Bay Mac’s Help Desk

Bay Apple Help with Steve Paris

Helping you get the most out of your Mac, iPhone & iPad

Q: I have a bad habit of not naming my documents anything useful, making it hard to find the one I need later on, and I then have to open tons of files until I get to the right one. Can you help sort my bad work habit? 

A: I’m afraid improving your work habit would take too long for this column, however, I can maybe help streamline your “bad work habit”. The feature I’m thinking of has been around for a long while, since the release of Leopard (OS X 10.5) in 2007 to be precise.

I’m talking of a feature called Quick Look. It’s a clever system designed to help you locate the right file as you scroll through, without ever having to open anything. To activate it, locate a file in the Finder, click on it to select it, and hit the Spacebar. You can zoom into the document to make it easier to read by dragging its edges, or, if your computer supports it, by using the two-finger zoom gesture on your trackpad.

Hit the Spacebar again to get out of Quick Look.

Previewing your files isn’t the sole function of Quick Look. You can also share the selected file directly from the previewing window, if you’re looking at a photo, you can even rotate it. You also have annotation tools which appear when you preview an image or a PDF file.

Not all files allow you to preview them in this way, but it’s likely most, if not all, of the regular apps you use will be supported.

You’ll find Quick Look a highly useful tool in your Mac arsenal. Just remember when you wonder what a file contains, don’t double-click on it, spacebar it!

Steve Paris is an internationally published writer, an Apple Certified Trainer, and provides consultancy, training and troubleshooting services to the Swansea area. You can email him at or contact him on 077-8866-0407.



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