6/17/209:00 am 10 Ways You Can Preview Files On Your Mac There are many different ways you can preview files on your mac before opening them. The Finder can show you a preview as you browse files, Quick Look can bring up a larger preview, some apps and the Dock allow you to preview files as well. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today let's look at ten different ways you can preview files on your Mac. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 700 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you could read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. So one of the great things about macOS is it gives you tons of different ways to preview a file before you open it. So let's start off here looking in the Finder. I'm looking at a folder full of example files. All sorts of different types of files. I'm here in Column View. Now if I click on any file here, like this image file, I'll see a big preview of it to the right. The right most column is a preview column. I get a nice big preview of this image and I get information about it as well. This also works with almost every other type of document. So here's a Keynote document and I can see the presentation. Here's a Numbers document and I can preview of what's in there. Pages, I can see the Pages document rendered in the preview. PDF appears as well. Even a TextEdit Rich Text document appears with the styling. For Sound I just get a big musical note icon. But I can click on it and it will play the sound. For Video I get a poster frame of the video but a Play button in the middle. I can click on that and actually play the video. Now you typically see this preview if you're in Column View. But it actually can be shown in List and Icon Views as well. So let's go to List View. You can see I don't see it there. But all I need to do is go to View, and then Show Preview. I get that same Preview column here. I could drag the line in-between the List View and the preview to enlarge it. That same function allows me to Hide it. So I can Hide the preview. As a matter of fact if you don't see the preview here in Column View you've probably hidden it. So you just choose Show Preview here. It even appears in Icon View. I go to View, Show Preview and now whatever I select here will show up here as a preview. So that brings us to the next way you can preview files. In Icon View it's easy to see thumbnails representing each of the files. So here with an image, obviously, it shows the image. But other things show you a preview as well. It's easy to see the Keynote document, the Pages document. I can kind of see what's going on in the Numbers document there as well. PDF shows up. Rich Text actually renders the text there. It's really small but it might give you an idea of which file it is you're looking at. You don't really see anything with Sound but you do see a poster frame here for a Video. Now you can enlarge these by using the little slider at the bottom. If you don't see that Slider then go to View, and then Show Status Bar. You can see if I Hide it here it goes away. So we'll Show it. Now I've got this Slider here and I can enlarge these icons and make the Preview a little easier to see. It would be really useful, say, if you've got a folder full of images to make that a bit bigger so you can quickly select the images you want. Now the obvious way to preview a file is to use a function in macOS is to use Quick Look. This you can get if you select any file you want and you can go to File, and Quick Look or Command Y. Nobody uses the menu item or Command Y. Everybody uses the other shortcut which is just to press the Spacebar. That brings up a nice big window with a preview of what it is you're looking at. You can change the window's size very easily. You can make it go full screen if you like. Click here to Exit full screen. You also get a button here that shows you what app is the default app for opening this. You can click it to open the app. You can even Share here using the Quick Look window. This works in the same way as the preview pane. So if I select this Keynote file and hit the Spacebar I see a preview of that. Select the PDF and hit the Spacebar and I see a preview of that. Even Sounds and Video they give you a preview here and in this case I get a whole set of playback controls here at the bottom. You don't have to Open and Close preview each time. If I select this file here and hit Spacebar and let's shrink it a little bit so we can see all these files. I can use the arrow keys now seeing that this is the file selected. I can arrow to the right to go to the next one. You can see the Quick Look window remains open and it just shows me whatever file I have selected. Now there's another view in the Finder. The Gallery View. If you click on that you go to the Gallery View which is really made for previewing files. So you get a horizontal list of all the files in the folder here and you have a large preview above it. So it's similar to using the preview column I showed before except that it's even a bigger area for viewing. It's great for a folder full of images but it also previews any of the other file types. So I can look at Keynote here. I can use the right arrow key just to move through these. Even with Numbers here you can see I can scroll around in it. I can look at Pages. Look at PDF, TextEdit. I can play this Sound file and I can play this Video file as well. Now another way to preview files is to use the Info window. So if I select a file and then I choose File, Get Info or