just click and hold the PDF button (found in all Print dialogs) and choose Save As PDF. Then, should you ever need to convert that PDF file to a different file format, you can do so by using the preceding steps.

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