I would like to add a title above or below a photo that is open in Preview. I know how to annotate the photo that writes over the photo. I want to add a new blank area where I can put the annotation.

  • 1
    If you only need to do this a few times and don't plan on editing the text in the future, you can use the good ideas suggested below, but if you have any intention of doing more complex stuff or making changes in the future, I'd suggest just using an image editor from the get go, like Sketch or Photoshop or any of the other ones out there, free or otherwise. – Joshua Pinter Jul 25 '16 at 20:28

A simplified method that works just as well:

  1. Open your picture in Preview.
  2. ⌘ command + A and then ⌘ command + C to copy it to the clipboard.
  3. Go to Tools > Adjust Size... and enlarge the image to the overall size you want for the canvas. (I would make it bigger than you need as it is easy to crop at the end.)
  4. ⌘ command + A and then delete to remove the enlarged image
  5. ⌘ command + V to paste back the original, smaller image onto the enlarged canvas.
  6. Choose Convert when asked to "Convert this document to PNG" (as you can always convert back to JPG later).
  • delete is not working for me on Sierra – Mathijs Segers Oct 26 '16 at 14:08
  • @MathijsSegers it works fine for me on Sierra, did you press Command+A before pressing delete? – Brick Jan 9 '17 at 13:28
  • I did, but I don't have a mac anymore can't check. – Mathijs Segers Jan 9 '17 at 17:19
  • 6
    When copying the original to the large canvas, it may appear that the original gets cut-off on the sides. If so, simply drag the copied image so that it fits inside the new dimensions. – Pedro Cattori Feb 9 '17 at 18:00
  • 4
    Is there a way to ensure that the pasted image is exactly in the middle? – Hippo Feb 26 '18 at 19:41

Here's the hack I did, maybe it will help other people:

  1. Get the size in pixels of what you want the canvas to be
  2. Generate an image of that size here: https://placehold.it/{W}x{H} (e.g. https://placehold.it/350x1136)
  3. Copy the image (Control click, copy image)
  4. Open Preview, press ⌘ command + N or File > New From Clipboard
  5. In the new image, select all ( ⌘ command + A) then hit delete
  6. Copy your original image(s) into your new canvas, reposition as needed

It's a hack, but it works. If you need anything more precise, then you'll probably need a proper photo editor.


The above methods didn't work for me - once saved the image would revert back to the old dimensions. Adding an extra step made it work.

  1. Open in preview
  2. Copy the image
  3. Resize the image to desired size using Tools > Adjust Size
  4. Paste back in the original image (and position it as necessary)
  5. Add two lines in preview that span the entire image
  6. Set the colour of the lines to fully transparent

The final image has the desired dimensions with blank space around it.


As far as I can tell you can't do this in preview.

Searching in the Mac App Store for image editor returns quite a few apps that should let you do this.

I've done this with both Acorn and Pixelmator, but they both cost. I haven't tried any of the free apps that show up.


That means adjusting a bitmap canvas, which is really a full fledged photo editor kind of job, I highly recommend pixelmator.

Though if you don't care about image quality, one could have the text you care about in a window just above or below the picture and take a screenshot of the picture+words.

You must log in to answer this question.

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