With Mac OS X 10.7 Lion Apple is vastly improving support for Quick Look
, the innovative technology that allows you to quickly preview almost any kind of file without even opening it. Quick Look, available on Leopard and Snow Leopard in a translucent black UI, lets you take a sneak peek at PDFs, images, folders, Office and iWork documents, songs, videos and even entire slideshows just by selecting a file and hitting the space bar in your Finder. With Lion, Apple is enhancing the capabilities of Quick Look by giving it a design overhaul and making it more interactive into a variety of applications and services.
First off, Quick Look now comes with a white UI and system-wide support for popovers, as we reported back in November. The new white design should make it easier for everyone to quickly preview documents and images thanks to the better contrast between content and the white background. More importantly, Quick Look popovers now allow you to check out webpages, dictionary definitions, songs and applications with an integrated system that’s built into software like iChat, Mail and Spotlight.
For instance, words and songs get support for the new Quick Look in Spotlight, which displays previews alongside the main search results. Same applies for PDF documents, which can be read into a Quick Look popover and opened into Preview.app with a double click (this also works with all other filetypes, double clicking on Quick Look will open the recommended app with a cool sliding animation).
Perhaps our new favorite feature in Lion is the live preview of a webpage right into Quick Look. In apps like iChat and Mail, you can click on the disclosure triangle next to a http:// link to open it into a real-time Quick Look window, without leaving the app you’re using.
Support for Quick Look for standard documents and folders is pretty much the same of Snow Leopard, except for the new white UI. You can select multiple folders at once and navigate through them with Quick Look’s toolbar buttons at the top, scroll pages of a PDF file with a two-finger swipe on the preview, resize Quick Look’s window using the new resizing options of OS X Lion. Quick Look can go into full-screen mode with a pinch gesture, but Lion apparently still doesn’t detect it as a full-screen app with its dedicated “space”. You can preview entire .txt and .rtf files, play songs directly from Quick Look’s popover in Spotlight.
More screenshots below.