Get more out of Quick Look on the Apple Mac

Quick Look is a useful feature for previewing files on the Apple Mac, you can select a file, hit spacebar and see the contents, but there is more to it and here are features you might not know.

1 Select a file

Open a Finder window and navigate to a folder containing files you want to view, some photos for example. Click one to select it and then press the spacebar. Quick Look opens it in a window on the desktop.

Finder in OS X on the Apple Mac

2 Use the arrow keys

The Finder window might be hidden by the preview of the file, but it still has the focus and is still accepting keyboard input. Press the up and down arrow keys to view the next or previous file in the Finder window. You can easily view any number of files simply by selecting the first and then using up and down arrow keys to view the rest.

Quick Look in OS X on the Apple Mac

3 Select multiple files

That is not the only way to view multiple files and another method is to click the first file in the Finder window to select it and then Shift+click the last file you want to view to select all the files between. Press spacebar to view the files.

Finder in OS X on the Apple Mac

4 View multiple files

The first file opens as before (I am using JPEG photos, but other files work the same), but now there is a new icon in the toolbar of the Quick Look window. Click the icon.

Quick Look in OS X on the Apple Mac

5 Browse thumbnails

All the selected images are displayed as thumbnails and you can jump to any image and view it by clicking it. It is called index sheet view.

Quick Look in OS X on the Apple Mac

6 Full screen

Instead of pressing spacebar to view multiple files, hold down the Option key and press spacebar. This displays the first image full screen and down at the bottom are controls to move to the next or previous files. Click the four squares icon.

Quick Look in OS X on the Apple Mac

7 Full screen thumbnails

This switches to index sheet view as before, but now the thumbnail images fill the screen.

Quick Look in OS X on the Apple Mac

Instead of clicking the icon to switch from single image view to index sheet view, press Command+Return. In windowed view, the window can be resized by dragging the corner as with other windows.

In full screen view that large play/pause icon is used to start and stop a slide show of the selected images. Quick View is great for showing off your photos.

One odd feature is that when you view a file with Quick Look, it displays on the screen. Switch to a different desktop (I’ve set Ctrl+left/right arrow keys to go to the next or previous desktop) and the Quick Look window is still there. It follows you onto every desktop. You can’t have Quick Look on one desktop only. Is this intentional or a bug?

 

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