I would like to change the font size for PDF Text comments in Preview? I am aware that acrobat allows you to do this. I am looking for a solution in Preview (Version 8.1 (877.7))

This is a variation of this post, or that post which apply respectively to text font size or comments in MS Word.

Here I want to change the font in the comments of Preview.

Even if I copy a bigger text font inside it, it is made smaller once the note is closed. As this example shows, the comment font is too small for my eyes :-)

Mathematica graphics

This might be relevant? http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20070304081248710


When I type

defaults read com.apple.Preview | grep PVAnnotationFontSize_5

I get

   "PVAnnotationFontSize_5" = 9;

So I tried

defaults write com.apple.Preview PVAnnotationFontSize_5 12

But it doe not seem to do the trick (even after login out and in again).

It did change the value though as can be seen via the Property list editor

Mathematica graphics

found in ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Preview/Data/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Preview.plist as suggested by @ankiiiiiii

  • @ankiiiiiii this is unfortunate. I guess engineers/programmers at apple are all young with perfect eyesight ? :-) – chris Jul 20 '19 at 9:57
  • ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Preview/Data/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Preview.plist has some annotation properties but I can't find size. – ankii Jul 20 '19 at 10:27
  • 1
    How do you get to Notes for preview? or do you mean the Annotations you add on a page? – jmh Jul 20 '19 at 16:27

You have to use defaults write in a slightly differently way with Preview and other sandboxed apps.

Using defaults write com.apple.Preview ... modifies (or creates) a plist file in ~/Library/Preferences.

As pointed out, that's not where Preview saves (or looks for) its preference file, which is in a nested subfolder of ~/Library/Containers instead.

To modify the correct plist, use: defaults write -app Preview ...

You'll need to make sure you have the correct key, too. I have the following keys in my Preview plist:

"PVAnnotationFontSize_12" = 10;
"PVAnnotationFontSize_17" = 10;
"PVAnnotationFontSize_5" = "11.99199";
"PVAnnotationFontSize_6" = 10;

However, modifying those does not change the text size for either Annotations or Notes. Annotations seem to keep the last settings used. Notes don't seem to be editable in the UI.

Also, note that you don't need to use grep to read a specific plist key. E.g. defaults read com.apple.Preview PVAnnotationFontSize_5

EDIT: Having probed into the plist data and the text strings within the Preview app itself, I'm not convinced that there is an editable key for the font size or style in Preview's Notes.

  • Thank you for your help. Unfortunately it does not address my problem presently since I did not find which font to change. – chris Jul 20 '19 at 13:09
  • Hey! Can you add in the answer the full address of the file? As I said, I dont even see the PVA... keys in the file at the path I wrote. – ankii Jul 20 '19 at 13:44
  • The path is <user>/Library/Containers/com.apple.Preview/Data/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Preview.plist. Changing the file in a text editor won't work, as the preferences are cached. Changing any of those keys doesn't seem to affect the text for Annotations or Notes. Annotations seems to remember the last font settings used. Notes don't. – benwiggy Jul 20 '19 at 14:01
  • @benwiggy I have these! i.stack.imgur.com/Jf6vA.png – ankii Jul 20 '19 at 15:11

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