How to Edit Files and Images Using Quick Look on Mac

Quick Look window on Mac showing the crop feature
Khamosh Pathak

Quick Look on Mac is an incredibly useful way to preview a file without completely opening it. In macOS Mojave and above, you can perform quick edits on files in the Quick Look popup without needing to open a third-party app.

How to Edit and Mark Up Images and PDFs

All of Preview’s editing and markup features are now available directly in the Quick Look menu. This means you can crop an image, rotate it, mark it up with text, and even add a signature, all without opening the image in Preview. The same goes for PDFs.

Start by opening the Finder app (file explorer) and locating the image or PDF. If it’s on your Desktop, click it to select it. After selecting the image or PDF, press the Space bar to open it in Quick Look.

An image open in the Quick Look window from Finder

The Quick Look window will open up above everything. You can press the “Esc” key to go back if you select the wrong item or you no longer want to edit it.

You’ll see two buttons next to the “Open with Preview” button. The first button is a quick shortcut to the “Rotate” feature. Click on it and the photo will rotate by 90 degrees (in the left direction) instantly. This is an incredibly quick way to fix a picture with the wrong orientation.

Next to it, you’ll see the “Markup” button. Click on it, and you’ll see a new toolbar appear at the top. If you’ve used the Preview app before, you’ll recognize the editing options.

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

From the left, you’ll find the Sketch, Draw, Shapes, Text, Highlight, Sign, Shape Style, Border Color, Fill Color, Text Style, Rotate Right, Rotate Left, and Crop buttons.

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