Turn of Preview's scaling when printing

13 March 2013, 10:00

Try to print something in Preview and it’ll always scale it to fit the page. This can be ridiculous sometimes if you’re trying to print a small resolution photo — you’ll end up with output that looks blocky and ugly.

You can deactivate scaling in the print dialog box — just click the Scale radio box, and type 100% — but this isn’t remembered each time Preview starts, so you must do it each time.

The solution is to quit Preview if it’s open, then open a Terminal window (you’ll find Terminal in the Utilities folder of the Applications list of Finder) and then type the following:

defaults write com.apple.Preview PVImagePrintingScaleMode -bool FALSE

From now on Preview’s Scale radio box will be automatically selected with a value of 100% automatically entered. Bear in mind that this can be a hindrance if printing a picture or PDF that’s larger than the page because you’ll end-up only printing part of it. However, you can always enter a smaller value into the scale percentage box to ensure it fits.

To revert back to default scaling settings at a later date, again quit Preview and open a Terminal window before typing the following:

defaults delete com.apple.Preview PVImagePrintingScaleMode

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