Apple Patents Preview Application

USPTO grants Apple the rights to OS X functionality

The United States Patent & Trademark Office has granted Apple an invention relating to the functionality of its Preview application in OS X which offers viewing functions for different types of documents without calling on the applications that created them.

The abstract description notes that Apple’s recently granted invention “is directed to systems, methods and computer-readable media for providing a preview application operative to simultaneously preview several documents.”

The documentation specifically states that the invention is particularly directed to “a preview application for simultaneously previewing and searching through several documents of one or more types.”

Apple’s Preview software has been around for a while, adding little extra functionality with every new OS X release. The software is a standalone application that users can launch and use individually, but the functionality is very limited without an actual file to work with.

The background of the invention states that “Using an electronic device, a user can preview different documents without opening the application used to create, edit, or revise the document.”

Apple offers an example mentioning Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint files, as well as Keynote and Pages, carefully outlining that these are “applications available from Apple Inc. of Cupertino, Calif.”

The Mac maker further mentions Adobe documents, painting a comprehensive picture of Preview’s abilities to open certain types of files.

Apple then explains the advantage of using for viewing documents and files.

“Because the preview application may have limited functionality when compared to the applications used to create or edit the documents (i.e., the preview application may only allow a user to view documents), the preview application can load faster than the applications and provide a more efficient use of the device resources for previewing documents,” the patent filing reads.

The credited Inventors are Carlen; Conrad (Burlingame, CA), Coffman; Patrick (Menlo Park, CA), Staake; Ryan (Providence, RI), Sarnoff; Matthew (Cupertino, CA).

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