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How to preview webp files with Quick Look on macOS

macOS has a neat utility called Quick Look that you can use to get a quick preview of files. This utility supports a lot of different file formats including script formats, text file formats, image formats, video formats, and more. It doesn’t offer any editing options but it is one of the fastest ways to preview a file since the utility is fast and opens in a split second.

While Quick Look supports an impressive number of file formats, it doesn’t support every single file format there is. There will always be exceptions. Out of the box, you cannot preview WEBP files with Quick Look however, you can install a Quick Look plugin to add support for this image format.

Preview WEBP with Quick Look

The plugin that we’re installing is called WebPQuickLook. Unlike most plugins, this one is installed via an installation script.

  1. Tap Command + Spacebar to open Spotlight.
  2. Enter ‘Terminal’.
  3. Select and open the app.
  4. You can install WebPQuickLook for a single user or for all users. To install it for all users, you will need admin rights. Use the following command to install WebPQuickLook.

For single user

curl -L https://raw.github.com/emin/WebPQuickLook/master/install.sh | sh

For all users

curl -L https://raw.github.com/emin/WebPQuickLook/master/install-all.sh | sh

  1. If you’re installing the plugin for all users, you will have to enter the admin password.
  2. Once installed, click the Apple logo on the Menu Bar.
  3. Select Log Out from the menu and log your user out.
  4. Log back in.
  5. Look for a WebP file and select it.
  6. Tap the Space bar.
  7. The WebP file will preview in Quick Look.

What is WebP

WebP is an image format developed by Google. You will normally find these types of files in the Google Play Store but other websites use them as well. The files can be previewed easily in the Chrome browser, in fact, most browsers are able to preview a WebP file. The format isn’t as common as PNG or JPG or JPEG yet, but it’s owned by Google so you can expect to run into it more often than other image types.

Conclusion

Quick Look can’t preview every single file there is. Apple has added support for formats it thinks users will encounter most often and it seems WebP didn’t make the cut. If you have other file types that Quick Look doesn’t preview, it’s worth investing the time to look for a Quick Look plugin that can add support for them.

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