Monday, September 03, 2012

The Preview Confusion. (Applespeak)


Apple is famous for using plain English, straightforward language in its manuals and simple names for tools and applications.

However, this same love for simple elegance occasionally leads to confusion.

One example is Preview.

Preview means what it says – view before you use it. View a document before you print or send it, view an application package to see what it is, view an enlarged icon of a file with information about it. Preview is capitalised in windows where it is shown.

But on the same Mac you have an application called Preview. From one version of Mac OS to another it has become an increasingly powerful an versatile programme that opens - and creates - PDFs, opens graphic files and allows photo editing and image manipulation, including cropping, cutting and applying Alpha (transparent background).

In Preview, you can change a PDF to JPEG or PNG. Graphic file formats can be changed from JPEG to PNG and vice versa.

When in print dialogue, click on Preview to check the proof of a document and then save it to whatever file format you need via Preview's own menu.

Because of its self-deprecating name some Mac users still don't realise the full power of Preview.

I don't know if this confusion can be avoided, but I just wanted to point out this quirk of Applespeak. Explore Preview and use it more. 

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