Tip: Generate preview images for a collection of documents

Apple's QuickLook technology in OS X is a quick way to preview a document's contents before opening the document's handling program. QuickLook works by using a small plug-in that reads the document's format and generates a small PDF, HTML, or thumbnail preview of the document that is presented to you as a representation of its layout.

The ability for OS X to generate a preview of a document is convenient for QuickLook, but also may be handy for other uses as well. For example, MacFixIt reader Paul recently wrote in wondering how one might use this … Read more

How to manage transparencies in Preview

Transparency in images files can be quite convenient, especially if you need to place the same image over different backgrounds and want it to properly blend in. While having a white or other solid color background may help you view the image on the screen, with this setup if you embed it in a document with a different-color background then the white will stand out as an obtrusive rectangle.

To help reduce this, you can both manually remove backgrounds from images using Apple's Preview application or use a transparent canvas to compile images that already contain transparency.

To create … Read more

Get sandboxed applications working again after OS X update

Apple recently released OS X 10.8.3 along with security updates for past versions of OS X, and while the updates have worked properly for the vast majority of users, a few have reported having the problem that certain programs like Preview and TextEdit now will not run. When the program is opened, in some cases the system prompts users to authenticate and repair the user Library, but after this is done the program simply quits after bouncing in the OS X Dock for a few seconds. In other cases the program may simply crash and generate an error … Read more

How to combine two scanned documents into one in OS X

When you scan a document into your system, OS X will create a single file of the scan and allow you to save it to the location of your choice. However, if you would like to combine scanned pages into one document, the system supports that option as well.

The first approach is to have the system scan a set of documents directly into a single file, which can be done by using the basic scanning features in Apple's Preview program. With your scanner attached and turned on, open the Preview program and select your scanner from the File … Read more

Need that iPhone or Android photo fast? Import quickly to Mac with built-in Preview

Are you a Mac user who wants to pull a photo off your iPhone, iPad, or Android device quickly, without having to go through iPhoto? There's an easy way to do that, built into your Mac: the Preview app.

For ages, I was frustrated that the Mac wouldn't let me browse my iPhone or Android phone to drag-and-drop pictures I wanted, in the way that I could when plugging them into my Windows PC.

If only I could browse like on the PC

On the PC, my phones appear like a drive within Windows Explorer, which is wonderful:… Read more

How to extract Preview's signatures for use in other applications

The Preview application in OS X has an excellent option for capturing handwritten signatures and inserting them into PDF documents. This is great for signing forms, letters, and other items that require a signature. The process for doing so simply involves capturing a written signature with a Web cam, after which you can append them to any PDF document open in Preview.

Signatures that you associate with Preview in this manner are stored in an encrypted form, which is great for security but also means that Preview is the only program that can access them. Even though an inserted signature … Read more

Quickly sign any document with Preview

Legal forms, letters, and other documents are progressively migrating to digital media; however, the need for applying a signature to them is often still a requirement. While you can print these forms out, sign them and then fax, scan, or e-mail them after signing, another option is to apply a digitally saved version of your signature.

While one approach to doing this is to scan a document containing your signature and then crop it out and paste it in-line with your form, this requires that you keep the image of your signature readily available, and unless you have used transparencies, … Read more

Prizefight: BlackBerry Z10 vs. Apple iPhone 5

BlackBerry still has its following of loyalists but their numbers have dwindled. Even enterprise customers have transitioned to the iPhone and Android phones, a place that used to be dominated by BlackBerry.

The BlackBerry Z10 is the company's first all-touch-screen phone with a sleek design and a bigger, higher-resolution screen. Its new operating system is based purely on gestures without a physical button.

The iPhone 5 has continued to be a beast in the Prizefight ring. Even though the Samsung Galaxy S3 has surpassed the iPhone 5 in CNET editors' minds, we're facing the Z10 off against the … Read more

How to quickly convert image formats with Preview

Apple's Preview program in OS X is a very convenient tool for quickly editing image and PDF files. It supports a number of options for annotating images and adjusting colors, cropping, and otherwise editing them, it can also be used to quickly convert an image to another format.

Preview supports reading most common image format types, and likewise allows you to export them to these same types, so even if Preview is not set to be your default program for handling images, you can still use it to quickly make an image conversion.

To do this, right-click the image … Read more

PlayStation 4: What we expect, what it needs, and why

CNET's live coverage of Sony's event on Wednesday

Sony's February 20 event in New York City will likely mark the announcement of the PlayStation 4 and simultaneously usher in the next generation of console gaming. (Sorry, Wii U, but you're more last-gen than next-gen.)

Rumors mills are also churning out details confidently declaring that the Xbox 360 successor will also see the light of day before June's big E3 gaming show in Los Angeles.

Perhaps the biggest news? Both consoles could make their debuts -- gasp -- this year. That's a hyperspeed acceleration in … Read more