4/5/219:00 am Using the macOS Finder Preview Pane The Preview pane gives you so much more than just a simple preview. You can view lots of information about a file, and even change things like the file name and tags. You can customize what is shown in the Preview Pane for each file type. Video Transcript: Hi, this Gary with MacMost.com. Today it's all about using the Preview Pane in the Mac Finder Window. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 900 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. So the Preview Pane is what you see in the Finder on the right side of the window. Usually you see it in Column View. In Column View you've got columns that show you files and folders and when you select a file, like this one, you'll see a preview of it on the right. It's called the Preview Pane because subdivisions of a window are called panes, you know like window panes. Now while by default you should see a preview pane when you're in Column View you won't see it in other finder views like Icon View or List View. But it's actually available in all views. Just go to View and then Show Preview and that brings up the Preview Pane in any Finder view that you want. Often people enable this, bring up the preview here, and then forget how to turn it off. You just go back to View and then Hide Preview to get rid of it. Now with it On in List or Icon View you can extend the size of the Preview Pane by clicking and dragging the line between the main Finder window content and the Preview Pane. Note that there's a keyboard shortcut to make it easy to turn this On and Off. So it's Shift Command P. You can use that to quickly get rid of it or bring it back. So what do you find in the Preview Pane. Well, a lot more than just a preview but you do see that. In this case I have an image file selected so I see a preview of that file. We'll look at different ways to use this preview in a minute. Under that you'll see the file name which is the full file name which isn't a big deal unless you have a long file name and you don't have enough room over here to be able to see it. It's nice to be able to select it and then see the full file name there. Note that the file name here is editable. So I can click in it and you could see now I could rename the file by using this file name here instead of the one in List, Icon, or Column View. Under that you'll see the type of image. In this case it's a jpeg and the size. Then you'll see more information under that. Now what information you see depends on your settings and also the type of file. Usually you'll see a list of dates first. There are various different dates for a file. So if you want to know the date or time for a file you need to be more specific. You've got the time that the file was created. You also have the last time it was modified and the last time it was opened. Sometimes these will be one and the same but a lot of times these will be different. Now what you see after that depends on the type of file. So, for instance, for an image here I see dimensions and resolution. Then under that you can see Tags. Tags also are editable. I haven't set any tags for this file but I can click right here and easily add some. Then below that you'll see Quick Actions. Quick Actions are little buttons that allow you to do things to the file without actually opening them inbox an app. What you see here is going to depend on what type of file you've selected. So for an image file I have Rotate Left and Go To Markup Tools to markup the image. But I can access those without having to open them up in any application. I can just click on these. So to rotate this image I can just click like that. Rotate four times and I'm back where I started. Now you can always click More here and get a list of other actions because there's only room for two actions here and then a More button. So any more than two is going to be in this list underneath the three dots button.These are things I've created using Automator or Script Editor. But sometimes there's more. If you go to Customize then it will bring you into System Preferences, into Extensions, and to Finder here. I'll see all the different extensions that will add Quick Actions to the Finder Preview Pane. So in this case I have an app that adds a few extra. So installing apps will sometimes add them here as well as creating your own things in Automator. Now notice I've got this button here Show More. If I click that it expands what's shown here. So for an image I see a ton more information. So I see the Color space, Color profile, you know Device models since this is a photo. Lots of different things about this image. You could always click Show Less to hide all of that. Now you can go to View and then Show Preview Options to customize everything. So here for Preview Options Image, since I have an image selected, you could see I've got Tags turned on. I've got dates of which ones are there. Image details, only some of them are shown, and all sorts of other things. These are the things I previously saw when I clicked Show More. But I could have them shown by default. So, for instance, if I wanted to have the Device Model I could see what device was used to take this photo. Now note if I select a different file type all this changes. Instead of Preview Options Image, if I select a video, it says Preview Options Movie. I've got different things now in this list. Here's an Audio File and you could see I've have different things for audio files. Here's a text file and I have different things for text. So these preview options will change depending upon what you've selected. Here's a Numbers file and it will say Preview Options Spreadsheet. Now when it comes to these previews you're basically seeing what you would see in QuickLook and there's some functionality here. For instance for an image I can use two fingers on my trackpad and spread apart to zoom in on the image. Then two fingers moving around on the trackpad to move the image around. For a video, if I move my cursor over it you could see I have a Play button and I can play the video. The same thing for Audio. I'll get a Play button here and I could listen to the sound. Here I've selected a Pages document. Any large document, like a Pages document or a pdf, I can actually flip through the pages. Other things you could do with the Preview is you could actually click and drag it. So I could drag it to move the file to import it into another application. I could drag it into an application window. Now also note you could see something here when you select a Folder. So I select a folder and I'll see a large folder icon and I'll see information about the folder. The name and the total size. It doesn't work in Column View. If you select a folder in Column View it is going to show the contents of what's in that folder here. So you really never get to see a Preview Pane version of the folder in Column View. But in Icon View and List View you get to see the folder here. So there's a look at using the Preview Pane in macOS Finder. I know a low of users would find it really useful just to have it on all the time or at least be able to use Shift Command P to bring up the Preview Pane very quickly when you need it. Related Subjects: Finder (290 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 6 Responses to “Using the macOS Finder Preview Pane” Hal Plimpton 3 years ago Gary...An amazing drill-down...thanks, but I’m curious how this differs from the PREVIEW app. Thanks...Hal Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Hal: The Preview app is a very different thing. First, it is a while app that you open files with, not something you would use to view the contents of a file without opening it at all. Second, it only works with images, PDFs and a few other things. Not videos, sound files and many other file types. Third, Preview has markup tools and ways to convert and export images. Lindy 3 years ago OMG...this is an awesome tip. I use quicklook a lot but this is so much better for my purposes. Thanks, Gary, for being my Mac Guru. Charles Solomon 3 years ago Gary, when you showed how to use the ... to add functions to Finder Preview I noticed that one of the options is "Create Searchable PDF." That means Mac OS has given us an OCR engine to use with non-searchable PDFs, PDFs that are images! And it doesn't just create a mass of text, it preserves formatting such as Bold and Underline and Center. Unless a person has Adobe products, that is huge! It is also relevant to your recent comment on OwlOCR. Joyce Hann 3 years ago Hi, this is exactly what I am used to seeing and using. Now Finder has stopped showing the preview pane. It just shows a 'wheelie'. No answer on Apple support forum. Suggestions? Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Joyce: A "wheelie?" No idea what you mean by that. What happens when you try to turn the Preview pane on or off? Have you tried a restart? Comments Closed.