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View files with Quick Look (10.5)

If you have a file in a Finder window that you want to view you can usually double click it to open it. Preview is used to display many image files like JPEGs and PNGs, and also PDFs too. There is no doubt that Preview is an excellent tool, of course, but it is also a large application that takes several seconds to load. Is there a faster and easier way to view files?

You don't need to use Preview to open a file if all you want to do is view it. Just select the file in the Finder window and click the Quick Look icon in the toolbar (it looks like an eye). The image is displayed almost instantly in a window overlaid on the desktop and it is much faster than Preview. Another advantage is that it can display some file types that Preview doesn't, such as HTML files. Normally Safari would open to display the HTML file, but Quick Look just displays it instantly like any other file.

There are other ways to access the Quick Look facility and you can hold down Ctrl when you click a file and select Quick Look. You can select a file and choose Quick Look on the Finder's File menu and perhaps the best method of all, you can hold down the Command key and press Y to Quick Look at an item.

View multiple files with Quick Look (10.5)

OS X Quick LookSuppose you want to view several files in a Finder Window, is there an easier way to do this than selecting each file one after the other and clicking the Quick Look button?

Yes, click the first file in the Finder window and then hold down the Shift key and click the last one (it's best done in List View, of course). Now you can click the Quick Look button in the Finder window toolbar and they will all be opened in Quick Look.

The first file is displayed and there are arrow buttons at the bottom of the window to display the next or previous file in the sequence. You can use the arrow keys on the keyboard too. The four squares icon is to display an index sheet, which is a page of thumbnails showing all the selected files. You can then point and click on the one you want to view instead of using the arrows to go through each one in turn.

There is a Full Screen button that shows the selected items in full screen view (small images will be magnified to fit). If the files you are viewing are images, then there's a button to add the current image to iPhoto.

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