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How to View Photos Quickly and Easily on Mac OS X

There are numerous occasions when you need to quickly show someone (or view yourself) a bunch of photos, be it your kid's pictures from a walk or images from your latest trip to Colorado. And what you want in that situation is an easy solution that would allow you to flick through photos from a certain folder; and you also want it to be automatic, right?

Some Mac users go straight to Apple Store looking to install some third-party app that does exactly that, partly because the native Quick Look feature (that can be launched by pressing Space) doesn't open up in Full Screen. But I'm here to tell you today that this isn't necessary. I'm about to describe a native feature of Mac OS X that saved me quite some time at one point (still does!), which, as it turns out, not everyone is aware of. To quickly view images on Mac OS X, all you need is to make use of the built-in Slideshow feature. It works wonders!

The keyboard keys you need to know to follow along:

Command and OptionCommand and Option

Here's how you quickly view a folder with photos:

Step 1

Fire up Finder. Navigate to the desired folder and select all photos. I usually go with the hotkeys combination Command + A. The other way to go about it is to opt in for Edit –> Select All.

Step 2


Then we launch the slideshow, either by pressing Command + Option + Y
or by keeping the Option
button pressed (do make sure you press Option first!) while clicking File –> Slideshow [X] Items.

Step 3

The first photo selected will be shown in full screen on a black background. The beauty of this approach is that the selected photos will be shown in the same order as they are seen in Finder. So you can sort them out by date/name/tags etc. prior to launching the slideshow.

Step 4

Navigation ButtonsNavigation Buttons

You'll see navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen. You can pause the slideshow and browse through your photos by clicking the Left and Right buttons on the keyboard.

Step 5

The Grid ButtonThe Grid Button

If you click the Grid button (one of the navigation buttons at the bottom), you'll be prompted to a different view where all the selected photos are laid out in a table. In that view, you can navigate through your photos with the mouse or keyboard.

That's about it – nice and easy! I hope you found this helpful and entertaining; give this a try and you won't regret it!


Option... What is the option button on a MacBook Air? Okay, googled it. But please be more clear about it when writing an article.

 –  6 years ago  –  Was it helpful? yes | no (0)