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Jan 12, 2013

OS X Tutorial: Quickly preview files with Quick Look in Finder

by Freddie Harrison

Learn how to quickly preview PDF documents, music, movies, photos and many more files using Quick Look in Finder – your Mac’s best-kept software secret.

OSX Tutorial - Quick Look - SidebarOSX Tutorial - Quick Look - FeaturedQuick Look was introduced as part of OS X Leopard in 2007, an astonishing five years ago. Despite its ever-presence in Apple’s desktop operating systems, not everyone is aware of just how much it has evolved through the releases of Snow Leopard and Lion. In typical fashion, Apple don’t always shout about every feature and tweak it adds to each operating system update, which gives nosey Mac lovers like us the opportunity to discover and share them (and bask in the glory of caring so much as to find them in the first place). Quick Look certainly falls in to this category.

The ability to view multiple images in one set is new to Lion and very much quicker than opening the same number of files in any given app (no matter how fast your Mac performs). It takes another button press after your initial Spacebar hit to activate the feature and it’s not quite as obvious as you might think. We only found it recently ourselves, but we’ll show you how it can improve your workflow. Here is the next OS X tip you can’t live without…

OSX Tutorial - Quick Look - Step-by-Step
OSX Tutorial - Quick Look - Step 1

Step 1: Get selecting

Drag your mouse over a batch of files. Any files. Or use the classic single- click on one file and then hold the Shift key and click the last one in the list. Once all the files are selected, hit the Spacebar.

OSX Tutorial - Quick Look - Step 2

Step 2: Simple view, hidden feature

Up at the top of the Quick Look window is a tiny view button with four little windows in it. Click this to expand the view and see all the items in your selected group of files.

OSX Tutorial - Quick Look - Step 3

Step 3: Better than a thumbnail

This is a great way to quickly view a batch of files to determine their contents. It’s much easier to sort through than smaller thumbnails on your Desktop. Return to the main view by clicking a file.

OSX Tutorial - Quick Look - Step 4

Step 4: Go, and open

Back in single view mode you can still hit the Open with Preview button on the right-hand side and all the selected files will be opened in the app ready for closer inspection.

(Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotations)

OSX Tutorial - Quick Look - Annotated

 

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