In Mountain Lion's Preview.app the toolbar was changed quite drastically.

While I can see why they did it, I found that it misses the Hand tool that one can use to move enlarged documents around with the mouse.

How to get it back?

  • 3
    Also, gone are all the shortcuts to choose between the hand, rectangle select and text select tools. Instead, Preview.app now tries to be clever and select the "right" tool for you, depending on the file type (images have the rectangle selection Tool activated, while text and PDF have the text selection tool). However, if I open a PDF, to select a rectangle (for example, to crop an area) I need to use the mouse to get to the required tool, which is very inconvenient. Commented Aug 6, 2012 at 20:36

4 Answers 4


Use the move tool by pressing ⌥ Option+Space. The cursor changes to the hand that allows you to scroll the content in all directions.

  • 6
    I'm using this shortcut for Albert... :( Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 14:39
  • 13
    If you're using a mouse with a mouse-wheel, you can roll the wheel for vertical scrolling and hold down shift to change it to horizontal scrolling. I like the Opt-Space better, though. What I want to know is how to zoom in/out without using Cmd-+/-. If your hand is on the mouse those buttons are too far apart for single-handed operation.
    – Mayyit
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 22:47
  • 13
    This only works while I hold Option+Space. Very strange interface. Is there a way to permanently toggle to the hand?
    – Timmmm
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 17:17
  • 6
    -1 Apple - why has this changed? If you're deliberately trying to make the Mac harder to use why not change other useful shortcuts like Cmd C and Cmd V.
    – Snowcrash
    Commented Jan 14, 2019 at 11:14
  • 5
    Every time I have to google to find out how to do something simple on Mac OS, it always makes me wonder: WHY??????
    – doraemon
    Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 3:46

Here is the trick I use for large images. I select random rectangle than grab it and move selection to where I want my view span to be. Just like old hand mode. Works for me.

  • 3
    Interesting workaround, but its not the same. Its more like joystick movement, not direct control of the content. Commented Aug 14, 2012 at 17:51
  • Still, if you want to get it done without using your other hand, which means you neither want to hold opt+shift, nor hold shift to scroll left and right, this is a great solution!
    – jerclarke
    Commented Jul 1, 2022 at 17:02

When opening PDFs in Safari (in embedded mode), the hand tool is still available.

You could install Acrobat Reader and use this (instead of Preview) for PDF documents.

  • I don't see it there either. dl.dropbox.com/u/1041539/… Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 17:00
  • You are right. For whatever reason my Safari opens PDF documents in an embedded Acrobat Reader.
    – nohillside
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 17:05
  • I had that plugin installed a while, I don't like it. Also it doesn't really solve the issue. Commented Aug 14, 2012 at 17:49

You really can’t get it back…

Apple is emphasising the use of gestures for navigation a lot. Them removing the Pan tool is a step in that direction. I miss it too. You can pan around by moving two fingers on your trackpad or mouse.

  • 4
    Hmm, people without a Magic Mouse will love that...
    – nohillside
    Commented Aug 4, 2012 at 10:14
  • 4
    You can also pan by scrolling, and scroll horizontally by holding shift.
    – Lri
    Commented Aug 4, 2012 at 18:09
  • 2
    @Lri: While this works, its very inconvenient. Commented Aug 6, 2012 at 20:32
  • 1
    Obligatory reference to leaving Apple feedback about another change for the worse.
    – da4
    Commented Aug 9, 2012 at 17:18
  • 2
    see @user70427's answer: you can get it back, hold down option + space
    – Josh
    Commented Sep 12, 2015 at 16:25

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