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How to Resize an Image in Preview on a Mac

How to Resize an Image in Preview on a Mac

Share pictures faster and better by making them smaller: find out below how to easily resize an image in Preview for free on a Mac using macOS.

First, Feeling Underpromoted?

Ask the measly pawn on the chess board. Instead of becoming a queen when it reached the boar’s foreign end, it was promoted—ahem—underpromoted to a mere knight!

This is no nightmare, though: if underpromotion happens in chess, then because it was the better choice. Just like undersizing an image can be the best choice—when you want to include it in an email signature, for instance.

How to Resize an Image in Preview on a Mac

To change the size of an image with the Preview application that comes with any Mac‘s macOS:

  1. Open the image in Preview.
    • Tip: To make sure the picture opens in Preview, click on the image with the right mouse button and select Open With | Preview from the context menu.
  2. Select Tools | Adjust Size… from the menu.
  3. Make sure Scale proportionally and Resample Image are checked.
    • These options ensure the image looks good at the reduced size and, to some degree, if you enlarge it, too.
  4. Now make sure pixels is selected under Width: and Height:.
  5. Enter the maximum width under Width: or the maximum height under Height:.
    • Note: The other dimension will change automatically. Watch it. If it exceeds your desired maximum, enter the maximum size under that dimension.
      Example: You want the image for your signature to be 100 pixels wide as a maximum and no more than 85 pixels high. The image is currently 900 x 1348 pixels. After entering “100” under Width:Height: has changed to 150. That is too large, so you enter “85” under Height:. The dimensions are now 57 x 85 pixels.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Press Command S to save the image.
    • Tips: After uploading or using your image, you can restore the original resolution easily in Preview by pressing Command Z or selecting Edit | Undo Size Change from the menu.
      As an alternative, hold down the Option key while the File menu is open to reveal and use the Save As… command, which will let you save the image’s current state under a new name without changing the original. The keyboard shortcut for Save As… is Command Shift Option S.

(How to resize an image in Preview on a Mac tested with macOS 10.13 High Sierra; updated December 2017; title image: StockUnlimited)

Heinz Tschabitscher

Has been writing about email, communication and technology in an engaging and informative manner since 1997. Find out more.