Printing from Quick Look

Reader Brian Gall wants to do more than look at a Quick-Looked file. He writes:

I love Leopard’s Quick Look feature. Is there any way that we can do a Quick Look at a file, without opening it, and print it from the Finder?

Sort of, but there’s a bump along the way. You can select an item in the Finder, press the Space Bar, and get your quick look. But pressing Command-P does nothing. However, if you mouse over to the Finder’s File menu, you’ll find that you can invoke the Print command for printable files.

The bump is that when you do this, the file’s host application launches and then the file prints from your Mac’s default printer. So technically, you are opening it. But, you’re doing so and printing it without a nagging Print dialog box getting in the way. We’ll count that as a time saver and therefore put it in the win column.

You can do the same kind of thing by creating a Desktop Printer. Just open the Print & Fax system preference, select a printer you’d like to print from, and drag it to the Desktop. This is Leopard’s scheme for creating a Desktop Printer. When you want to quickly print a file in the Finder, just drop a document on top of it. As with the previous technique, the host application opens and the file prints.

Update: Astute feline and forum visitor, MorrisTheCat, points out that dragging a PDF to a Desktop Printer causes the file to be printed without opening Preview or Acrobat Reader (though the printing application does open). The same is not true when printing a PDF file from Quick Look. As described, the host application opens and then the document prints.

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