Working with Other Digital Image Tools

Creating, viewing, and editing digital images is a rich topic and is one that can't be covered fully in this chapter or even this book. However, in the following sections, you will get a quick overview of some other image tasks you can do.

Viewing and Editing Digital Images

You can preview most digital images using Mac OS X's Preview application. Although you can't make many changes in the images you preview, you can get a quick view of images in various formats. Using Preview is simple.


Preview might or might not be the default application for viewing image files. If not, you can open any specific image file by first opening the application and using the Open command or by setting Preview to the application associated with a specific image file.

To learn how to associate files with an application, see "Determining the Application That Opens When You Open a Document," p. 142.

When you open an image in Preview, the image will fill the screen by default. You can control the magnification of the image using the Preview's Display menu (see Figure 15.20). You can also rotate the image if you need to.

Figure 15.20. The Preview application is named appropriately?you can use it to preview an image.


One of the nice things that Preview does for you is to enable you to convert an image from one format to another. You can do this using the Export command on the File menu. In Export sheet, you can choose the file format and the options for the format you choose.

For information on common image file formats, see "Mac OS X to the Max: Image File Formats," p. 455.

Many applications enable you to edit your images on the Mac. The king of all of these is Adobe Photoshop. With Photoshop, you can do anything with an image that you can imagine, from cleaning up some red-eye to airbrushing over unwanted parts of an image to creating new parts of an image. If you are serious about editing images, Photoshop is a must-have. To get more information about Photoshop, visit Adobe's Web site at


If Photoshop is more than you need or want, consider Photoshop Elements, which is a scaled-down version of Photoshop intended for consumers.

Storing, Organizing, and Distributing Digital Images

As you work with images, you will no doubt end up with numerous images. Depending on how many versions of each image you keep and the file format you use, digital images can take up plenty of storage space, and when you get more than a dozen or so, it can be hard to find specific images.

iPhoto enables you to store, organize, and manage all of your images. You should import all the images you need to work with into your iPhoto Photo Library to make them accessible to you.

However, if you don't use iPhoto or you want to keep some of your images outside of iPhoto, consider adding an image cataloging application to your imaging toolkit. These applications enable you to create image libraries so that you can locate images by their thumbnail previews, keyword searches, and other means.


If you purchased a digital camera or scanner, check the software that came with it. Many of these include an image cataloging application.

Unless you have plenty of hard drive space, you will probably need to store your images on a removable disk of some sort. An excellent choice is a CD-R or DVD-R. You can create image catalogs so that aliases to the image files you store on CD are in the catalog. When you access such a file, you will be prompted to insert the disc on which it is stored. This enables you to manage all your images from one location, even if the image files themselves are stored in many different places.

There are also many options for distributing your digital images including hard copy, e-mail, the Web, on CD, on DVD, on VHS, and so on.

    Part I: Mac OS X: Exploring the Core
    Part III: Mac OS X: Living the Digital Lifestyle