How To Make Simple Changes To Images On Mac Easily

Add arrow shapes and blur in Skitch

There are only a few common tasks an average blog or business may require for simple images edits.

The criteria are simple images edits on Mac are:

  1. Simple and free
  2. Useful features
  3. Acceptable results

How to make simple changes to images on Mac Easily:

Skitch (Free)

  1. Add text
  2. Apply blur effect and add arrows and basic shapes

Mac Preview (Free)

  1. Resize or reduce image sizes

For example, let us start with a mini-project to illustrate how useful these two tools can be. Suppose we want to make our website beautiful with a unified single background color, we may start with downloading an appropriate PNG size file first.

How to add text to a PNG file on Mac easily?

Download and install Skitch. Right-click the downloaded PNG file and select Open With-> Skitch.

Click the letter ‘a’ on the left and click anywhere on the PNG file and type some text. Change the color and font size by clicking the left-bottom 2 icons.

Add text to PNG in Skitch

Once changes are completed, click File->Export and make sure to select PNG under the export format. Evernote users may also sync and save their images online.

Skitch export options

Below is an example of the PNG exported.

Example of exported PNG file on the website display

How to blur, add arrows and basic shapes to images on Mac easily?

In Skitch, click the arrow or shape or pixelate icons on the left and apply it to the image on the right. Below is an example of all three features.

Add arrow and shapes and blur effect in Skitch

How to resize or reduce image sizes on Mac easily?

Most bloggers may not need an overly large image size for their posts. And resizing it to a smaller size e.g. width 500px or 800px is fine. Another way to reduce large files is to reduce the resolution. Please bear in mind 72 for resolution is not high and probably should not be lower to keep the resolution quality for a good display.

Launch the default Mac Preview by double-clicking the image file and then navigate to Tools->Adjust Size.

The below example illustrates cutting down the width from 600 to 500 pixels can save (100-83.3) 16.7% in image size.

600 to 500 pixels for 16.7 percent size savings

Please note exporting to JPEG format may be a better option for lower file size if a PNG transparent background is not required.

An advantage of Mac Preview is that it automatically saves so just close CMD+W or exit CMD+Q to continue working on the file.


Most common bloggers and business users may only need to perform basic functions on images that do not extend beyond the functionalities of Skitch and Mac Preview.

Professional graphic designers may employ Affinity Designer for more advanced features.

More Information

What are some good online image tools for common use?

GetStencils is a good and fast online tool to apply common effects for images. 10 images per month are the free account limit.

Stencil Example

How to screen capture and screen record on Mac?

CMD+Shift+4 to click and drag to capture a portion of the screen. A tip is to quickly right-click the image preview when it appears at the bottom-right and choose Saves to Desktop for example to quickly work on it.

Launch Quicktime Player, File->New Screen Recording for screen recording.

How to optimize or compress image sizes for free online?

Shortpixel for image formats including jpeg and Ezgif Optimize for GIFs are both quick and fast online tools for compression and optimization.

How to convert multiple images sizes on Mac quickly?

Please read How To Batch Convert Images Sizes In Mac Fast.

What if I need to do more with images than the basics?

For more advanced features, Affinity Designer (Paid) is a good and relatively affordable (one-time payment) Mac graphic software that can perform powerful and numerous changes to image files. It may be an excellent alternative to Adobe Illustrator. Features include layering, filters, effects, patterns, customizable document sizes, artboard, and various export options.

How can I make quick changes to photos on Mac?

Apple’s Photos App may apply filters to your photos with ease.

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