Quick Look

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Quick Look
Quick Look from 10.8.
Developer(s) Apple Inc.
Initial release October 26, 2007
(Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard")
Operating system Mac OS X
License Proprietary
Website Quick Look

Quick Look is a quick preview feature developed by Apple Inc. which was introduced in its operating system, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The feature was announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference on Jun. 11, 2007.

While OS X's Finder has always had icon previews, Quick Look allows users to look at the contents of a file in the Finder at full or near-full size, depending on the size of the document relative to the screen resolution. It can preview files such as PDFs, HTML, QuickTime readable media, plain text and RTF text documents, iWork (Keynote, Pages, and Numbers) documents, ODF documents, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) files (including OOXML), and RAW camera images.

Quick Look can also be opened in full screen and launched from the command line. Additionally, multi-page documents like PowerPoint slide shows can be navigated using the arrow keys or slide previews at the right of the preview window.

Quick Look technology is implemented throughout the Apple suite of software starting with Mac OS X 10.5, including iChat Theater, Time Machine, and Finder's Cover Flow.

Quick Look APIs are available to developers via the Quick Look framework on iOS[1] and as part of the Quartz framework on the Mac.[2]

Supported file types by default[edit]

Since its debut, Quick Look has included a number of generators for common file types.

Format Version introduced Notes
AAC 10.5 Cover art in icon view and can play back audio in full preview.
Adobe PhotoShop 10.5
AIFF 10.5
Apple Icon Image format 10.5
AVI 10.5
BMP 10.5
COLLADA's DAE 10.6
GIF 10.5 Did not animate animated GIFS[3] without additional plugins[4] until OS X 10.7.[5]
HTML 10.5 Does not load remote resources or execute scripts.
iChat transcripts 10.5
JPEG 10.5
JPEG 2000 10.5
Microsoft Excel 10.5
Microsoft PowerPoint 10.5
Microsoft Word 10.5
MIDI 10.5 MIDI files support has been dropped in OS X 10.8.
MP3 10.5 Cover art in icon view and can play back audio in full preview.
MPEG4 10.5
MPO
PDF 10.5
PictureClipping 10.6
PICT 10.5
PNG 10.5
QuickTime movies 10.5 Additional stream formats require the appropriate QuickTime extension to be installed.
RTF 10.5
SVG 10.6
TEXT 10.5
TextClipping 10.6
TIFF 10.5
WAV 10.5

Plug-ins[edit]

Plug-ins can be added to Quick Look to allow previewing the content of other file formats. Plug-ins can also be used to add additional functionality to Quick Look such as syntax highlighting for source code files.[6]

To add a plug-in to Quick Look it needs to be placed in the folder /Library/QuickLook/. To activate that plug-in, either the computer needs to be restarted or Quick Look needs to be reset with the command

qlmanage -r

Usage[edit]

There are multiple ways to invoke Quick Look.

Keyboard shortcuts:

  • Cmd-Y
  • space

Command line:[7]

qlmanage -p file

Menu:

  • File — Quick Look file name;
  • Context menu (right-click or Control-mouse click), then Quick Look file name.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]