Preview 7 vs Preview 8

Preview Icons

What happened to the that little boy on the Preview Icon?

Preview plays a big part of my workflow for reading and annotating PDF’s stored in Papers 3. I highlight, circle things, and add a lot of text, then all annotations are saved automatically back into the Papers library. Preview and Papers work together more smoothly than PDF Expert and Papers for the iPad. On the iPad, I use PDF Expert to do the same and Preview 7 and PDF Expert worked beautifully together.

The Mavericks version, Preview 7, worked incredibly well for this. With Yosemite, in Preview 8 we’re mourning the loss of more than just that boy. I was able to install both Preview 7 and 8 on my Mac and compare side by side.

the toolbar


Preview 8’s toolbar is on the top. A few of the shape tools have been collapsed into one menu, and the line width, line color, fill color and font options are always there instead of popping up when needed. Not a big deal.


Highlighting Text

Also the highlighting in Preview 8 loses that skeuomorphism of jagged edges that a real highlighter would produce. Now we get the straight corners of a box. Personally, I like skeuomorphism but I can let that go.

imported text boxes

text boxes cropped
I often start reading and annotating on PDF Expert on the iPad then move to Preview on the Mac. Preview 7 handled this well, but Preview 8 seems to clip the text. Resizing the box quickly corrects this, but it’s a minor annoyance.

making text boxes & shapes

Text boxes 2

The other problem with text boxes is when creating them in a document. In Preview 7, you click the textbox icon from the tool bar, then click where you want to create it with a cursor inside, ready to type.

In Preview 8, when you click the textbox icon in the toolbar it automatically, puts it in the middle of the document with the word “Text” written inside. Now you have to find it (sometimes hard to do in a document full of words), move it to the right spot, and erase the word in there.

The same thing happens with shapes. In Preview 7, I could select a rectangle from the toolbar then drag the shape where I wanted and to the size I want. In Preview 8, it appears in the middle of the document and needs to be moved and resized.

new features

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 8.14.41 AM

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 8.18.02 AM
You can make free form squiggles and have access to a loupe to magnify details. I’m not sure what those are useful for but maybe someone will find it helpful.

…so what

Yes, I know this is nitpicking, but when you’re reading a bunch of PDF’s, these tiny hassles add up. I can’t see how these changes make anything more efficient, but I did notice that the same things happen in Keynote, so there may be some code sharing between the two.

I hope if enough people make a stink, Apple may change these with a future update.

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