Stupid Simple Mac Tip #86 – Sneak Preview
Sometimes the best tips are little things sitting right under our noses – no installation, no subscription, just an “a-ha!” moment on finding another way to get the most out of our Mac.
Last week we uncovered the broad uses of Command-F, now let’s try another often overlooked macOS trick that’s a simple, efficient timesaver: Quick Look.
Quick Look is a universal previewer that gives you a glimpse of almost any file without the need to open it. Sounds basic, but it’s especially helpful when looking for just the right item/version among docs, decks, PDFs, images, spreadsheets – even audio and video files — without the time to boot up each program.
Just highlight a file (whether in a folder, Finder results, or straight from the desktop) and hit the spacebar to instantly open a window previewing a look (or listen) of the contents. That’s it.
It’s another of those “how did I not know that?!” moments. 🤯
The window can be resized, rotated, or zoomed…and if your file has multiple pages/images, they’ll appear as thumbnails that can be clicked directly or scrolled with up/down keys.
You can also quickly skim through multiple results using left/right arrow keys or select multiple files to preview at once as either a grid or a slideshow (with clear controls found in the Quick Look pane).
Once you find what you need, files can be opened in their associated application with a click, while some formats can even be edited or marked up directly in Quick Look (provided you’re running Mojave or later).
That’s a lot of quick-access utility just waiting in your spacebar!
If you really want to get fancy, third-party providers offer an array of plug-ins that give Quick Look additional functionality and access to more exotic extensions – but for everyday use, it packs enough punch as-is. Let’s keep this simple and stupid, shall we?
This tool is neither glamorous nor creatively named, but by letting you glance at unopened files, Quick Look is quintessentially Apple: an easy, accessible, intuitive way to make you more productive and your Mac experience even better.