Reading documents in Preview

In the Preview app on the Mac — which is great for reading pdf’s — there are a couple of good ways to read documents when a full page does not fit comfortably on the screen.
One way is to use View>PDF Display>Single Page Continuous
Here’s the other way, which I prefer. It uses a nice feature in Preview that lets you Crop a page to get rid of all of the extra white space surrounding the page. This just changes the view, and doesn’t modify the actual page.

  • Click on a page in the sidebar, then Select All (cmd-A).
  • Choose ‘Select’ in the toolbar.  Drag out just the text region of the current page, without the extraneous white space. Click Inspector (cmd-I) (You can also put it in the toolbar). In the next-to-last tab of the Inspector, click Crop.
  • View>Hide Toolbar (this menu item is not available if the Inspector window is frontmost)
  • View>PDF Display>Crop Box
  • View>PDF Display>Single Page
  • Hide the Finder’s Dock, and Drag the window so it’s as tall as possible and very wide (so as not to constrain the next step)
  • View>Zoom to Fit.  If there isn’t plenty of extra gray space remaining on the sides, you didn’t start with the window wide enough. You can now make the window narrower.

The downArrow key will now go to the next page.
Assuming the font is still too small to read comfortably, Zoom In (cmd-+) once or twice. Drag the window so it is wide enough for this zoomed view.
Now, as you read, use (fn-upArrow and fn-downArrow) to jump to the top and bottom of the current page. And if you are currently at the bottom of a page, fn-downArrow will take you to the top of the next page, which is ideal. (I think the PageUp and PageDown keys do the same thing)

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