Microsoft PowerToys may soon get a Mac OS-inspired Peek file preview feature
Microsoft’s PowerToys collection of tools may soon become a new feature inspired by Mac OS’s file preview feature. Called Peek, the tool allows users to preview many file formats, including multimedia and text documents, directly in File Explorer.
The PowerToys prototype tool is not the first tool that brings file preview functionality to Windows. We’ve reviewed the free Quicklook and WinQuickLook programs in the past, which do the same thing.
Once installed, just press the Space key while a file is selected to preview it directly in File Explorer. The preview is displayed as an overlay on the screen and the whole operation is fast and smooth.
File Explorer has a preview feature for some file types, but it suppresses the File Explorer window when enabled and previews are limited in size.
The new PowerToys Peek feature works similarly, but with one major caveat. A member of the Microsoft Photos team unveiled the prototype on Reddit. It was created during a hack week at Microsoft.
A demo video is available which highlights the controls and the preview feature for still images. The user selects multiple images in File Explorer and uses the shortcut to preview them directly in the overlay which opens immediately after triggering the shortcut.
The actual image preview is fast and smooth, but PowerToys has a limitation that may reduce users’ experience. Unlike the Mac OS tool or the previously mentioned third-party Windows tools, PowerToys does not support single-key shortcuts. Hitting Space to preview a file in File Explorer is not supported and because of this Shift-Space is used.
The good news is that it is possible to change the keyboard shortcut, but it should always be a combination of keys to press to trigger the preview function.
The initial version of PowerToys would support more features according to featured on Reddit. Nothing has been mentioned yet regarding these features.
PowerToys Peek is “much faster” than Quicklook’s file preview feature, according to MSFT-SAM, who posted the information on Reddit.
We had similar experiences when testing other apps. We performed performance tests and concluded that our prototype was much faster in previewing than Quicklook. Something like 10 times faster on average. Our performance was similar, sometimes better, than the File Explorer preview pane.
Microsoft has added many features to recent versions of PowerToys, including an always on top feature, an Awake tool to prevent the PC from going to sleep, or a Color Picker tool.
Quicklook is a great feature that greatly improves file preview in the default file manager. Windows users can use third-party tools for this, which support the one-touch shortcut supported by the Mac OS feature, or PowerToys, provided the feature lands in a development release and later in a release. steady.
Now you: what do you think of the PowerToys? Do you run them on your devices?