Has anyone else encountered this (below) odd scrolling behaviour in Preview or found a better fix or workaround?

I am using preview (version 9.0 909, 2016) from Sierra (mac OS 10.12) to view pdfs produced by pdflatex. For preview to stay on current page when the file is rewritten, I have kept my previous settings:

Preview→preferences→PDF→ [✓] Start on the last viewed page
Preview→preferences→PDF→ Opening for the first time: Show as Single page

With the current version the scrolling behaviour has changed. My document will not scroll in any of the standard ways. None of these work:

  • Pageup/pagedown on keyboard
  • two-finger scroll on trackpad while pointer is over document
  • one-finger scroll on magic mouse while pointer is over document
  • Preview→Go→Up

However the following do work:

  • two-finger scroll on trackpad while pointer is over menu bar or tool bar
  • one-finger scroll on magic mouse while pointer is over menu bar or tool bar
  • any of the above if document magnification is decreased or increased slightly (it opens in "⌘9 Zoom to fit" mode)
  • switching to continuous scroll mode

Speculation: Preview is stuck halfway in its "scrolling within page" mode, as a vertical scrollbar appears, and either scrolls a small amount without the view changing, or doesn't move. However, it can't scroll to the bottom and then progress to the next page like it normally would.

Preview's continuous scroll mode is my current workaround. This is tolerable, but I have Stockholm syndrome from previous versions of Preview, where a file change would reopen the document at page 1 in this mode, so Single page mode was my workaround for that.

3 Answers 3


What seems to be happening is that when we used to set Preview in "single page" as the default, a newly-opened document window was exactly the right size, and you could easily up/down arrow through the pages.

However, now it instead opens the document with the page ever-so-slightly too large for the window from side to side, so Preview switches into "Oh, you've zoomed in and you'd like to scroll around this ONE page", and so the arrow keys become the scrolling around that ONE page keys.

Except that since it's vertically the right size, up/down doesn't scroll. Left/right arrows will, though.

If you slightly enlarge your window (or shrink the page) to include some space all around, you'll see the up and down keys work without the option/alt key.

And this behavior is still screwed up as of 2017-05-29 (OS 10.12.5).


I share your frustration with this! I don't remember it happening before, but now in Sierra, choosing Zoom To Fit, makes it zoom to not-quite-fit-but-a-little-too-big - so you can't use the Page Up/Down keys without manually resizing it.

I used Keyboard Maestro, a macro program, to expand the window by just 5 pixels after doing Zoom to Fit, which is enough to make the Page Up/Down keys work properly, but this is a dumb error that they should fix.


After having a similar problem I think the answer is that you have turned on "Zoom" in system preferences>Keyboard>Shortcuts. This Zooms the whole screen rather than just the document. If you turn that off, preview will use the option/command/+or- to zoom in on the document alone. This will allow the arrows to be used to scroll rather than change the page.

Might be a little to late to help OP but in case anyone else is having this issue.

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