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Cover Flow and Quick Look

I’m one of those people who doesn’t always name documents appropriately. Sometimes I’m just too lazy to come up with a good name and—dare I admit it? —use the default name. Other times I give files a name that makes sense at the time but no sense at all in the future. Or use a name that’s just like about a dozen other file names in other files all over my hard disk.

In Tiger, I made good use of the Info window and column view to see previews of the files that included them. That often helped me find the file I was looking for. But Cover Flow makes it a lot easier for my aging eyes to see what’s in a file. When enabled, it uses the top half of the Finder window to display a preview of the selected document in the active window. This makes it possible to see the contents of a file without opening it. It’s like having x-ray vision.

In a way, Quick Look is a lot like Cover Flow—it enables you to see the contents of a file without opening it. But Quick Look displays the file’s preview in a larger window, making it easier to see (and read). You can even switch to a full-screen view. And it works with folder browsing, so you can use arrow keys to select the files you want to peek inside without dismissing the Quick Look window.

Figure 4

Figure 4: Cover Flow is more than just a cool way to browse a Finder window.

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