OS X uses touch gestures throughout to better facilitate navigation and allow users to expedite normally tedious tasks in a quick and convenient fashion. Today, we want to show you a few cool tricks to use gestures in the Finder’s preview pane.

The Finder has all kinds of cool trick up its sleeve. For example, you can customize its folder views allowing you to change the size of icons and arrangements, or you can tweak the sidebar so it conforms to your liking.

One of the other nice features of the Finder is the preview pane, which lets you see a file’s content without opening it. You could use the Quick Look feature by highlighting a file and pressing the spacebar, obviously, but the preview pane allows you to simply click through files in the Finder without any further key presses.

But, the preview pane has other powers that you may not have known about. With a few gestures, you can scrub through multimedia files, pinch to zoom on pictures, and scroll through documents.

Let’s take a look at these preview pane powers and explain how to harness them to improve your Finder experience.

First, if the preview pane is hiding, you can show it from the “View” menu or using the keyboard shortcut Shift+Command+P.

With the preview pane now showing, let’s find some files that we can manipulate using gestures.

Here’s a PDF file. You see we can view the entire document from the preview pane, but if you pinch with two fingers on the trackpad, you can zoom in and out.

This pinch and scroll ability works equally well with photographs, as you can imagine.

Scrubbing through videos using the preview pane is a fun little trick, too, allowing you to zip through videos so you can find that crucial or favorite scene without having to open each file in its own separate app window. Simply hover over the Finder preview and drag two fingers right or left to scrub forward or backward, respectively.

You can track your progress through the video by using the indicator in the center of the video preview. Keep in mind that you can also do this with other media files, including audio.

RELATED: How to Customize Folder Views in OS X Finder

The ability to use the preview pane to zoom and speed through files can conceivably save you a lot of time, especially if you have a lot of files that are similar. There’s little else more frustrating or tedious than having to go through many files one by one trying to find exactly which one you’re seeking.

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Matt Klein has nearly two decades of technical writing experience. He's covered Windows, Android, macOS, Microsoft Office, and everything in between. He's even written a book, The How-To Geek Guide to Windows 8.
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