This question is about the Preview app. I use that a lot to read stuff (PDF files, etc.
Each time it opens, it forgets the last Window state.
On a Retina Mac, it is ideal to have it opened at "Two pages" view (Command-3) in "almost fullscreen" mode: the window as large and wide as possible but keeping the menu, toolbar and dock visible (this is almost distraction free).

The way I do it now is tedious, especially as I have to repeat these steps for every document:

  1. open a document
  2. press Command-3
  3. drag the top-left corner of the Preview window to the left of the screen against the menu bar on the top.
  4. drag the bottom-right corner of the Preview window to the right of the screen against the dock on the bottom.

I'm a software developer. I hate repetitive steps.

How can I either:

  • force Preview to open this way?
  • if Preview can't: by keyboard force Preview to be "almost full screen" with "Two pages" view?
  • bonus: make this work for other applications (like Chrome or FireFox) as well.


More than a year ago, I switched my host machine from Windows to Mac. Most things work great (some like battery life and speed of sleep/wake should be far more advertised), but there are still a few things that I miss dearly. Most of those have to do with me having had RSI in the early 90's because of mouse and touchpad usage, so I'm very keyboard oriented.

1 Answer 1


To make Preview open PDFs in the "Two Pages" mode, go to Preferences --> PDF, then select the desired mode in the "Show as" menu.

There is no shortcut to go to "Almost Fullscreen Mode" by default, but you can create one:

  • Go to System Preferences --> Keyboard --> Shortcuts;
  • Click "App Shortcuts";
  • Click the "+" button to add a new shortcut;
  • You'll be asked for the menu title you want to link to a shortcut. For the command you want, it is "Zoom";
  • You will also be able to specify whether you want the shortcut to be available in all application or a specific application only.

EDIT: Here's an AppleScript solution to set the first window of Preview (the frontmost opened document of Preview) to the size of the screen (works only with one display connected):

tell application "Preview"
    tell application "Finder" to set screen_resolution to bounds of window of desktop
    set bounds of window 1 to screen_resolution
end tell
  • 2
    Zoom is not the command I want: for PDF it maximizes just large enough to fit the content (if the content is small, it won't get wide enough to cover the screen width (I've not found PDF documents that have a low height, so could not check that yet). For PNG and PPT that works though, so maybe it is just a Preview thing. Thanks for the preferences option: somehow I missed that. Oct 17, 2013 at 11:29
  • 2
    Will you be willing to create an AppleScript to resize your window to the wanted size? Here's the main idea of the script, I can enhance it a little bit and put it in my answer if you want. tell application "Preview" to set bounds of window 1 to {10, 10, 10, 10}
    – Frizlab
    Oct 17, 2013 at 13:04
  • 1
    You would then be able to create an AppleScript application (just save in AppleScript Editor with format "Application") and launch the application whenever you need to make a Preview window "Almost Fullscreen". Not an ideal solution, but still faster and more precise than doing it by hand.
    – Frizlab
    Oct 17, 2013 at 13:08
  • Please do, it will teach me some AppleScript (I don't have any experience with that, and I'm always eager to learn new things). Oct 17, 2013 at 13:11
  • 1
    Here you go :) However I don't recommend you go deep into learning AppleScript. It might come in handy in some rare situation, but is not easy to understand nor use.
    – Frizlab
    Oct 17, 2013 at 14:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .