Unable to Undo/delete an annotation in Preview

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by harponia, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. harponia macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2011
    Hi Everyone:

    I opened a photo in Preview. Then, I tried to use the annotations oval tool to circle an item in the picture. It made too many circles, and now I just want to erase the circles. I've tried clicking on the circles in various places and hitting "delete" but nothing happens. There must be some way of undoing it? I only have one copy of this image and I need it for a work thing. Please advise.


  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Did you by chance save the file (with the annotation)?

    Perhaps even close it, then re-open it (with the saved annotation)?

    I tried creating an annotation using Preview, then saving, then closing, then re-opening.

    At this point, the annotation now seems to have been made "a part of the file", replacing the pixels "underneath" it, and no longer "selectable" or "editable" as before.

    I could be wrong...
  3. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    This is what versioning is for (see https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202255 for a description of how it worked in OS X Lion. The UI has morphed a bit since then).

    To go back to an earlier version, open the document, then choose File > Revert To > Browse All Versions...
  4. appreciatethehelp macrumors newbie


    Sep 17, 2017
    I know I'm a little late in the piece here, but I too came across this issue recently. I found that I could only delete the very last annotation I made and no others.

    Surely there must be some way to delete annotations… what if I do a whole load of them and then decide that I want to remove one? I'll have to use time machine to go back to the version before the one with the part I want to remove then redo all my work all over again! Ridiculous!

    With the knowledge that one cannot delete annotations after the fact, one has to know exactly how they want all of their annotations to be before they have even done them!
    Would it have been that hard for Mac to add a delete function/eraser? Sounds like a pretty rudimentary function to have...

    @ Fishrrman yes; once you have saved the document and exited it then the annotation become a part of it and can't be edited: another massive flaw in preview!
  5. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    This is an old thread. With the Sierra version of Preview, saved annotations can be both edited and deleted.
  6. appreciatethehelp macrumors newbie


    Sep 17, 2017
    I was hoping that might be the case. I am running an ancient OS so I too still have this issue.
    Thanks for the info.

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5 March 7, 2015