Is there a way to open a file straight from QuickLook?

I have a directory containing symlinks to the PDF files I usually refer to. I cannot copy the files locally and I must use symlinks. When I need to open one of the files, I can't rely on Finder icon previews as these do not show for symlinks (I think that's absurd, don't you? Is there any reason why they would not?). Not knowing how to pick the file I am interested in, I select them all and press Option + Space. Immediately following Option + Space, I press Command + Enter and finally see them all tiled across the screen (Note: Command + Enter is not bound in Finder as far as I can see, why not allow users to press that directly?).

Once I choose the file I want, with the mouse or the arrow keys, I don't see how I could open just that file in the corresponding application (say: Adobe Reader).

That, to me, is dumbfounding. Command + O opens ALL files I selected to begin with but I think QuickLook should allow for opening the file currently being previewed with a UI element or a keystroke, shouldn’t it? It is so strange that it almost can't be, maybe I am just missing the obvious... in that case I apologise.

For the record, I am running OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8.

  • 1
    As an aside, have you looked into a database driven application for PDF's and other documents? Papers is a nice one. If this is a routine operation for you, something of this nature will simplify the workflow.
    – ephsmith
    Aug 29, 2012 at 4:40
  • Your advice to use Papers sounds kick ass to me! Aug 30, 2012 at 5:04
  • I can't count the number of hours Papers has saved me.
    – ephsmith
    Aug 30, 2012 at 5:07

1 Answer 1


Quick Look windows have had a button for opening files since Lion:

lion quick look

They're not shown in the full screen slideshow windows though. Holding or secondary-clicking (but not control-clicking) the button shows a menu for selecting other applications.

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