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Mac Snac 004 – QuickLook X-Ray Folders

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Hints & Tips, Mac Snac

Well, here’s a cool little trick I ran across while trying to find a way to hide the menu and scrollbars in Mac OS X. This one is a Terminal hack that you can perform in Mac OS X Snow Leopard to get folders in Quicklook preview to show up with transparent covers. This gives you an “x-ray” style view of the icons of items inside that folder. Pretty neat. Here’s a little video on how to do it along with step by step instructions after the break:

Step-by-step
1) Launch Terminal (Applications–>Utilities–>Terminal)
2) Type in the following command:

    defaults write com.apple.finder QLEnableXRayFolders 1

3) Control+Option+Click the Finder icon in the dock and select ‘Relaunch’ to restart the Finder.
4) Select a folder in the Finder and press the spacebar to open it in Quicklook.
5) The folder icon should now have a transparent cover and you can see the icons of items inside the folder

Secrets – The GUI Method
1) Go to the Blacktree Site and download Secrets
2) Install Secrets. Double-click the .prefpane file and say OK when it asks if you want to install the Preference Pane.
3) Open System Preferences–>Secrets
4) In the ‘Top Secrets’ section check the box next to ‘Show X-ray folders in QuickLook’.
5) Click the ‘Quit This’ button to quit the Finder.
6) Click the Finder icon in the dock to relaunch the Finder.
7) Select a folder in the Finder and press the spacebar to open it in Quicklook.
8) The folder icon should now have a transparent cover and you can see the icons of items inside the folder

There are 3 comments on Mac Snac 004 – QuickLook X-Ray Folders:

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  1. Louis | Mar 30 2010 - 08:49

    Pretty neat. Thanks for sharing this Secret. Does anyone know the secret on how to change the path to where an image is saved when taking a screen shot?

    My desktop is locked for safety reasons so when pressing (command shift 3) it won’t save to the DT. So I’d like to change the path on Snow Leopard.

  2. Adam Christianson | Mar 30 2010 - 08:05

    Actually, Secrets will let you change the setting for the Desktop Picture path. It’s under the ‘Grab’ settings. The Terminal command is:

    defaults write com.apple.screencapture location /Full/path/to/Folder

  3. Jon | Apr 06 2010 - 04:33

    For the record, I tried this with my Leopard 10.5.7, and it works. :-)