updated 04:45 pm EDT, Tue October 2, 2007
Preview 4.0: Hands-on
Preview 4.0, the new version of Apple's application for viewing various image formats, PDF, RTF files and more that will be included with Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) has received an interface makeover that makes it look more like Mail.app, a new sidebar that displays thumbnails of each page in a PDF, new search functionality and more according to a hands-on report from AppleInsider. The new sidebar can be set to any width, and will show multiple rows of thumbnails. There is also a zoom slider, similar to zoom function in iPhoto, that allows the items to grow and shrink instantly. Thumbnails in the sidebar can also be dragged and dropped to be reordered, as well as to add or remove pages from the document. You can also perform search queries from a field in the sidebar, which can then be grouped by relevancy.
There are also new toolbars -- one handles graphics and another handles PDFs. The new PDF toolbar has move, text and select modes, while its annotation features must be manually added to the Toolbar.
Additional graphics tools include annotation with boxes, ovals, free-form arrows and more. You can select a region where a text box will be placed, and also edit the box later. An Image Correction panel uses a translucent panel like iPhoto, and there's size adjustment sheet that at allows resizing of width and height based on percentage, inches or pixels.
Extraction tools have also been built into this release. You can pull an object from its background (akin to a magic wand function), and an Instant Alpha tool. There's an Extract Shape tool that lets you use a translucent red marker to draw around desired shapes in images, with further refinements that let you discard any garbage bits of image surrounding your selection.
The net result is that Preview has become a better PDF reader/editor, and also a very decent photo editing and extraction tool.
[Images courtesy of AppleInsider]