One of the biggest time-savers in Mac OS X Leopard is the Quick Look, which gives you an instant preview of any file. It’s great for finding the right document, image, or mp3 when you’re not sure which is which, or choosing the correct version from a series of files with similar names.
To use Quick Look, simply select an item in the Finder and press the Space bar, or type Command-Y. An image of the selected item appears. (In the case of mp3s, the sound file also plays.) You don’t even need to open the document’s usual application. If it’s a photo, for example, you can see it without waiting for iPhoto or Preview to open.
To close the Quick Look preview, simply press the Space bar again, or click the x in the preview window’s upper-left corner. Alternately, you can type Command-Y or Command-W to close the image.
A few more tips to help you get the most from this amazing feature:
- If you want to preview additional items, don’t close the preview window. Just highlight a new file in the Finder, and the open preview window displays the newly selected object.
- Quick Look lets you view multiple-page documents. For longer files, a navigation scroll bar appears along the preview window’s right margin. It even works with PDFs and Keynote presentations.
- You can preview multiple items simultaneously. Just select several items in the Finder by lassoing them with your cursor. Or open one item in Quick Look, then use the up- and down-arrow keys to display other files in the same folder.
- You can combine searches and Quick Look. Simply type keywords into a Finder window’s Search Box to reveal files whose names or contents match the search terms. Select some or all of the results, open Quick Look via space bar or Command-Y, and use your up- and down-arrow keys to switch between the selected previews.