Quick Look and video files

Rob Griffiths
23 April, 2009
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Quick Look, the OS X 10.5 feature that lets you peek into files without opening them, is a great time saver, and the interface is about as simple as it gets. Select a file (or files), press the Space Bar, and that’s all there is to it. If Quick Look knows how to display the file you’ve selected—and it can handle many file types—you’ll see the file’s contents in the Quick Look window.

One of the file types Quick Look handles well is video; you can select one or more videos and open them in Quick Look, then use a basic playback controller to watch the movie. Quick Look is pretty smart about videos, too. First off, Quick Look will remember where you were at in the video if you exit Quick Look then reopen it later—as long as you didn’t use Quick Look on any other files in the interim.

If you open more than one video, you can use the Index Sheet button to select which video you’d like to watch in Quick Look. As with a single video, your playback position in multiple videos is remembered—switch from a video to the Index Sheet, select another video, and when you return to the first, it will be right where it was when you left.

Finally, Quick Look and video files work well with Spaces, Leopard’s virtual desktop tool. If you’re watching a video in one space, then switch to another space, Quick Look will automatically pause the video. When you return, the movie will resume play right where you left off (as long as you didn’t use Quick Look in another Space).

Thanks to Mac OS X Hints readers rdoyle720 and winstonavich for today’s Quick Look tips.

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