Command I. It brings up the Info window. You'll see here an area for preview. You may have it closed like that and you have to Open it up. It works with the same files types that all the other preview options work for. So if I select this Pages document, do Command I, I can see a preview here of that Pages document. I can even page through it. Now instead of the Info window you can use the Inspector. It's really the same thing except if you go to File if I hold the Option key down you can see it says Show Inspector, Option Command I. The difference is the Inspector floats always above other windows and it changes to reflect what is selected. So I can select the Numbers file here and I could see the preview there. I can select the PDF file and it simply changes to show that. So I can be really handy to have the Inspector open in one part of your screen and to reflect different files you can see a nice big preview of that file in the Inspector. So now we get to some obscure ways to preview files. One way is in the Dock. If I were to take this examples folder, let's go up a level here, drag that to the right side of the Dock as a folder, if I click on it it will show me a grid with nice previews of everything that's there. As a matter of fact I can Control click on it and switch from Grid or in this case Automatic to Fan and I get a different kind of preview. The Grid is probably the best for previewing files. Now that only works if you have this folder in the Dock. But one of the folders that we need to see previews in very often is usually already in the Dock. That's your Downloads folder. So I click on that and I can see previews of my downloads which can help me handle those files a little bit better. Now next let's go into some Apps. In Pages, Keynote, and Numbers you'll see a Media button at the top. Click on that you can just type a media to insert. If you choose Photos you'll actually see previews of the photos and you can go through them. So I can go into my Photos Albums and look through there and see those previews. So that's a useful preview there inside of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Now in other situations where you need to choose a file and you want to see a preview of it you have some good options in the Open Dialogue box. So let's say I'm in Mail here and I click the button to attach a file here and let's go to a folder, like that examples folder that I had before, I can switch views here. So I can go to say to Icon View and get little previews there. I can switch to a Column View. When I select a file I get a preview here on the right. So that's kind of useful. But in addition to that usually I can look on the left to find Media. If you don't see anything under Media maybe you have to click the Show button next to it like that. I click Photos and I can actually browse through my Photos Library and I could see previews here. I can do things in this preview area like using two fingers on my trackpad to actually enlarge the icons or shrink them. I can also select one, hit the Spacebar, and it zooms in on it. Hit the Spacebar again to zoom back out to the regular level. So this ability to preview of what it is you're going to attach to an email message or import into a graphics app is really useful. Now let's not forget Spotlight. Spotlight has a preview tool built right into it. So, for instance, if I want to search for this image.jpeg file here I can search for image.jpeg and the will come up as the first hit. You can see I have a nice preview here on the right. So when you're searching for things in Spotlight this preview function is really useful. It works for different types of files. For instance here is a PDF file and not only can I see a preview but I can actually scroll through the entire PDF right inside Spotlight. So I can really be sure I've found the right document before going to that folder or opening the file. Now the last one is one that probably a lot of you wondered why I haven't mentioned yet. There's an app on your Mac called Preview. Wouldn't that be the first one on the list. Well, it turns out the app called Preview really isn't very good for previewing things. So, for an image or a PDF it's the app you open by default. I can double click on this image here and it opens in preview. That's not much of a preview if I've already opened it. The idea is to see it before I open it. So it could be marginally useful say if you wanted to open an image in a big app like PhotoShop to use Preview to see it first. Even more than that you can't open a lot of files in Preview. If I take a video file and try to drag and drop it into Preview nothing happens. I can't open that. I can't open the Sound file. I can't open Rich Text. So it really only allows you to open images and PDF's. Since in most cases it's the app you want to use to open those it's not much of a preview. However one useful function of Preview that actually allows you to preview things is when you have a whole bunch of images. I can select a bunch of images here and I could simply open them or drag and drop them all to Preview. It will open them all. I see them here on the left and I could go through them and use this as a way to basically find the image I want. So it's a big image viewer. That actually can be kind of useful although probably one of the other preview methods will work just as well. So there's a look at a bunch of built-in methods for previewing files in macOS.Related Subjects: Finder (285 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts.