Folder Icons Quick Look
Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and later support Quick Look. It supplies previews of files and folders when you select a file and press the space bar. The same technology is used by the Finder to show previews of files using individual file icons. Folder Icons Quick Look extends this to folders too and gives you an idea of any pictures contained in a folder by generating an updated folder icon.
Folder Icons Quick Look is contained in a standard installer package. Run the package by double-clicking on it and follow the on-screen instructions to install the software. The Finder should start using it immediately, but you may only notice folder icons updating for folders you have not yet viewed in the Finder because the Finder “remembers” the old icon of folders it has already seen. If you log out and back in again, or reboot, the Finder should start showing new icons for all folders.
Folder Icons Quick Look updates folders automatically but there are a few drawbacks (discussed below) and some users may not want all of their folder icons changing. For manual control of which folders get updated and to see updated folder icons in Finder search results and Cover Flow view mode, check out Add Folder Icons.
See album art for a file-based (rather iTunes-based) music collection (e.g. using a “folder.jpg” file inside a folder for each album), or for a file-based (rather than iPhoto-based) photograph collection, or for any other collections of images you may have stored somewhere.
See more detail when you highlight one or more folders in the Finder and press the Space bar to activate the Quick Look pop-up; for best results, go to the contact sheet if selecting multiple folders.
Due to the way that the Mac OS calls Quick Look generators there are a few unavoidable drawbacks to the software.
- Folders acquire a “page curl” effect – this is added in by the operating system and is out of the control of Folder Icons Quick Look. You can see the effect in the various screen shots of Finder windows above.
- If you view a single folder in a Quick Look pop-up panel, its icon will have a solid coloured background. Again, this is due to a quirk in the way the operating system works. If you view several folders in the Quick Look pop-up contact sheet view, though, they will have normal transparent backgrounds.
- If you put the Finder into Cover Flow view mode or if you use Spotlight to look for folders, the plain blue folder icons will always be shown. The Finder simply does not call Quick Look generators for folders in these view modes.
You can get around all of these problems by using the alternative Add Folder Icons software, but you sacrifice the automatic update of folder icons if you do so. In Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), QuickLook generators are forbidden from creating icons for folders at all, so this is as good as it gets!
The installer package contains a "Read Me" specific to the version of Folder Icons Quick Look being installed. You should read this carefully to check for any other information or requirements prior to proceeding with the installation.