How to Use Preview to Convert Images in OS X

If you’re a blogger like me, there’ll be many times when you’ll need to convert an image from one format to another. One of the useful tools that most professionals use is Photoshop. The thing is, Photoshop is really expensive, and so are a number of other programs that can perform this function. If you are using Mac, you can easily use the built-in tool – Preview – to convert images. Here’s how.

Most of you might already know of and have used Preview before, but for those who don’t, Preview is Apple’s default utility for viewing images and PDF files on your Mac. One of the options it includes is the ability to export an image to a different file format.

To do this, simply open the image you want to convert in Preview, and follow the steps below:

1. Open up the File menu. From the drop-down menu, choose “Export.”

Convert-Images-Preview-Export-File-Menu

2. From the “Format” menu select the format you want to convert your image to.

Convert-Images-Preview-Export-menu-list

3. Enter a new name and location for the new file, and click on “Save”.

Convert-Images-Preview-Export-single-file

By default, the format window will only include options for JPEG, JPEG-2000, OpenEXR, PDF, PNG (default selection), and TIFF. However, by holding down the “Option” key, it will bring up a number of other formats including GIF, ICNS, Microsoft BMP, Microsoft ICON, Photoshop, SGI, and TGA.

If you want to convert a batch of images together, you won’t want to do it one by one. Instead, to batch convert all of the photos together, follow the steps below:

1. Select all the images you want to convert. To do this, either hold-down “Shift” or “Command” while selecting the photos.

2. Right-click the files and select “Open.” This will result in all the files being open in Preview.

Convert-Images-Preview-Open-files

3. Once Preview is open, you’ll note that all the images will be shown in a list next to the displayed image, similar to the screenshot below:

Convert-Images-Preview-Image-Lists

Click on the list to bring it into focus. Now press “Command + A” to select all items in the list. From here, choose the option to Export the images, and follow the instructions listed above.

Convert-Images-Preview-Export-Selected-Images

This easy method should help you easily convert images using Apple’s default utility. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to ask us in the comments below.