View super large preview icons in Leopard

Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) includes some truly massive (512x512 pixel) icons, as we’ve already discussed. The system can also create large preview icons for videos and images, but to take advantage of these large icons (both standard OS X icons and preview icons), you need to use Cover Flow mode, and maximize the size of the overall window first and then the preview area within it.

Here’s another way to see large icons—which can be particularly useful for videos and photographs—that doesn’t require maximizing a Cover Flow window. Instead, open the folder containing the files you’d like to view in supersize mode, and then click in that window’s Spotlight search box.

In the search box, type ”” (that’s two double-quotes), and then in the Search section of the window, change the setting from This Mac to the current folder (which should be listed in quotes next to This Mac), and change the search from Contents to File Name. This Spotlight search will basically find every file in the current folder. When the search is done, change the view mode to icon view (View -> As Icons or Command-1).

Now look at the lower right hand corner of the window, and you’ll see a slider. This controls the size of the preview icons you see in the window—and unlike the Finder’s View Options window, you can go way past 128x128 pixels. Move the slider all the way to the right for some truly massive previews (click the below image for a full-scale version):

Supersized icon preview (left) compared to standard 128x128 pixel icon (right)

Hopefully this slider will be incorporated into standard Finder windows in some future release of the OS, as it’s quite handy. For now, though, you can get to it with a relatively simple Spotlight query.

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