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Mountain Lion's Preview, like Preview in Lion and Snow Leopard before it, can work with PDF files as well as image files. Now let's look at what it can do with those PDFs. This time I'm going to launch it from Spotlight, and when I do you'll notice that this is one of those applications that is compatible with iCloud. If I had any Preview-compatible files they would appear in this window here. In this case, I'm going to grab a PDF file from my Mac. I'll go to my Documents folder, and I will select this PDF file here and then open it. And here's my PDF.
In the case of PDFs, I like to show thumbnails so that I can see thumbnails of the pages that are part of the PDF file. You have other View Options, you can also look at the Table of Contents if we had one, Highlights and Notes, I don't have any yet, or I can look at it as a Contact Sheet. And here are my Thumbnails. Now just as when we were looking at images, you some basic tools in the toolbar, so I can zoom in and out, and I can share. Now in this case, because I don't have photos, I can't share them to a photo service such as Flickr, instead I have more limited options.
I can share it to Email, Message, or through AirDrop. And as with the images, you can rotate pages as well. You can also annotate, and that's where the real power is with PDF files. As I showed you with images, you can highlight things, make call outs by drawing rectangles or circles. You can add lines, arrows, text boxes, little dialogue boxes, and a little thought cloud if you want. Choose the Text Selection Tool and you can also select Text, at which point I could then copy that text, open TextEdit, and paste that text into that, or I can paste it into a word processor.
What I can't do is create a new Preview file using this text. There's also the Selection Tool, so I can select some text, I can then crop it and see just that text on the page. Now one of the marquee features of Preview and PDFs is you have the ability to capture a signature and then append it to your document. So for example, it may be that you've downloaded a tax form from somewhere, or some other kind of business form, and you need to sign this thing with your real signature.
Well, how do you do that? In the old days, we would scan it and then we would sign it and then we'd scan it again, it was a big pain. What you can do now within Preview is they have the Signature Option. Now if your Mac has a camera and this one unfortunately doesn't, you can write out your signature, hold it in front of the camera. Your Mac will take a picture of that signature and it will know what's the signature and what's the paper, and then it will store that signature. Later on when you find the signature field in a PDF file, you can attach that signature to it.
Once you save your document, that signature is then appended to the file ready for you to send off. Now let's talk about Import. If you go to the File menu, you notice that there is no Import command. So how exactly do you add pages to your PDF document if you want to? Well, let's take a look. I'll go to the Finder, I'll choose my Documents folder. I have another PDF file here. Now let's say that I'd like to add this PDF file to the middle of the current one. All I have to do is drag and drop, and when I do that, the pages that are within that PDF file are now part of this PDF file.
So it used to be four pages, and now it's eight pages. One other thing you can do, instead of having multiple windows for multiple PDF files, is you could see them all in a single window. And to do that, I'll take the same PDF file, just drag it above the dividing line, and here's your PDF file. Click the arrow and I can see its individual pages, and I can also hide them. So this is an easier way to see multiple documents within a single window. One more thing before we leave, you can also insert a blank page between pages.
This is one way that you can separate important pages from others. To do that, go to the Edit menu, Insert, Blank Page. Also, if you happen to have a scanner nearby, you can Insert a page from a scanner or you can add a page from another file. So this isn't exactly Import, but it's the same kind of idea. And that's Preview and PDFs.
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