Enable Copy Paste in Quick Look Previews on a Mac

Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 in Apple, Hints and Tips | 0 comments

Enable Copy Paste in Quick Look Previews on a Mac

Quick Look is fantastic! It allows us Mac users to peek inside a file without having to load a fully featured app like TextEdit or iTunes. We deal with text files all day long, and sometimes all we need is a few lines of code out of it, or a licence key for a client. This hack will show you how you can enable copy paste from Quick Look, speeding up your day!

To make text selectable in Quick Look previews, you just need to enable a hidden Finder setting.

Select and copy the code below, open Terminal (/Applications/Utilities), paste that code at the prompt, then press Return:

defaults write com.apple.finder QLEnableTextSelection -bool TRUE; killall Finder

After a second or two, the Finder will restart. Once it does, you’ll be able to select text in Quick Look previews and copy it to the Clipboard for use elsewhere.

If you decide you don’t like this, you can turn this feature off with a little more su foo using the following Terminal command:

defaults delete com.apple.finder QLEnableTextSelection; killall Finder

As you can see from this screen shot, we’ve re-enabled it because we like it!

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