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Apple packs a lot of software with each operating system. Much of it tends to be overlooked in favor of things like the iLife and iWorks suites. One tiny little app that tends to be ignored is Preview. Preview is a handy little app that handles graphic and PDF documents quite nicely. It also has the capability to download files from your digital camera, although it’s a bit awkward in the current version. In my case, while it definitely sees my iPhone, the Download button wouldn’t work for me. I was able to drag and drop to my desktop, and it has worked in the past. My guess is either a bug in the current version or a conflict with something else I’m running. It happens. Oh, and before I forget, it will also see scanners.

With scanners, in my case a Canon CanoScan LiDE 200, it works nicely, but while the scanner’s proprietary software lets you make adjustments and corrections before scanning, Preview does the work after the scan. Crop unwanted data. Need to adjust color balance, exposure? The standard sliders that you see in iPhoto are right there. Easy.

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Need to scale a group of photos for use on a website? Open with Preview, select them all in the sidebar, select Adjust Size from the Tools menu, and set your vertical or horizontal measurement. That’s it. Done.

PDFs? Ever run into one of those odd PDFs that won’t display properly in Adobe Reader or Acrobat? Open it with Preview. Unless the PDF is damaged, it may work better. I have occasionally received PDFs that need a password to open. There is a 100% chance that the next time I need to access that PDF I won’t remember the password, nor will I be able to find said password. When I get one of those beasts, I open it with Preview (giving it the required password) then save a copy with a slightly different name. No more password required.

If you haven’t looked at Preview, check it out. You might be pleasantly surprised. It does a lot, and the price is right.

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