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Stupid Simple Mac Tip #86 – Sneak Preview

Stupid Simple Mac Tip #86 – Sneak Preview

By Tom Lambotte | July 13, 2021

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.

  • July 13, 2021

About the Author

Tom Lambotte is a legal technology expert, author and the CEO of GlobalMac IT. He helps Mac-using lawyers with super simple technology, security and efficiency strategies that work. He’s on a mission to help attorneys using Apple computers reduce their security risk and get more out of their technology. Get his free 33 Stupid Simple Mac Tips and score some quick wins to boost your productivity.