Quicklook is a great little feature that apple added to it’s operating system back when Leopard was released. And if you’re like me, you have used it extensively when you want to preview a photo, movie, or pdf file. But then there are all those other files that don’t seem to be understood by quicklook… And that got me thinking, is there a way to extend the functionality of this amazing little tool in OSX?

Here is a sampling of some of the best (and more) quicklook plugins that I came across in my adventures in digital preview land.

1: Brushview

My last post was about this amazing extension, if you are frequently looking for/at Photoshop brush files, this extension lets you get a good preview of the file before you actually load it up in photoshop to use it. An Invlauable tool.

Homepage | Download


2: QLStephen

With a strange name comes our second extension. If you are a developer or unix administrator that deals with lots of text files that don’t have a file extension, then this one’s for you. This extension allows you to preview the contents of those extensionless “README” files among others, very handy to have around.

Homepage | Download


3: Zip Plugin

Have you ever run across a zip file with a very descriptive name like… “Archive.zip”? And when you run across a file like that it’s a pain to unzip the file just to find out what the contents are. Well no more, the Zip file extension let’s you preview the contents of the zip file before you actually extract the files.

Homepage | Download


4: Folder List

When you are using quicklook and select a folder, by default it displays the folder icon with some basic details about the folder. But what you really want to know is what is inside the folder. This plugin accomplishes just that.

Homepage | Download


5: Quicklook for Markdown

Markdown is becoming increasingly popular for documentation that comes with open source packages. But the question is always “How can I view this effectively?” Quicklook for Markdown solves this problem, making it easy to preview and understand the contents of any markdown syntax files.

Homepage | Download


6: Color XML

XML files are great, and they are being used …. Everywhere now a days. So whatcha need is a way to preview the files and view them with proper syntax indentation and highlighting. The Color XML plugin takes care of that for you.

Homepage | Download


7: QuickCHM

Have you ever wanted to quickly peruse through a chm file without loading up your favorite full blown chm viewer? QuickCHM let’s you do just that, getting fast acces to documentation and books with the click of a spacebar.

Homepage | Download


8: Web Archive Plugin

Whenever you save out a webpage from Safari, you get a nice little webarchive file. And they can be annoying, since they are an archive of images and text rather than just the source code for the webpage. Once again Quicklook comes to the rescue with the Web Archive preview plugin.

Homepage | Download


9: Suspicious Package

Protect yourself against any potential malicious attacks with Suspicious Package. This plugin provides detailed information about any install package that may or may not pose a threat to your system.

Homepage | Download

10: And Finally…. Your Extension

Quicklook plugins appear to be quick and easy to develop, so grab some documentation, combine your skills with a fantastic idea, and go to town creating that idea. Here are some Resources to get you started.

Apples Quicklook Programming Guide

Add File Extensions to Quicklook

Apple Quicklook Dev Mailing List

CocoaDev – Quicklook Wiki