Quick Fixes to Preview Not Working on Mac (2022)

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2022-05-26 18:04:16 • Filed to: Mac Software Comparison • Proven solutions

"Why is preview not opening on Mac?"
"How do I get preview to work on my Mac?"
Most Mac users are like to use Preview to read their PDF files. But have you encountered the same issue on Preview not working on Mac after you upgrade to macOS 11? Here is your solution.

Best Alternative to Solve Preview not Working on Mac

If you want to continue use Preview, you can try this solution: Copy the PDF after you open the first PDF, and then drag the copy PDF into the other PDFs. But, if you want to open PDF easily and in one window with different tabs, PDFelement for Mac is the application that helps you forget all the pains that you went through with Preview.

It is a full package that can meet the trickiest expectations of every user. You can enjoy the inline text editing features, without causing any unwanted changes to the document. It also helps you annotate PDF files and protect PDF with passwords and permissions.

In terms of conversion, PDFelement truly makes a splash. It supports PDF to Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Text, HTML, EPUB, RTF, and images like JPEG, JPG, TIFF, PNG and etc. With its annotations tools, you can highlight parts or parts of the text, create different shapes to make your document more illustrative.

Tips: Top 3 Solutions to Preview Not Working on Mac

We all have every now and then come across one or two bugs and issues at work, behind our computer desks, or while working with handheld devices. Preview, the default digital formats, and PDF viewing program on Mac, despite its undeniable practicality and comprehensiveness, is not an exception at all. In this paper, we are going to present to you the 3 most common issues related to Preview not working on Mac the way it's supposed to and discuss the common fixes and introduce one major solution (a perfect equivalent for Preview on macOS - PDFelement. So, if you are ready, let's get started.

Problem 1: Inline Text Editing Issue

Preview sometimes lets us down in applying changes to the text of a PDF. For instance, issues might occur when you want to simply replace a word in a PDF with another word without changing anything else. Preview is most likely disappointing in that respect. I mean even if the PDF is slightly editable in other applications like Adobe Reader, Preview messes up your time and the result is most of the time not satisfactory at all.

preview not working on mac


Unfortunately, there is nothing much you can do about it inside the Preview itself. Our recommendation to fix this issue is to use another application. An easy-to-learn application like PDFelement. Just import the PDF you are having an issue with and apply your desired changes and save it as a new PDF. Then open the new PDF with Preview.

Problem 2: Preview Crashes

Crashes suck! Sometimes you spend all day reading and annotating PDFs making educational flashcards you can use later for future reference. Preview is highly likely to crash while you are in the middle of reading or have opened a PDF with too many pages trying to annotate a particular page. It has happened to me a lot and it's so gross. This issue is reported commonly by both Yosemite and El Capitan users.

preview on mac not working


  • Clear the font's cache. Some users have reported that this can make the issue go away, at least temporarily. To do so, go to the Library/Caches/ATS folder and find and delete the font cache folder. For example, if you are the first user-defined on your Mac, the folder is named 501. If you are the second user, the folder is named 502.
  • Update your Preview to the latest version using the App Store. Mac developers may have been listening to the growing voice of protest against the malfunctions of Preview.
  • Restart your computer, but remember if you have to do this repeatedly, seriously consider contacting the support team. There might be something critically wrong with your computer.

Problem 3: Preview Can't Select the Text

If you open a scanned PDF document with Preview and decide to annotate it, you notice that the select text tool or the highlight text tool won't work, for instance. You can't apply changes to certain parts of the text or you may end up highlighting the whole page instead!

mac preview not working


Our suggestion is to use an inexpensive OCR application. Preview does not support editing scanned PDF documents. Free download to try the best Preview alternative here:

Free Download or Buy PDFelement right now!

Free Download or Buy PDFelement right now!

Buy PDFelement right now!

Buy PDFelement right now!

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Audrey Goodwin

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