How to Show a Preview Panel in Every Finder Window of Mac OS X
Want to see a Preview panel in Mac Finder windows so that you can get a glance at what images and files look like before opening them? Modern versions of MacOS allow for this handy Preview feature in the Finder.
Longtime Mac users may be aware that the Column view of the Mac OS X Finder has long been popular with users who like to see a preview of what image or document they are selecting in the Finder. Up until recently, this handy preview panel was limited to the Column view however, and if you wanted to see documents or files in a list or icon view of the Finder, it wasn’t there. That changed with modern MacOS releases, and now you can have a Mac file system preview panel available with every single Finder window if you’d like to, including in icon view.
This is a really great feature particularly for those who view a lot of images or who just want to see a preview of the documents, files, and folders they’re looking at. The preview panel shows a decent amount of information, including file name, file size, date created, date modified, last opened, and what tags are used, as well as the ability to add new tags.
How to Show Preview Panel in Mac Finder Windows
To show the Finder window preview panels, here’s what to do:
- From any Mac Finder window, pull down the “View” menu and choose “Show Preview”
- Select any file to see the preview panel populate with data about the selected file
Any newly opened Finder windows will also show the preview panel. That means once you have chosen to “Show Preview” it will be enabled for all new Finder windows until you turn the feature off.
Here’s what the Finder window looks like after the panel is enabled and a file is chosen:
And here’s what the same Finder window looks like without the panel enabled, this is the default view:
Photographers and those who handle very large image files may want to take note that this feature can lead to a performance hit when using this feature with a folder that has a lot of high resolution images, similar to how showing Finder icon thumbnails can make older Macs suffer performance degradation. The impact of that depends on the Mac model itself and your experience may vary. Nonetheless if you turn the Finder preview panel on and notice a slowdown in Finder performance with folders containing many files with large images, hiding it again is likely to boost speed again. You can also follow some general tips to speed up OS X Yosemite, which for some users may feel slower than prior OS versions on their Mac. Most of these performance issues have been resolved in later MacOS releases however, but the tips can still be beneficial to some particularly on older hardware or if you want to optimize performance in general.
Do you use Finder Preview panel? Do you have any handy tips or tricks for this great feature? Share with us in the comments!