Preview's missing piece

by Giles Turnbull

What is Preview? is the first of a new kind of article that will be appearing at MacDevCenter in coming months. The "What is...?" series will be covering some of the basic nuts-and-bolts, helping newcomers understand their computers better.

While writing the piece about Preview, I discovered a very interesting thing. This app has a missing feature.

In my article, I explain how you can use Preview as a stripped-down image editor, in a manner very similar to iPhoto. There are many features common between the two apps.

And buried deep in Preview's help files, I found reference to a feature that apparently should exist, but doesn't.

The help files say that under the Tools menu, you should be able to rate your photos - give them a star rating of one to five, just as you can rate photos in iPhoto or songs in iTunes. Here's a screenshot of the help page:

Screenshot of Preview help pages

But look under the Tools menu, and the option isn't there.

Is this something that was included in Preview, then taken out? Something planned for a future version? Just a typing error?

As with the other editing functions in Preview, this feature (if it were live) would enable people to create their own image filing system using Spotlight comments, ratings, and the Finder. It provides a database-free method of sorting and managing photographs; an alternative to iPhoto.

I like the idea of rating images in Preview. I hope that this feature sees the light of day in a future update.

What else would you like to see in Preview?


2005-07-20 00:54:44
Have you tried...
opening the AppleScript dictionary in Script Editor? I don't have Tiger yet to try it out but it's possible that you'll be able to get and set the rating attribute using scripting commands. Then at least you could put your own rating script in the menu bar as a temporary measure.
2005-07-20 08:12:11
Another missing piece: Scaling & Saving
Here's another piece of the puzzle I'd like: the ability to scale a bitmap image to a new size, and save it. I notice that there is an automator action from Preview for scaling ... but I have never found any ability from the GUI of Preview....