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Preview has two distinct kinds of full screen mode:

  1. The normal full screen mode that most macOS applications have (View > Enter Full Screen)
  2. Preview's special slideshow mode (View > Slideshow)

In slideshow mode, whenever you move your mouse, slideshow controls will appear at the bottom of the screen. They look like this:

However, since I upgraded to macOS Monterey, these controls also appear when I open a PDF in ordinary full screen mode. This is really annoying when I try to read and looks like a bug to me, as it wasn't there before.

The problem only occurs after the mouse pointer has been hidden at least once, which automatically happens after a few seconds of not moving it.

Is there any way to disable the slideshow controls in normal full screen?


Edit: In the meantime, I also noticed that the slideshow mode (that isn't particularly useful for PDFs but nevertheless exists) is now totally messed up: When you start the slideshow and press any key, Preview will end the slideshow, as can be seen in the View menu: The View > Slideshow menu entry is selectable again!

I think this is related to the problem I asked about—the entire slideshow vs full screen logic is confused.

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  • To me it looks like someone at Apple at some point accidentally deleted an if statement in the code base. This behaviour didn't use to be there…
    – Deniz
    Commented Dec 8, 2021 at 2:21

1 Answer 1

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I resolved the problem by updating macOS Monterey from 12.0.1 to 12.1.

It's not clear whether this update specifically addresses the bug, or the act of updating merely reset some settings with the effect of incidentally also solving the problem. I couldn't find any information on it in the various release notes for this update (What's New, Security Content, Dev Release Notes).

Since this question has been raised multiple times and on multiple forums (e.g. Reddit: 1, 2; Apple Support Community: 1, 2), I'm adding some background:

Before the update

  • The problem only occurred in Single Page or Two Pages display of a PDF, but never in Continuous Scroll.
  • The mouse pointer would disappear in full screen after a few seconds of no use. Then, after moving the mouse, the mouse pointer would appear together with the (unwanted) slideshow controls.

After the update

  • Now the mouse pointer doesn't automatically disappear any more when not used.
  • It is interesting to note, however, that you can make the mouse pointer disappear manually by pressing any key, such as a letter or number, that is not a function key. If you then move the mouse again, the mouse pointer will reappear without triggering the slideshow controls. I'm guessing that this has already been a feature before the update.

From this, it seems most likely that Apple had accidentally enabled the entire "hide mouse when not used & show slideshow controls when mouse is moved again" behaviour in full screen.

Hopefully this bug is now fixed and won't re-emerge.

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