Enable Select And Copy In The OS X “Quick Look” Pane

If you have used OS X for any length of time you have probably used – and become dependent on – the “Quick Look” function: Highlight a file in the finger, hit the spacebar, and you get a quick-n-dirty peek into the file without having to open the associated app. All good … until you need to copy what’s in the Quick Look to paste it into something else, because to do that you still needed to open up the file.

Until now.

If you want to be able to select and copy text out of the Quick Look, open your Terminal and at the prompt enter this handy pair of commands (if you are new to the Terminal, remember to hit “return” after each one):

defaults write com.apple.finder QLEnableTextSelection -bool true

killall Finder

Spelling and capitalization matters here, so if you want to be sure you are doing it correctly just copy from here and paste them one at a time into the Terminal, remembering to hit “return” after each one. Once you are done and the finder has restarted (all of your icons and folder windows will disappear for a moment or two and then come back, so don’t panic) you will be able to select and copy from the Quick Look pane. Handy stuff.

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