I want to have Preview default to Thumbnail view in the Sidebar. There is a Preference option to display the Sidebar or not. But, there is no option to choose which Sidebar option an individual might want as their default.

Is there a way to do this?

MAC OS x 10.10.2 Yosemite -Dennis


If I go to Preview's PREFERENCES..., choose the PDF icon at the top of the preferences and in the "Opening for the first time:", check "☑ Always show sidebar". With this option selected, the thumbnails show up on when I open a PDF in Preview. My MacBook is running OS X 10.10.5 Yosemite.

I've also selected "single Page" from the "Show as" drop-down to make it easy to know exactly which page I'm viewing.


In Sierra Version 10.12.5 I had success with the following. Once done, all pdf files open in Preview Version 9.0 (909.18) by default with the thumbnails already open.

  1. Download a PDF file to your Mac Desktop.
  2. Get Info on the (File menu > Get Info. | Command-I)
  3. Click on the disclosure triangle next to Open with:
  4. Select Preview.app:
  5. Then "Change All" to "use this application to open all documents like this one".

Apple has once again unnecessarily removed a setting from the user interface in El Capitan.

In El Capitan, open Terminal, and type the following command:

defaults write com.apple.Preview PVPDFSuppressSidebarOnOpening -bool false

Thanks to the following discussion for the name of this setting: Q: How to have sidebar with thumbnails by default in Preview app ? Whenever I open a PDF, there is no sidebar.

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