It seems to me that the macOS Preview app's purpose is to edit existing images. I'm wondering if it's possible to create new images from scratch. For example, I would like to create an illustration with some paintbrushes. Instinctively I'm looking for File -> New Image, but it doesn't seem to exist in Preview. Please advise.

  • 1
    I would have a plain white jpg of a reasonable size handy that you can open and then save as... Also Preview is not designed as a paint app. It started life as a quick way to "preview" (ahem....) graphics files and has evolved into a simple touch-up, graphic manipulation app. So no you can't create a new graphic in Preview, as for it's suitability as a painting tool, well you get what you pay for. Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 22:18
  • Since this isn't possible in Preview, do you want recommendations of (free) software that can do this?
    – airsquared
    Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 4:53
  • @abc that would be great. I'm looking for something free and simple. GIMP was a pain to use. Thanks!
    – Dmitry
    Commented Oct 21, 2018 at 0:10

1 Answer 1


No it isn't possible to create new images with Preview, as it is just meant for doing basic edits on images.(see @SteveChambers' comment)

If you really want to use Preview and not another app, just find a white image of the size you want and open it in Preview to edit and draw on it.

Otherwise, you can use 3rd party software:

  • GIMP, a free and open-source image editor with many capabilities, including creating and drawing images(fun fact: the very first Google logo was created in this program)

  • Keynote, made by Apple as a presentation app, but can also be used for simple drawings

  • Pixelmator (paid), a user-friendly image editor with many drawing/painting capabilities

  • Acorn (paid), a user-friendly image editor with many drawing/painting capabilities

  • Please include Photoshop here. It is probably the most relevant. And it is possible, but pointless. I will add a pointless answer. Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 18:32
  • @JBis I only wanted to include lower priced software since OP is only doing basic drawing, and even then GIMP and Affinity Photo together as good as, if not better, than Photoshop.
    – airsquared
    Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 22:08

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