We are rapidly moving through the Mac OS X operating system. Today I going to feature Quicklook, one of the best tools in any operating system. It makes checking and looking into files and folders a breeze. Its designed (as the name suggests) as a way to have a quick peak into a file. You just quickly open it before you decided to open it in your final app. Its great for check if a file is the one you want.
Using Quicklook is easy. You select for file and press the space bar. Your computer will spin away and it will then present your file in a special floating window. The contents of this window will vary on what you have opened. If it is a text file, the text will be shown, if it is an image you can see the image. Movies are very good when using Quicklook, when you open them they will begin to play.
You can also view multiple files at the same time with Quicklook, this is very useful for day to day tasks. Simply select the files you want to view and press the spacebar again. At the bottom you will be given forward and backwards arrows to move through the files. The play button will start a slide show through the files. Finally there is the four small squares on the toolbar at the bottom. This is to view every file as a small thumbnail, so you can get an overview.
Every Quicklook floating window has a full screen button. This will bring the file into the full screen mode so you can get better detail. This is a very quick way to get a video file to play in full screen mode without the related app from running. You do have to press the close button to get out of full screen mode when you have finished.
You can also extend the functionality of Quicklook very easily. Its designed to be run and used with API calls to the system. This allows people to write plugins. To see the full list of plugin I complied a while ago see this post. However there are a couple of plugins I would recommend you install.
The first on is Folder Viewer. This is designed to show you a tree view of a folder. This is very useful if you quickly want to see the contents of a folder. Personally I think this should be included by default.
The second must plugin install is Zip Viewer. It works in the same way as the folder viewer, except it is designed to open and quickly view zip files. Again, another useful must have plugin.
There are a variety of plugins about on the ‘net. If you want something specific there is probably one out there to suit your needs. Hopefully Apple in the future will implement more plugins. Also note that any Quicklook plugin will also allow you to render the same image in Coverflow. Hitting two birds with one stone.
Quicklook is dead simple to use. I personally use it many times a day and I can’t live without it. I would recommend you get in the habit of using it as it save you a lot of time.