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Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Apple Preview

Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google’s parent), Amazon and Facebook dominate the tech landscape. Their dominance is so broad they account for more than 20% of the S&P 500.

There are many things to admire about Apple’s hardware and software. Apple make great looking (albeit expensive) hardware. Over the years key successes include the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and the MacBook Air. The company designs its own hardware and software. This gives them the power to make an operating system and suite of apps that are tailor-made and optimized for their hardware. Apple also operates the Apple Music and Apple TV media distribution platforms.

Mac OS X is Apple’s proprietary operating system for its line of Macintosh computers. Its interface, known as Aqua, is highly polished and built on top of a BSD derivative (Darwin). There’s a whole raft of proprietary applications that are developed by Apple for their operating software. This software is not available for Linux and there’s no prospect of that position changing.

Apple Preview Apple Preview is more than just an image viewer. The software provides a full set of markup tools. These include tools for adding text and shapes, redacting content, making freehand drawings, inserting sticky notes, and capturing your signature. It’s also a full-featured PDF editor.

Apple Preview is proprietary software that’s not available for Linux. We recommend the best free and open source alternatives.


1. Okular

Okular is fast and packed with features. This software lets you read PDF documents, comics and EPub books, browse images, visualize Markdown documents, and much more. Okular has a wide range of features that lets you easily manage your documents. These include annotating PDFs, select and view text, thumbnails panel, and signature support.

Okular


2. LibreOffice Draw

LibreOffice is an open source software office suite developed by The Document Foundation that is compatible with other major office suites and available on a variety of platforms. It is a feature-packed and mature desktop productivity package.

One of the constituent application of the LibreOffice suite is LibreOffice Draw. This is a vector graphics editor and diagramming tool. It can also carry out operations on raster graphics (pixels) such as photographs. With Draw, users can create a wide variety of graphical images. The software can also edit PDF files although its features are basic.

LibreOffice Draw
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3. PDFsam Basic

PDFsam Basic (also known as PDF Split and Merge) is a free and open-source cross-platform desktop application to split, merge, extract pages, rotate and mix PDF documents.

PDFsam-Basic
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4. PDF Mix Tool

PDF Mix Tool is a small utility that allows you to perform common editing operations on PDF files. It’s a Qt-based tool that’s written in C++.

PDF Mix Tool
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5. feh

feh is an open source mode-based image viewer and cataloger. It is especially aimed at command line users who need a fast image viewer without huge graphical user interface dependencies, though it can also be started by (graphical) file managers to view an image.

Linux for Starters - feh
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6. Regards

Regards is very different to your standard image viewer affair. The software offers much more than the typical program in this field.

There’s so much to like about Regards. Besides the huge support for a wide range of image formats, there’s excellent support for video files. The ability to treat videos like images is intriguing. We really like the OpenGL and OpenCL support which offers sublime performance when exploring a huge catalogue of images and files.

Regards - Face Mode
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All articles in this series:

Alternatives to Apple's Products
Apple BonjourBonjour is an implementation of zero-configuration networking; technologies that includes service discovery, address assignment, and hostname resolution.
Apple Boot CampBoot Camp is a utility that comes with a Mac which lets users switch between macOS and Windows. The utility also guides users through non-destructive disk partitioning.
Apple CalendarCalendar is a personal calendar app supporting multiple accounts, colour code work, family and personal events, event support, as well as calendar invitations.
Apple ChessChess is a traditional chess game played on a well rendered board with a set of realistic 3-D pieces. It's actually a Unix-based chess program, Sjeng.
Apple CompressorCompressor is a video and audio media compression and encoding application with support for common formats.
Apple DictionaryDictionary is a small utility that lets users easily get definitions of words and phrases from a variety of sources.
Apple FaceTimeFaceTime is a videotelephony product for making video and audio calls. FaceTime forces many to stay locked into a proprietary world.
Apple FileMakerFileMaker is a relational database application with a graphical user interface and good security features.
Apple Final Cut ProFinal Cut Pro is a series of non-linear video editing software programs. Log and transfer video, edit, process the video, and output to a wide variety of formats.
Apple GarageBandGarageBand is a line of digital audio workstations for creating music and podcasts offering a complete sound library.
Apple NumbersKeyNote is a simple and elegant presentation software that's part of the iWork productivity suite.
Apple Logic ProLogic Pro is a Digital Audio Workstation and MIDI sequencer providing software instruments, audio effects and recording facilities for music synthesis.
Apple MailMail is a simple email client offering the ability to send, receive, and view email with good organizing capabilities.
Apple MainStageMainStage is a music application designed for use in live performance. This software lets you run a live rig. Transform your keyboard, guitar, or vocal performance with an enormous collection of plug-ins and sounds.
Apple MapsMaps is a web mapping service that's available in over 200 regions around the world offering curated guides.
Apple MessagesMessages is instant messaging software for sending messages, images, videos, and documents. There's location data and stickers.
Apple MotionMotion creates and edits motion graphics, titling for video production and film production, and 2D and 3D compositing for visual effects.
Apple NotesNotes is a notetaking app designed to jot down quick thoughts or to save longer notes filled with checklists, images, web links, scanned documents, handwritten notes, or sketches.
Apple NumbersNumbers is a spreadsheet application which uses a free-form “canvas” approach that demotes tables to one of many different media types placed on a page.
Apple PagesPages is a word processor that's part of the iWork productivity suite. It's marketed as an easy-to-use application that allows users to quickly create documents.
Apple Photo BoothPhoto Booth takes photos and videos with an iSight camera. iSight is a brand name used by Apple to refer to cameras on various devices.
Apple PhotosPhotos is a photo management and editing application. Organize your collection into albums, or keep your photos organized automatically with smart albums.
Apple PreviewPreview is more than just an image viewer. The software provides a full set of markup tools. And it's a PDF editor.
Apple RemindersReminders is a task management program that allows users to create lists and set notifications.
Apple SafariSafari is a graphical web browser which uses the WebKit and Nitro engines. It's the default web browser for Macintosh computers.
Apple ScreenshotScreenshot lets you take a screenshot of the entire screen, a portion of it, or an open window.
Apple ShazamShazam identifies music, movies, advertising, and television shows. There’s nothing more annoying than hearing a new song not knowing the identity of the artist.
XcodeXcode provides developers a unified workflow for user interface design, coding, testing, and debugging. It supports source code for many programming languages including Swift, C, C++, Python, Ruby and more.
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