So after my previous positive encounter with preview, I thought I was done with discoveries there but no, this really is a killer little app.
See the thing I discovered about it is that despite loading in < 1 second and only taking up a few megs of memory, there is more functionality here than simply previewing:
- Simple image editing – Cropping, Rotating, Image Correction (Brightness, Contrast, Exposure, etc…)
- Camera RAW support – Although this is better done in iPhoto
- Screen Capture – Including the very useful screen capture on a timer
- Extra PDF functionality – Annotation, Re-Encode PDF (for size reduction, etc…)
Windows is sorely missing an application that fills this gap, more than a “pure” preview but less than PhotoShop :) The preview that comes with Windows XP is a great little image viewer but has no support for editing after a simple rotation. Paint Shop Pro and a hundred other clones all go through the stage of having that perfect balance for a simple image editor but the vendors always decide to add more and more features and end up taking on and failing to topple PhotoShop. The closest to this on Windows that I can think of is IrfanView which is nearly as fast as this and has the basic image editing and preview features (but of course no support for PDF or other file types) but fails in that it looks like it was designed around 1986. Preview gets the balance of features perfect and I would say that it is probably all the image editor that your basic user would ever want/need.
My only wish? Make the zoom button (+) zoom documents (especially PDF’s) to full screen, or if that violates the sacred green button’s UI rules then give me a different button to press that makes the window fill as much screen area, and then zooms the document to that size.
However Apple are treading a very fine line with this application though between functionality and bloat, now I am very pleased to say that in my opinion they are definitely on the right side of that line at the moment but let me take this opportunity to make a plea to Apple to please, please, please keep the scope of this application limited to what it currently does. Don’t fall into the trap of so many software vendors before you and think that more features equals more value. Fight the bloat! Preview is great just the way it is!