Windows has built-in Preview feature since Windows 7. Enable the Preview Pane, and you can preview files right in File Explorer without opening them. While it works relatively good, it has its limitations. For example, you only see a thumbnail image of a video file in the preview pane and you can’t view the content of a compressed file.
If you are on a Mac computer long enough, you probably enjoy this QuickLook feature that you can simply hit the space bar to see a quick preview of any file you highlighted. While we are still waiting for Microsoft to delivery a better preview feature to Windows 10, there is a new app in Microsoft Store that brings this very Mac QuickLook-like feature on Windows 10.
It’s just called QuickLook and can be downloaded free of charge from the Microsoft Store.
It works exactly the same way as the QuickLook on Mac. Highlight a file that you want to preview and hit the Spacebar. The QuickLook preview window pops up with the content of the file displayed inside the window.
As you can see, other than opening the default app, sticking on top and preventing from closing, there aren’t many options available in the app. However, you can use the up/down arrow key to preview through the files in the same folder, as well as Ctrl + mouse scroll to zoom in or out on documents.
The best part
If it’s a PDF file, you can preview the whole file not only using the mouse but through the page thumbnails as well.
If it’s a video file, the QuickLook preview window is your media player with enough features to operate a video.
If it’s an email, it previews the header and message of the email and lists the attachments in the email. However, it’s not able to preview the attachment inside the preview window.
If it’s an Excel spreadsheet, it lists not only the default worksheet but all the sheets available in the file. Previewing a spreadsheet just like reading it in native Excel app.
For the file types it doesn’t know how to deal with, i.e. executable or ISO files, QuickLook will just simply display the file’s basic info instead.
QuickLook is also an open source on GitHub, managed and maintained by xupefei. It’s available not only on Microsoft Store for Windows 10 users but for other Windows platform as well. Believe it or not, it even has a portable version that you can download and run without installing it first.