Meet “Quick Look,” a handy, built-in Mac tool that lets you take a quick glance at almost any file or folder without committing to firing up a program.
Now, there’s not a whole lot you can do while viewing a file with Quick Look besides, well … look at it. In other words, there’s no editing, composing, or tweaking allowed.
But Quick Look makes for an easy way to, say, peruse a contract that’s sitting on your desktop, or to arrange a big folder of photos into an easy-to-scan contact sheet.
Once activated, Quick Look will launch a preview window complete with a pair of arrow buttons for switching back and forth between the various files you selected.
You can also tap the thumbnail button in the top-left corner of the window for a bird’s-eye view of all your Quick Look documents, perfect for browsing a batch of photos.
Last but not least, click the little arrows in the top-right corner of the Quick View window to switch to full-screen view, then click the arrows in the floating control bar to return to normal view.
So, that’s what Quick Look does. But how do you turn it on?
Well, there are actually five ways:
1. With a right-click
Right-click the file or folder (and yes, you can select multiple documents if you wish), then select “Quick Look” from the pop-up menu.
2. With the space bar
Select the files or folders you want to sneak a peek at, then press the space bar (or COMMAND + Y, if you wish).
3. With a three-finger tap
Select the files or folders, then tap (but don’t click) your trackpad with three fingertips.
4. Using the Quick Look button
To take a “quick look” at a file that’s in an open folder, just select it, then click the Quick Look button (the one marked with an eye) at the top of the folder.
Or, here’s another option: click the Action button (the button with the gear) and select “Quick Look.”
5. In the “Mail” program
In your Mac’s Mail application, you can take Quick Look an attachment by clicking the Quick Look button in the top-right corner of the message.
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