Barkings! | The SmallDog Apple Blog

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Preview is one of the great, bundled applications built into Mac OS X. It’s an application I use daily. On most Macs, Preview is the default image and PDF viewer. Preview gives Mac OS X the ability to open a wide variety of image files straight out of the box (listed below), and it also offers basic image correction tools, cropping and rotation tools and annotation tools for PDF and TIFF documents.

However, I mainly use it to convert graphic files from one format to another. Typically I am converting a PDF to a JPEG or PNG file, but sometimes I also use it to convert a graphic file to a PDF for easy sharing with other people. You can also use Preview to convert images to the Photoshop file format, as well as to JPEG, PICT, BMP (for sharing files with PC users), PICT, Targa (for video), and more.

To do this, open the file in Preview, go under the File menu, and choose Save As…, where you can export your graphic in your chosen format. If the format you’re saving in has options (such as quality and compression settings for JPEG and TIFF images), they will appear near the bottom of the dialog.

Preview employs Apple’s implementation of Adobe’s PDF specification, and makes significant use of Apple’s Cocoa graphical user interface, Quartz graphics layer, and QuickTime image codec. Preview can open popular file types such as PDF, PNG, GIF, PICT, EPS, JPEG 2000, JPEG, RAW, TIF and TIFF, and BMP (Windows Bitmap files), along with less common file types such as DNG (Digital Negative files), FAX (faxes), FPX (FlashPix files), HDR (High Dynamic Range Image files), ICNS (Apple Icon Image files) ICO (Windows icon files), OpenEXR (OpenEXR files), PS (Adobe PostScript files, after an automatic conversion to PDF), PSD (Adobe Photoshop files), PNTG (MacPaint Bitmap Graphic files) QTIF (QuickTime image files), RAD (Radience Scene Description files), SGI (Silicon Graphics Image files), TGA (TARGA image files), XBM (X BitMap files),

Learn more about Preview by clicking here


Apple has released an update to Leopard, bringing us to OS 10.5.3. All users running Mac OS X Leopard are recommended to install the upgrade, as it includes system fixes that enhance the “stability, compatibility and security” of your Mac.

The latest update to Leopard should appear in your Mac OS X Software Update.

For detailed information on the update, including what it addresses and different ways to download and install it, go to

Macrumors notes that highlights include:

  • Additional RAW image support for several cameras
  • Addresses an issue with stuttering video and audio playback in certain USB devices
  • Improves 802.1X (Wifi) behavior and reliability and when using Time Machine
  • Includes fixes for Time Machine compatibility with Time Capsule

    Over at Daring Fireball Jon Gruber writes “At 420 MB for the standard update and 536 MB for the Combo update, I think this might be the largest single update ever. Word on the street is that the reason for the delay is related to the fact that today’s new beta 6 release of the iPhone SDK depends on 10.5.3.”


Rarely does a day pass when there isn’t at least one customer inquiring about iPod repair. Apple does not allow third parties to repair iPods under warranty, but once an iPod is out of warranty, it’s fair game. Additionally, if an iPod is damaged as the result of a fall or other impact that cracks the screen, Apple does not provide warranty coverage.

That’s why I did some extensive research and came up with a plan for Small Dog to offer a flat-rate iPod repair service. No matter the model of your iPod, we can fix it for $129.99. This price includes all parts and labor required to bring your iPod back to tip-top condition and EVERY iPod that comes through receives a new battery–a $50 value! While it may not be the best option for owners of older iPods, owners of any iPod with video or any iPod touch will find this an excellent value. Rest assured that the same attention to detail is taken with each iPod that is taken with each machine passing through our service department.

Say your iPod touch fell out of your pocket and slammed against the sidewalk, resulting in a cracked screen. We can install a new touch screen, throw in a brand new battery, and get it back to you within five business days. The work is guaranteed for six months.

If this is something you’d like to try out, stop in either of our stores and head to the Service counter to make the arrangements. Or, if you’re one of our many faraway friends, call up our technical support line to make arrangements at 800-511-MACS.


At least a couple times a month, I hear people ask how to take a screenshot of their Mac’s desktop (Geoff…). The ability to easily take desktop screenshots is an “occasionally essential” feature of Mac OS X. Here are four easy, built-in ways to take screenshots on your Mac:

  • To take a screenshot of your Mac’s entire desktop, hold down Command-Shift-3 all at the same time. This records the entire desktop at full resolution. In Leopard and Tiger, the selection will be saved to your desktop as a PNG file. Panther saves the image as a PDF.
  • To capture only a part of your desktop, hold down Command-Shift-4. The cursor will turn into a trigger. Drag the trigger across the part of the screen you want to record and then release the mouse. If your Mac’s sound is on, you will hear a snapshot sound. In Leopard and Tiger, the selection will be saved to your desktop as a PNG file. Panther saves the image as a PDF.
  • To take a screenshot of an individual application window (say an individual Safari window, or a single email, or single Preview image), hold down Command-Shift-4-spacebar. A camera icon will suddenly appear. You can rotate through application windows with this camera, until you land on the application window you wish to record. In Leopard, the selection will be saved to your desktop as a PNG file. In Leopard and Tiger, the selection will be saved to your desktop as a PNG file. Panther saves the image as a PDF.

All this screenshot fun is powered by the “Grab” application which is stored in your Mac’s Utilities folder. Additionally, it does something particularly cool: it allows you to take a timed screenshot.

  • To take a timed screenshot, browse to your Applications folder, then browse to the Utilities folder contained within. Open the Grab application, then click “Capture” in the menu bar. At the bottom of the list is the option for “Timed Screen.” The Timed Screen grab gives you a 10 second count-down to taking a screenshot.

Once a screenshot is saved to your desktop, you can open the PNG file in Preview or any image editing application to shrink its size or perform other edits as needed. You can also drag the screenshot into an email, document, or IM to send to someone else.

Extra credit: Instead of saving files to your desktop, you can save a screenshot to your Mac’s clipboard, to be pasted into an application such as Photoshop, Word, or an email. To do this:

  • Hold down Command-Control-Shift-3 to take a screenshot of the screen and save it to the clipboard.
  • Hold down Command-Control-Shift-4, then select an area, to take a screenshot of that area and save it to the clipboard.
  • Hold down Command-Control-Shift-4, then space, then click a window to take a screenshot of a specific window and save it to the clipboard
  • Extra-extra credit: Take screenshots within Preview! To do this, launch Preview, then navigate to File > Grab, where all the screenshot options above are also available by using the Grab submenu in the File menu.


Mac|Life Magazine is now offering an even better discounted subscription rate to Small Dog Electronics customers. We currently offer copies of Mac|Life at both of our retail stores, and it’s very popular with both customers and Small Dog Electronics employees.

Save 72% by subscribing here.

As I wrote last week, “Mac|Life Magazine is extremely well-produced. It’s packed with useful reviews, tutorials, Mac tips, and Mac news. Every issue also features fun and informative Mac-related projects. I find Mac|Life particularly entertaining and easy to read. You can get a feel for the magazine on their website,

If you are local, stop into either of our retail stores to check out Mac|Life in person.


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