Picture Perfect: How to Edit Pictures on Mac

Have you ever struggled or even wondered how to edit pictures on Mac computers? Are you confused about the different tools and how to use them?

Well, don’t worry! We’re here to help show you the ropes on how to effectively edit your photos on your Mac device. You can learn how to crop pictures on Mac, how to adjust the different values and properties of your photo, and add filters to give it a signature look.

There are many benefits to editing a photo. A change in the colours can give it a more artistic or dynamic feel. Perhaps you want the picture in a certain aspect ratio so it can fit photo frame or a beautiful acrylic wall art print. Maybe you want to filter out some blemishes and blurrs. Whatever the case, you can edit in many different ways to achieve what you want.

If you’re still starting, all of this can be a bit confusing but we promise it’s not. Once you understand what the different tools do to your photo and how to navigate around the built-in Photos app, editing will be a breeze for you!

Starting Out

Built-in with every Mac is the Photos app which gives easy-to-use tools that provide everything you need to edit your pictures or videos. The app supports images with a JPG, TIFF, and PNG format and most RAW formats as well. You can also convert PDF to JPG to use and edit your PDF files too.

To start editing your photo, go to your photo library and open up the photo that you want to edit. You’ll see an edit button on the top right corner of the screen. You can also double click a photo in your library and click edit from there.

Both will take you to the editing window, there you’ll find three major editing tools. Adjust, Filter, and Crop. The top toolbar also has a slider on the top left to zoom in and out of a photo and a button to revert your image to the original right next to it.

Using Adjust

Once you click on the Adjust tab at the top, a sidebar will open up on the right with a variety of tools to use.

Light, Color, Black & White, Retouch, and Red-eye are just a few examples. These tools all have their properties that you can adjust when you open them and click on the options tab.

Doing this will show the different values that you can control under a certain tool. Under each value is a slider that lets you control how much or how little you want of that value on the photo.

For example, under the Light tool, there are sliders for Brilliance, Exposure, Highlights, etc., to adjust.

The editor also gives you an option to toggle on and off the different adjustments you’ve made. You can do this clicking on the blue circle next to the tool you want to toggle. Click done once you’re happy with all the adjustments you’ve made to the photo.

Placing Filters

The next main tab on the top toolbar is the Filters tab. This lets you overlay colors, increase or decrease contrast, and overall make your photo look more artistic, all by adding filters.

There are three categories for the nine filters included that follow the three main types of professional photography styles. First up is the vivid style which makes your photo more vibrant. This includes Vivid, Vivid Warm, and Vivid Cool.

The second is the dramatic style with the filters Dramatic, Dramatic Warm, and Dramatic Cool that add more contrast to your photo with different tones to choose from. The third style is black and white which features filters Mono, Silvertone, or Noir.

Simply choose whichever filter you want to apply to your photo. Afterward, click Done to save your changes.

Cropping Your Photo

Click on the Crop tab will place a white outline around your photo. You can drag the edges or corners to manually crop out parts of the photo you don’t like. There’s also a number dial to the right of the photo that you can adjust to straighten out or rotate the photo.

The sidebar that appears when clicking on the Crop tab has two options, Aspect and Flip. Aspect is how you resize pictures on Mac devices, with standard ratios to crop your photo into. You can choose from several ratios like square, 16:9, 8:10, 5:7, or you can make your personal or custom ratio.

The Flip tool is pretty straight forward. It lets you mirror images or turn them up upside-down by either flipping them horizontally or vertically. You can click on the reset button to undo any crops, rotations, or flips.

Once again, clicking done on the editor will save any changes that you’ve made.


If you’re editing a photo and want to export it into an external editor, you can launch Photos and export it from there. Open up the photo that you want to edit and click on File. Click on Export then, Export Unmodified Original.

This will open up a small window where you can fill out the information and choose where to save the photo. From there, you can drag the photo into your external editor.

Other Editing Tools for Mac

You also have the option to download the extension and expand the tools available in the Photos editing window. Clicking on the circle with three dots will give you the option to enable any extensions you’ve downloaded from the app store.

The Markup tool in the extensions gives you more options like adding drawings and shapes. It also includes the option to automatically rotate your images 90 degrees and enhance your photo with just a single click. You can browse different third-party extensions on the app-store here.

Now You Know How to Edit Pictures on Mac Computers!

Editing your pictures can be simple and effective when you know what you’re doing.

The built-in Photos app in your Mac device can be extremely useful and easy to learn. We hope that we helped you understand how to edit pictures on Mac and how to use the different tools provided.

If this article helped you learn how to crop pictures on Mac and gave you the right information that you needed. Then feel free to go over our content to discover even more useful tips and tricks!

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Greetings and salutations. Call me Fist, I'm a proud Kentuckian and I've used metal to help me get through the suffering of living in the bible belt. I am an encyclopedia of metal. I'm a fan of all types of metal. My main goal here is to help people find more music they will fall in love with. Hope you enjoy our words! \m/

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