Toggle Between Full Size & Scaled Images in Quick Look for OS X

Dec 4, 2013 - 1 Comment

quicklook The infinitely useful instant preview tool of Quick Look has been a feature of Mac OS X for quite some time now, and users have long been able to use either a key modifier or multitouch gesture to zoom in and out of the Quick Look preview windows of an image or PDF file. Now with OS X Mavericks, there’s a new addition to the choices of zooming options; the ability the instantly view an image at it’s full, true size with a simple key press, or jump back to the default scaled version – both with a simple key press.

To demonstrate this, find an image in the Finder of OS X that is quite large, it can be any picture but something like a wallpaper or photo taken from an iPhone or digital camera will work well since the resolution is typically larger than the preview panel allocated to Quick Look. Once you have located a large resolution file, select the image, then tap the Spacebar to enter into Quick Look, where the following zoom options will become functional:

Press OPTION to Instantly View the Image at Full Size

This zooms the image instantly to it’s full resolution size, which usually means scroll bars will become visible to navigate around the picture as it’s shown at native resolution.

Full size Quick Look images in OS X

Press COMMAND to Instantly Zoom Back Out to Scaled Size

The default scaled size is window constrained, meaning whatever the size of the Quick Look preview panel will be the ‘default’ size that is viewed within the preview, scaled to fit accordingly.

Scaled Quick Look image in OS X

Use pinch and spread gestures to zoom in and out even further

You can actually get rather extreme zooming by continuously using the ‘spread’ gesture, though how useful that will be likely depends on the resolution of the image that is in Quick Look.

Quick Look gets a lot of use with graphic designers and digital photo professionals, but it works great for casual users too for quick image browsing and inspection. All of these tricks work in Quick Look used from the Finder, Open and Save dialogs, or in Quick Looks little-known full screen instant ‘slideshow’ mode.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks

One Comment

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  1. John says:

    Great tip. Thanks!!!

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