Mac's Spacebar preview now available in Windows 10

A source of envy for Windows users has been the quick preview feature on Mac computers.  That envy has gone now that there’s two apps that add the same feature to Windows 10.

Seer and QuickLook both do the same thing and while they are useful, both lack an important feature; Office document preview.

Seer Pro

Seer Pro app is simple to install from the Microsoft Store and works right away.

All you need to do is select a file in Explorer, press the spacebar and up pops a preview of the file.  Here’s the PDF preview of a popular book for Excel users <g>.

The top right has buttons to close and show more information about the file.

The bottom left icons will open the file in the default program, reveal the file in Explorer.  Bottom right has more information about the file (eg pages for a PDF or dimensions for an image).

Images appear with the top or bottom bars but if you hover your mouse at the edges, the bars will appear.

Notice that the image preview has full screen and rotate options.  Image support is good including JPG, TIF, GIF, Animated GIF and even SVG.

Video Preview is good and fast with thumbnails as you skip along.

Previews appear quickly and disappear by pressing the X at top right or, more likely pressing the Spacebar a second time.

Ctrl + up/down arrow changes the preview to the previous or next file.

The problem is Office document preview.  At the moment, you see the innards of the document instead.

Seer Pro is available from the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 or download for Windows 7 and Windows Vista.  Cost is US$12.95, there’s a trial version available.


The other Windows 10 app is the free QuickLook.  Quicklook gets good reviews and appears to have some more options however we could not get it to work on any of our test Windows 10 machines.  All we see is a white box but no content.   This summary uses maker supplied images.

Just like on a Mac, select a file in Explorer and press Spacebar. A second spacebar to close.

The PDF support is more elegant with page thumbnails.

Source: QuickLook

The images interface is good and clear.

  • Spacebar starts a preview
  • Second spacebar or Escape to close
  • Enter, opens/runs the file in the default program.
  • Mouse Wheel adjusts the volume for music and video.
  • Ctrl + mouse wheel to zoom images etc.

We’d like to recommend QuickLook but since we can’t get it work on our own machines, we can hardly suggest it to our readers.  But you might have better luck and it doesn’t hurt to try.

QuickLook is for Windows 10 only, not Windows 10 S.

No Office document preview

Neither of the apps support Word, Excel or PowerPoint preview.

It seems the issue is the licencing of the Office preview technology rather than a lack of interest.

We’ll keep an eye on the development of these apps and let you know if Office users get included in the preview range.

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