I have had this bug-bare for a while where preview always opens documents too small, I'm visually impaired and want them to default to open with two options

  1. Default width to nearly 100% of screen, last used would be perfect
  2. Default PDF display to "Single Page Continuous"
  3. Default the mouse tool to "Move"

No matter what I do it always opens in a window 1/3 of my screen size to what I assume is "100%".

1 Answer 1


Customize Preview (easy)

Have you looked under Preview preferences? You can set Initial Document Scale to 100% or larger if you want. You might need to adjust the option below that, defining size equal to screen or print sizes.

Use a better PDF viewer

If Preview.app can't do what you want, look into Skim.app

Skim has an option to open PDFs as Default, Maximized, or Fit. One of these ought to improve.

Customize Preview (complex)

If you want all three points requested above and want them in Preview.app, I would do the following:

  1. Turn on Universal Access so you can script applications via the GUI
  2. Make a new app in Automator that accepts PDFs. Replace Preview with this (open with this by default, put it in your dock so you can drag-and-drop onto it, etc.)
  3. The new app should simply take the input PDF and pass it to Preview, so it displays there
  4. The new app should then use Universal Access commands to
    1. Maximize the window
    2. Set to "Single Continuous Page"
    3. Select the mouse tool you want.
  • Thanks mankoff, great suggestions, for now I've set the "Use scale of" to 200%, this works okay, but it always starts on the left of my screen, I want it centre. I can't use "maximise" because I have tunnel vision and can't see maximised windows. I think I'll attempt the customise option to move the preview window. I like preview because it's fast and light weight.
    – Brett Ryan
    Mar 26, 2011 at 10:08
  • Hi, I know this has been pretty long time. But is there a way You can provide a more detailed procedure to do this? Thanks.
    – Sean
    Nov 3, 2014 at 5:14

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