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Disable drawer thumbnails in Apps
Here's the problem: I frequently view PDF files that consist of scanned images (e.g. archived articles from the pre-electronic publishing days). When I open these with, the application appears to freeze for a while as it processes and generates thumbnail images for each page in the drawer. This process takes an especially long time for documents with numerous pages. A preference option in the app allows changing the size of the thumbnails, but does not allow disabling them completely.

Here's the solution:
  1. Quit if open.
  2. Open ~/Library » Preferences » with a plain text editor.
  3. Search for thumbnail; it should find the PVGeneralThumbnailSize key.
  4. Replace the integer right underneath (which varies depending on what you set your preferred thumbnail size to) to 0.
  5. Save the change made and close.
Now open, and you'll see that the drawer will no longer show any thumbnails.

[robg adds: The plist file is stored as a binary, so editing it in a plain text editor probably won't work. If you have the Developer Tools installed, you can just double-click it. You could also use PlistEdit Pro or Pref Setter to edit the file. If you're Terminally-inclined, you can use the process described in this hint to convert the file from binary to text for editing, and then back to binary again when you're done.]
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Disable drawer thumbnails in | 7 comments | Create New Account
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Disable drawer thumbnails in
Authored by: moonhawk on Aug 23, '07 08:12:02AM

Strange... I've done this on three machines, all with a text editor. Does the fact that I have Property List installed make a difference, although I didn't use that to edit?

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Disable drawer thumbnails in
Authored by: simX on Aug 23, '07 09:46:32AM

Replace the 5 steps with this single Terminal command:

defaults write PVGeneralThumbnailSize 0

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Disable drawer thumbnails in
Authored by: Anonymous on Aug 23, '07 02:42:41PM

This is the preferred solution.

Using the Property List Editor is appropriate if you want to examine the entire file at once.

Using a text editor is definitely not the way to go, unless you know exactly what you're doing. In fact, that should be a hint in itself: "Edit preference files using a text editor", and certainly not the first option given in a hint.

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Disable drawer thumbnails in
Authored by: Anonymous on Aug 23, '07 03:00:18PM
...except, because the key in question is a child of the "Preview" key, you need to do this instead:
    defaults write Preview -dict-add PVGeneralThumbnailSize 0
And to set back to the default value:
    defaults write Preview -dict-add PVGeneralThumbnailSize 60
An alternate method is to go into Preview's preferences, go to the PDF tab, and check "Open drawer only for Table of Contents". This way, the drawer isn't opened up for every single PDF you open.

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Disable drawer thumbnails in
Authored by: stevebr on Aug 23, '07 11:15:56AM

There is a visible setting with the same net effect: In Preview's preferences, open the PDF tab and turn on "Open drawer only for Table of Contents." As you might expect, when a PDF is opened, the drawer only appears if it has a TOC.

If you want to open the drawer manually for thumbnails, it's still possible from the View menu or via the keyboard shortcut cmd+shift+D.

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Disable drawer thumbnails in
Authored by: theodour on Aug 25, '07 12:55:34PM

".plist" files are XML, right?And XML is simply plain text in markup, right? Am I missing out on something, or what ... I've always used BBEdit to inspect my ".plist" files, so how can they be binary? Or am I misunderstanding that part?

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Disable drawer thumbnails in
Authored by: patpro on Aug 26, '07 02:29:06AM

most .plist files are now binary files for Apple turned then into binary format as of 10.3, or 10.4 to accelerate their processing by applications.

If I use this command in ~/Library/Preferences/ :

for pref in*plist; do file "${pref}"; done

I can count 34 "XML document text", and 121 "data" (which are binary plists).


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