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Quick Look is an excellent feature that was introduced by Apple in Mac OS X 10.5, used for quickly viewing (i.e.: previewing) the content of many types of files. This way, user only needs to select a file/folder -> then click space bar to quickly browse its content without opening this file/folder or running its associated program first. Its simplicity and efficiency are recognized and appreciated by many Mac computer users. However, Windows OS does not have and will not add this feature. Fortunately, we can use some third-party applications to accomplish the same function.
QuickLook is an open-source, free file/folder content fast previewing tool for Windows, developed by xupefei (Paddy Xu) from China. It enables your Windows to support the widely acclaimed Quick Look feature on Mac OS X, and may be the best choice of such kind of tools (I mean it has better performance than the ever popular commercial software Seer). Taken together, it’s fair to think of QuickLook as the best free alternative, or even a terminator of Seer.
QuickLook supports image, audio and video, plain text, a variety of proprietary document formats such as PDF and Office, HTML code file, Markdown file, compressed archive file, as well as many other common file formats. For other file formats that are not supported by default (such as .markdown, .mkv, etc.), we can easily extend QuickLook’s compatibility by installing plug-ins. In addition, the plug-in not only makes QuickLook be compatible with more file formats, but also makes the already compatible formats display more comprehensive information.
In fact, when tidying and searching files, most of the time we only need to quickly view the content of a file, rather than open its associated program to edit it. Not only does QuickLook eliminate the process and time of waiting for any software (especially those large, resource-intensive ones) to launch and load, but it also saves the CPU and RAM consumption, so as to make our work more efficient. Although Windows Explorer has a similar file preview feature, its practicality, efficiency and convenience are all far behind the original Quick Look function of Mac OS.
// Key Features //
- Tons of supported file types (full list here)
- Fluent design (new in version 0.3)
- Touchscreen friendly
- HiDPI support
- Preview from Open and Save File Dialog
- Preview from 3rd-party file managers (see a list here)
- Easy extended by plugins
- Strict GPL license to keep it free forever
// Supported File Types //
- Almost all image formats: .png, .apng, .jpg, .bmp, .gif, .psd, Camera RAW, …
- Compressed archives: .zip, .rar, .tar.gz, .7z, etc.
- .pdf and .ai file
- Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx), Excel (.xls, .xlsx) and PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx) files (requires MS Office installation)
- OpenDocument (odt, .ods and .odp) files (requires MS Office installation)
- Almost all audio and video formats: .mp4, .mkv, .m2ts, .ogg, .mp3, .m4a, etc.
- Comma-separated values file (.csv)
- Email and Outlook Email files (.eml and .msg)
- HTML files (.htm, .html)
- EPUB books (.epub)
- Markdown file (.md, .markdown)
- All kinds of text files (determined by file content)
- Other files and folders will be shown in a information box
// Supported File Managers //
- Your Desktop
- File Explorer windows
- Open and Save File dialogs
- Everything (since v0.2.1)
- Directory Opus (since v0.2.1)
// Hotkeys //
- Spacebar – Show/Hide the preview window
- Esc – Hide the preview window
- Enter – Open/Execute current file
- Mouse️ ↑ ↓ ← → – Preview another file
- Ctrl + Wheel – Zoom in/out images
- Wheel – Increase/decrease volume
// Tips //
- When previewing an image, you can use the mouse wheel to zoom in/out while pressing and holding the Ctrl key
- You can also use the mouse wheel to adjust the volume when previewing an audio or video file
// Prompts //
- Total Commander employs the Spacebar for selecting items, so QuickLook does not override it. However it is possible to set the F3 preview application to QuickLook. Notes here.
- XYplorer treats the Spacebar as a part of search keywords, so QuickLook does not override it. However it is possible to set custom hotkey to invoke QuickLook. Notes here.
// Download URLs //
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