An overview of Leopard's Quick Look

by Ross McKillop on October 30, 2007

If you installed OS X 10.5 (Leopard) as an ‘update’ (ie. all of your Tiger apps remained installed) and had previously customized your Finder toolbar, you may be missing out on a very neat new feature, Quick Look. This overview will show you how to add it to your toolbar (if needed) and explain how to use it.

leopard quick look

  1. If the Quick Look icon isn’t a part of your toolbar yet, just right-click (ctrl-click) somewhere in the toolbar background and select Customize Toolbar.
  2. leopard quick look

  3. Drag the Quick Look icon to your toolbar and click Done.
  4. leopard quick look
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  5. Now select a folder, and click the Quick Look button. A window will appear displaying the folder name, the number of files it contains, the total size of all the files combined, and the time it was last modified. Hint: instead of clicking the Quick Look button, you can also just press the space bar. Yep, that’s the keyboard shortcut for Quick Look. Absolutely. Brilliant.
  6. leopard quick look
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  7. Locate an image, select it and then click the Quick Look button again. Hint: if you leave the Quick Look window open, you can actually skip having to click the button – the window itself will automatically update to display the last file/folder that you selected.
  8. leopard quick look
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  9. Click the ‘arrows’ (see screenshot below) and the Quick Look window will go into full-screen mode.
  10. leopard quick look

  11. When video files are selected, you can actually play them from within Quick Look.
  12. leopard quick look
    click to enlarge

  13. If you select multiple images you can run them as a slideshow, or view them all as a grid by clicking the Index Sheet button. Hint: if you select multiple files/folders – of any type – you can also go into grid/index mode. And slideshow will work too.
  14. leopard quick look
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  15. Select an image from the Index Sheet view and that image will be displayed.
  16. leopard quick look
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  17. As you may have guessed – if you select an audio file it can be played in Quick Look too. If the album artwork is available for that song, it will be displayed too.
  18. leopard quick look
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  19. While an item is displayed in Quick Look, you can use the keyboard combo ctrl + c to copy it to your clipboard.
  • Sean Stewart

    Thanks for featuring my photos in your Quick Look piece! :-)

  • Zav

    I can’t stand Quicklook primarily because I use the space bar to select the first file alphabetically and there is no setting to change this to another key.

    How can I disable Quicklook?

  • marcello

    thanks for the tip, makes it so much easier than clicking
    i’ve even set it has a right click on the wacom pen

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  • mha

    OK, but does anybody know what is the keyboard shortcut for displaying index sheet (thumbnails)?

  • nelson

    command+enter