Leopard: Seeing More with Quick Look

Quick Look lets Mac OS X 10.5 users see inside files without actually opening them, which is a great time saver. The problem is that Quick Look doesnit know how to preview every document type you might have on your Mac, leaving you with a useless preview icon instead. With a few extra Quick Look plug-ins, however, you can extend your gaze into more files than Leopard recognizes out of the box.

While Quick Look can show you the contents of a file without having to open it, you canit see whatis in a document if Leopard doesnit know how to display whatis inside. Thatis where Quick Look plug-ins come in: They add the extra information Leopard needs to properly display specific file types.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • EPSQLPlugin Not everyone works with EPS images, but for those of us that do, it really saves tons of time when you can check out a graphic without actually opening it. EPSQLPlugin form Eternal Storms Software extends Quick Lookis graphics preview to include EPS, and itis free, to boot.

  • Quick Look view EPS images with EPSQLPlugin.
  • Folder Instead of showing you whatis inside a folder, Quick Look tells you how many items the directory holds. Folder makes Quick Look far more functional by actually showing you whatis in a folder. Like EPSQLPlugin, itis free.

  • Folder turns Quick Lookis default folder view...
  • Zip Being able to see in a Zip archive before expanding it just makes sense. You can make sure the files you really need are stored inside before you take the time to double-click and expand the archive. Zip does just that, and itis free.

...into a detail contents listing.

Using each of these Quick Look plug-ins is easy once they are installed in the Library folder in your Home directory. If you donit see the QuickLook folder in /Users/<your home folder>/Library, go ahead and create it, then drag the plug-ins into it. You may have to log out of your user account before the plug-ins can do their magic.

Look inside Zip archives without first expanding them.

To view a Quick Look preview, click on a file or folder and then tap the Space bar. Once you are done checking out the preview, just click the close button in the upper left corner of the Quick Look pane.

There are other Quick Look plug-ins available, and more are appearing all the time. If you know of one that deserves a mention let me know.

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