In Lion if I used QuickLook to display an image, and then clicked the double arrows to make it full screen, it would scale the image to the size of my monitor (up too, not just down). Then when I used the arrow keys to navigate in the Finder, all subsequent small images would also display scaled up. That no longer happens. In Mavericks, small images are now displayed at 100% with a black border around all four sides. You can scale individual images up by tapping the Option key, but that only applies one image at a time, not the whole series.

Is there any way to get that setting back? I used that feature a lot, and it's rather disconcerting that it's gone.

  • Screen capture the screen (Command-Shift-3) and quick look your result. Do the black borders still show up? – chrisjr Dec 16 '13 at 4:00

I finally figured out how to do this (sort of).

Again, easier to do with more than one monitor - I don't know how it would work on a single monitor.

In the Finder, sort the images as you like then right click (ctrl-click) on the first image in a Finder window you wish to see. A pop-up menu will appear with an item about half way down called Quick Look "name-of-image.xtn" (where "name-of-image.xtn" is the name of the image you clicked on). Now, before doing anything else, hold down the Option key. The menu item will change to Slideshow "name-of-image.xtn".

NOTE: You must do it in that order - if you hold down Option before you right click on the image, you get a completely different menu pop up.

When you release the mouse, the image will open up full screen but not full size. When you release the Option key, the image will go full size. However, the image will have focus and arrow navigation won't work, so you have to bring focus back to the Finder window, easiest done by clicking on the Finder window (which is why I don't know how to do this with only one monitor).

Now: if you hold down the Option key while tapping the right arrow key, each image will open up fullscreen and full height/width, regardless of whether it is smaller than your monitor resolution or not.


  1. Navigation doesn't work in List view.
  2. In Columns view only Opt-RightArrow is of any use. If you type Opt-UpArrow or Opt-DownArrow you will go to the first or last image in the Finder window. If you type Opt-LeftArrow you will exit out of the folder you're in. Additionally, if you have your window sorted by tags, the cursor gets stuck on the virtual folders separating different tag groups.
  3. Opt-Navigation works fine in Icons view. No problems there, but having to remember to hold down the Option key becomes annoying pretty quickly.

All things considered, this is pretty awkward. It's a real kludge for something that "just worked" in Lion. I hope it's something they fix for Yosemite, or at least give us a preference somewhere to toggle fullscreen behaviour.

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imazik, thanks for the question.

No. If I have an image that is larger than my screen, when I quicklook it it is scaled down to have a clear border around the outside that reveals the desktop/windows behind it, like a normal window zoomed to not-quite-fullscreen. If I then click the double zoom arrow that makes it full screen it then fills the screen. In the case of a screen grab it fits exactly, but most images are not 16:10 (I have 30" monitors, 2560x1600px) so it will scale the image so one dimension fits the monitor, and the other dimension has black borders (think letterboxing).

If I then use the keyboard arrow keys to navigate through a folder of images* and they are all larger than my screen (say a folder of JPGs from my Nikon) they will fit to screen whether they are landscape or portrait. No problem.

But if I navigate through a folder of say, web assets that are all smaller than my monitor they now only display at 100%. So if an image is 400x600px and I fullscreen it, it displays with large black borders on all four sides.

This is different behaviour than what happened in Lion (I never ran Mountain Lion so I don't know what it did).

In Lion, when using quick look all images were scaled to fit the screen, up or down. This is the behaviour I'm trying to restore in Mavericks.

I was hoping there was a terminal setting or something like that that would restore it.

Any ideas?


  • This is easier to do with double monitors - fullscreen images on one monitor, navigate through a folder on the other monitor. It can be done on a single monitor too, it's just awkward. When you fullscreen zoom an image, it then has focus and the arrow keys do nothing. You have to fullscreen the image, then Cmd-~ to switch focus to the folder hidden behind the image, and now arrow keys will navigate through the folder.
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