TipBITS: Compare Before/After Edits in Photos


(Adam Engst) #1

Originally published at: https://tidbits.com/2018/07/05/tipbits-compare-before-after-edits-in-photos/

Ever wished that you could compare an edited image in Photos with the original, without using Undo or Revert to Original? Read on for the trick in both the Mac and iOS versions of Photos, and for the even more hidden trick on the Mac that helps you compare cropping.


(Tommy Weir) #2

The old Aperture keyboard shortcut for the same task.


(Alan Forkosh) #3

The temporary reversion to original is also available via the ‘dark square / light square’ button that appears between the window controls and the ‘Revert to Original’ button. Just hold down the button to see the original and let it go to get back to your modifications. However, holding the Control button does not give you a ‘before the crop’ view.


(Adam Engst) #4

Thanks, guys! I’ve updated the article with both of these details.

I tried to make animated GIFs showing the change, but it wasn’t a good reader experience.

First, neither of them animated in Chrome automatically, which I suspect is due to our site’s automatic conversion of images to WebP for Chrome. That could be fixed, but not instantly. That said, you could click them to open them as standalone images that animated in all three browsers.

The first image, of the flower, wouldn’t animate automatically in any browser, perhaps because it was too large.

The second one animated automatically in Safari and Firefox.

And when they were clicked, they opened as standalone images, replacing the article, rather than opening on top of the article like other zoomed images. That too can likely be fixed, but not today.

Amusingly, they seem to display perfectly in this comment, but we’ll see. They’re set to flip every 3 seconds and loop only 10 times before stopping.


(jbayly) #5

The first one doesn’t load for me here unless I click on it. The second did load but didn’t stop after 10 loops. I’m using the Discourse app on iOS.


(Adam Engst) #6

Yeah, something changed even since I first posted my comment—the first one animated for a while and then Discourse complained about its size. And apparently the 10 loop setting for the second isn’t being honored. Sigh…


(David Price) #7

Hey ACE – Thanks for the great Photos tip. I loved iPhoto and it took me awhile to adjust to Photos but it gets slicker and slicker.


(Ferrers) #8

I use the wonderfully useful, free application Snappy (available in the App Store) to do this sort of thing when I tweak photos in GraphicConverter… It’s really useful when you wish to see just a portion of the picture side by side. But Snappy can be used when modifying code, pictures or anything. I’m constantly finding new uses for it — Apple should incorporate it into macOS.


(Adam Engst) #9

So with Snappy you’re taking a screenshot of the image you’re working on, then making changes to it so you can compare? I’m just trying to understand how it solves this comparison problem.


(Ferrers) #10

Yes, Snappy is like ⌘ ⇧ 4 , taking a snapshot of the desired area of your screen — it pops up the same crosshairs and then delivers the snapshot as a floating image that is always foremost, rather than a file on your desktop. The snap can be moved out of the way, even with most of it is actually off screen (it can also be removed completely and recalled from the snappy icon in the Menu bar). Following image manipulation, the snap can then be repositioned where required for comparison. Sometimes I try multiple adjustments and make multiple snaps so I can see what works best… Overlaying a borderless image enables me to compare multiple parts of an image side by side, which I find better than using ⌘ Z , ⌘ ⇧ Z to flip-flop between before and after images in GraphicConverter.