Reader Bill Leonard is less-than-enamored with Leopard’s preview icons. He writes:
A lot of people have said how great it is that Leopard shows the contents of a document in its icons, but I find it distracting and not always helpful. For example, these icons don’t help me tell one complex Excel document from another. Is there some way to turn off these preview icons?
There is. Open your hard drive on the Mac’s desktop and choose View -> Show View Options. Uncheck the Show Icon Preview option and click Use as Defaults at the bottom of the window. You should no longer see icon previews in Icon, List, and Column views. On my Mac unchecking this option has no effect on Cover Flow view.
You can also be selective about which folders display icons with previews. To choose just a particular folder, open that folder, again choose View -> Show View Options, and then uncheck Show Icon Preview without then also clicking Use as Default.