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When looking at an image in a directory with the Preview application, I'm used to the Windows behaviour of using the / keys to move through all the other viewable images in that directory.

Preview.app doesn't do this - I first have to select all the images and then open Preview.app. This is a little annoying.

Is there something I can turn on or install to get this behaviour?

Also, how do I open an image in a new instance of Preview.app, say for comparison purposes?

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Welcome to AskDifferent! When you have several questions you should split them up. –  gentmatt Jan 22 '12 at 14:35
    
I couldn't agree more about wanting a way to flip through images. I use this all the time. I ended up using Sequential. Previewing the picture doesn't navigate as cleanly for presentations. –  Simple As Could Be Dec 12 '12 at 14:38
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4 Answers

If you are just skimming the pictures do this:

Instead of opening a picture in Preview.app by double-clicking it, just press space to preview the picture when selected in Finder.

This way you can still use the arrow keys to navigate between the pictures.

  • and in list view
  • ,, and in icon view

You can still open the picture in Preview.app when needed (top right corner).

enter image description here

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Using preview shows both images and non-image content, making it impractical for presentations. –  Simple As Could Be Dec 12 '12 at 14:38
    
@SimpleAsCouldBe Which I actually a nice feature, don't you think? Without having to open all the appropriate applications you can view documents, spreadsheets, videos and images. If you require a more complex selection you can still search in Finder for pictures only using search rules: example. –  gentmatt Dec 13 '12 at 12:58
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Preview can be used for much more than just a quick glance at an image file when you get out of the habit using it like on a windows machine. To open up the power of Preview I keep it on the dock so it is handy all the time (doesn't have to be open and running). Select the group of files you want to see or just drag the whole folder to the dock and drop on Preview. Check in Previews presences under the General tab and check the "Open groups of files in same window" is checked. Preview will open with all the images in a side bar and some buttons will appear on the bottom right in OSX before Lion. On Lion there wil be buttons at the top by the Search box. Before Lion one of these buttons is "Contact Sheet" when you click on it a Slider will appear and you can adjust the size of the thumbnails. In Lion one is called thumbnails and you can drag the diveder bar to change the size. By dropping multiple files on Preview you can now do Batch operations too, like Adjust the size or flip and rotate. You can easily Crop images and do Color Adjusts in Preview as well. Preview does more than these things too if you will spend a little time learning about it too.

To open an image in a new window after you have done the above just right click on the image in the side bar and choose "Open in a new window".

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I recommend using Xee instead of Preview, and that will allow you to jump from photo to photo in a directory after only opening one. If you wish to change Xee to the default photo viewer, just right click on the file with the type that you want to change the default for, choose "Get Info", and select "Xee" under open with. Then, press "Change All..."

To answer your second question, you can open a new instance of Preview by opening one image, then double-clicking and opening the second image. Preview automatically realizes that you want a new instance (that is, of course, if Preview is your default application for that file type).

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You could also try Sequential. The last update was in 2010, but it's still less buggy than Preview.

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I have used Sequential for a year as a way to present folders of wireframes/screenshots. Works great. –  Simple As Could Be Dec 12 '12 at 14:39
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