How to Edit Files and Images Using Quick Look on Mac

Mac Quick Look Window with Crop FunctionKhamosh Pathak

Quick Look on Mac is an extremely useful way to preview a file without opening it completely. In macOS Mojave and above, you can make quick changes to the files in the Quick View pop-up without having to open a third-party application.

How to edit and tag images and PDFs

All Preview Edition and the markup features are now available directly in the Quick Look menu. This means that you can crop an image, rotate it, mark it with text, and even add a signature, all without opening the image in Preview. It is the same PDFs.

Start by opening the Finder application (file explorer) and look for the image or the PDF. If it is on your desktop, click on it to select it. After selecting the image or PDF, tap the space bar to open it in Quick Look.

An open image in the Quick View window from the Finder

The Quick Look window will open at the top of everything. You can press the "Esc" key to go back if you select the wrong item or you do not want to change it.

You will see two buttons next to the "Open with preview" button. The first button is a quick shortcut to the "Rotate" function. Click on it and the photo will rotate 90 degrees (in the left direction) instantly. This is an incredibly fast way to correct a misguided image.

Next, you will see the "Annotate" button. Click on it and you will see a new toolbar at the top. If you have already used the Preview application, you will recognize the editing options.

Click the Edit button to edit the image in Quick Look.

On the left, you'll find the Sketch, Drawing, Shapes, Text, Highlight, Sign, Shape Style, Border Color, Fill Color, Text Style, Rotate Right, Rotate Left, and Crop buttons.

Explore all the tools available in the image editing feature in Quick Look

If you want to crop a photo, click on the "Crop" button and then use the handles to reduce the size of the photo. To insert a signature into a PDF document, click the "Sign" button and select your saved signature.

To add arrows or a box, click on the "Shapes" button and select a shape from the drop-down menu. You can then click on "Shape Style" to make it thinner or thicker. Click the "Border Color" button to change the color of the shape.

Once your changes are complete, click the "Done" button.

Click Done once you are done to save the image or PDF.

All your changes will be saved in the image or the PDF. Quick Look also closes, bringing you back to a Finder window or office.

RELATED, RELATED, RELATED: Use your Mac's preview app to crop, resize, rotate, and edit images

How to cut and rotate videos

Quick Look on macOS also includes a rotation and cutting feature for videos. Find a video in the Finder and tap the spacebar.

You will see two icons in the top toolbar next to the video open button in the default application. The first is a "Rotate" button that quickly rotates the video 90 degrees (in the left direction). The second is a "Trim" button that reveals a video editing tool.

Click the Trim button of a video in Quick Look mode.

You will see a video timeline and a scrubber in the lower part of the window with two yellow handles on either side of the timeline. Click and hold the handle on the left side of the timeline and drag it to where you want to start the video.

Drag the yellow handle to trim a video in Quick Look

Do the same with the right handle for where you want to end the video. If you make a mistake and want to go back, click on the "Restore" button.

Now click on "Done". The portion of the video outside of the yellow handles will be removed. The video will be adjusted to the new start and end points.

If you want to make more specific changes, you can use the QuickTime application on your Mac.

RELATED, RELATED, RELATED: Use your Mac's QuickTime app to edit video and audio files

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