November 29, 2007

Preview Illustrator (and InDesign) files in Leopard

Have you upgraded to Leopard yet? If so, you'll find this interesting.

I've always been annoyed that I can't preview my Illustrator (or InDesign) files on my Mac. And to have to open a file just to see what's in it isn't much fun. Sure, you can use Adobe Bridge, but I don't usually have that application open. More importantly, I'm interested in viewing my files in context -- for example, if someone emails me a file, I want to quickly take a look at it. If I'm placing a file in an app, I want to quickly see a preview in the Place dialog (for whatever app). Heck, I even want to see previews in the file's icon (like how Photoshop does).

Turns out that Apple's Leopard OS (Mac OS 10.5) has a feature called QuickLook which allows you to quickly preview files in context. It's actually rather cool. When I first read of it, I'll admit I thought it was a stupid feature. But then when I installed Leopard, I found out Quicklook is everywhere! No matter where you are (in Mail, in the Finder, literally anywhere), you can get nice previews of your files.

But it gets better. Quicklook is something that other developers can tap into.

Code-Line software (they make the Art Files app for collect for output for AI files) just released SneakPeekPro, which extends the functionality of QuickLook to preview EPS, AI, and INDD files. Not only that, SneakPeekPro also pulls the metadata from CS3 files to also list what swatches, fonts, and placed images are in the file! All without having to open the file.

I love it!


duckdog said...

I'm running a G5 Quad and I've got Leopard installed (5.1) but can't get QuickView to show anything but the generic Illustrator Icon unless I switch to cover flow. In the other finder views, I can see beautiful previews of just about every file format EXCEPT Illustrator. It even shows HTML pages! But not Illutrator files. I have tried right-clicking and selecting QuickView. I've tried the button in the finder window.
I would love to see this feature work. Odd thing is that many of my .ai files were readable in the finder using Tiger, so this seems a step backward on my computer at least
Please help.

Mordy Golding said...

Joe, the SneakPeekPro plugin does just what you're looking for.

Scott said...

Thanks for the hot tip, Mordy. I went and bought SneakPeek based on your recommendation even though I'm still running Tiger. For those who are also interested in SneakPeek, Code Line is currently selling it at an introductory price of $14.95, $5 off the normal cost.

khiltd said...

Sweet. OS X's PDF renderer is just plain awful.