Using Mac's PREVIEW; Question On.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Robert4, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. Robert4 macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2012

    A while ago, I asked for suggestions on how to easily add text to photos.
    Several suggestions were posted. Thanks.

    I tried doing it with the Mac's PREVIEW, and nothing could be easier.
    So, anyone who also wants to add text, do try PREVIEW.


    Once the text is there, I cannot figure out how to delete it, or to modify it.
    Have tried just about everything on all the menus.

    I can add new text (as a new line at a different screen location), but just
    cannot delete it, or change or modify the text that I
    have previously added to the photo.

    I should be able to figure it out, but I cannot. That old age problem again.

    Anyone who is familiar with Preview know how ?

    Much thanks,
  2. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008
    Double-click on the text and then you should be able to delete or modify it.
  3. Robert4 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2012

    Thanks for help.
    Nope; doesn't work.

    I have found this, though, after doing a Google search:

    The bottom bar, called the Markup Bar, apparently should have as one of its icons
    what they call a Text Selection Tool. It looks like this is what I want.

    But, all the pix's of it (from a Google search) show it coming up as the extreme leftmost icon
    on the Markup Bar.

    I don't seem to have it.
    It might be there, but possibly being "cut off". None of my other photos show it either.

    Any idea on how to get it to show ?

  4. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    In fact, if you have added text, or some symbol, or simply add a red circle around something in Preview - you can simply click on that item (don't even need to double-click on that, just select it), then press the delete key, and it is gone.

    Are you now saying that if you click on text that YOU added to a photo, in the Preview app, that you don't see a text selection box around that text - and that you tried clicking in different areas of that text, and nothing at all happens to the text?
  5. Robert4 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2012

    Thanks for help; nice of you all o take the time.

    Clicking or double clicking on the text I created seems to do nothing.
    I can drag the box that now appears (the connected blue dots) but it does not effect the text; seems to be totally independent of the existing text; does not recognize it at all

    I can create another brand new text box on the screen just fine.

    But I can't seem to get the program to recognize text that I have created previously.

    Any idea how to get that text selection tool that should be showing on the extreme
    left of the markup bar to show ?

    BTW: Running the latest High Sierras vers.

  6. mikas macrumors regular


    Sep 14, 2017
    If you save and close the document, text is burnt permanently into it.
    You can edit and move and save the document and text boxes while it's open in preview, it's until you close it, and text burns in to it permanently.

    Maybe this is what happened. You added text, saved, closed, and opened a document again later?
  7. Robert4 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2012

    Yes, that's exactly what I did.


    I never would have imagined that there is now absolutely no way of deleting or changing the

    Gosh ! Not good if one, like me, uses it without realizing this aspect.

    They really should have an explanation for that, somewhere, before you use it.

    Thanks for help; much appreciated. Never would have guessed that that was what was happening.

  8. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    If you're working on a PDF the text isn't "burned" onto the image and can be edited after saving and reopening.
  9. Robert4 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2012

    Yes, they are .pdf

    How do I edit after doing a Save ?

    Haven't been able to figure out how to.

    Please see all the previous comments.

    --- Post Merged, Apr 29, 2018 ---
    -I apologize for the double Posts, etc. I got mixed up on how to reply-


    Yes, they are .pdf

    So, how do I edit after doing a Save ?
    In my 80's now, so very explicit instructions on how-to would be great.

    Haven't been able to figure out how to do it.

    Please see all the previous comments, which explain what I've tried, without any luck.

    Thanks for help, and a thanks also to everyone who has been trying to help me out.
  10. Bryan Bowler, Apr 30, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018

    Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008
    Hi Bob. Sorry for taking so long to reply. I've been out in the field working on a project and internet time has been very limited.

    Anytime you add text to a PDF (using Preview), it is in fact editable or deletable later on, no matter how many times it is saved and closed. Nothing is "burnt in" or permanent.

    I suspect there is something small that is being accidentally overlooked. Try left-clicking one time on the text you added and then hit the delete button on the keyboard. It should delete it right away. I know you've tried this before, but let's go back to basics and try it again. Let us know how that goes or what happens...
  11. Robert4 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2012
    Thanks for help; nice of you to take the time.

    So, I re-opened up a previously saved photo that has some text that I added to it.

    I clicked on the text after positioning the crosshair cursor that comes up on it (left mouse button),
    and then immediately hit DEL per your suggestion.
    No effect.

    If I go to Info., I see that it is being saved as a jpeg, which is what I would expect.

    But, I seem to remember there being something written that once you add text, it is then
    saved (or becomes ?) as a .pdf, and that you would need a true .pdf editor to edit any text in it.
    Not sure of this, though.

    If you get a spare minute (joke) it might be interesting if you could modify a photo of yours
    with some text, and see if you experience the same thing; the inability to edit it after saving.

    Regards, and thanks again,
  12. mikas macrumors regular


    Sep 14, 2017
    I can confirm that with pdf-document your own text should stay editable even after saving the document. You can't convert a jpg/png to an editable document by saving it as a pdf document, though. You have to stay pdf all the time from the very beginning. Only save versions of bitmap (png/jpg) images from your pdf at the times you need them. With these the text burns in to a document. The original pdf is still editable (only the elements that you have created by yourself).

    One important thing: You have to convert the bitmap (png/jpg) immediately to pdf. It’s too late if you have already created text boxes in to your document. They will be permanent after saving to pdf. All the new text boxes after that will be editable.

    So, try to use "export to pdf”, and/or ”save as -> pdf” immediately after opening your bitmap image, and then start to use the text tool in preview app.

    I am still mostly on Sierra version of preview app (9.0). High Sierra introduced preview version 10.0. They both seem to work similar in this matter, when quickly tested.

    Hope you get it sorted out.

    Attached Files:

  13. Robert4 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2012
    Hi Mikas,

    That explains it quite well.

    Will play with it.

    Good project to keep me occupied.
    Always something new to learn with all of this.

    When I first started my engr. career, I taught analog computers !
    Remember those ?

    Regards and thanks,
  14. mikas macrumors regular


    Sep 14, 2017
    I have never used or seen an analog computer - unless you can count a slide ruler as one?
    I've seen punched cards, but never used or seen them in real live action.

    I started my computer life only at early 80's, with a Spectravideo SV318. So I surely am a novice with this analog computers subject :)

    I do know Lady Lovelace was an early theorist, and do remember Mr. Babbage and his machines from text books, though. And I feel it's wonderful that I have been able to witness this huge progress in this digital field of computing. This has been absolutely amazing - and still is. Flight to the moon was great too, but maybe not quite on par to the miniaturization of these intelligent multipurpose machines and their power to achieve unimaginable things for us.

    Sorry, I got it drifting a bit.

    I wish you good times with your project. Preview is a versatile app, though in some tasks a bit limiting.
  15. opeter macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2007
    Slovenia, EU
    Because by default Preview doesn't save any images with layers. Well, except maybe (multi-layered) TIFF or PDFs.
    If you opened an JPG file and added some text and saved it, well, than that is it... a flattened JPG image you just made.

    However if you select File -> Export and you hold down the Option (ALT) key while you choose the formats list, you can try to save the image to PSD (Photoshop Document) format and see, if it will keep you layers (image + text).

    If this works for you, there you have and editable file format.

    Here is some additional info in that matter:

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