Quick Look lets you view a file’s contents by selecting it in the Finder and then pressing the
spacebar. There’s no need to wait for the file to open in an application. Although macOS supports many types of images, the formats typically used for astronomy are not. Observatory therefore provides Quick Look generators for the following image formats:
FITS – Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) is a digital file format useful for storage, transmission and processing of scientific and other images. FITS is the most commonly used digital file format in astronomy. FITS images usually have a
SBIG – The SBIG format is the default format for saving images when using the SBIG CCDOPS image acquisition software. These images usually have a
XISF – Extensible Image Serialization Format (XISF) is a free file format for storage, management and interchange of digital images and associated data. XISF has been conceived and implemented as the native file format of PixInsight, an image processing software platform designed specifically for astronomical imaging, and developed by the company Pleiades Astrophoto S.L. These images usually have a
To zoom in on an image when the Quick Look window is open, hold down the
Option key. If you have PixInsight installed then there’s an Open with PixInsight button towards the top of the window, which when clicked will open the image in PixInsight.
As can be seen in the above screenshot, the plugins also generate image thumbnails for the Finder windows. In addition they are used in its Cover Flow view and for the Finder’s Get Info window. They even appear in the Dialog for opening files (instead of generic icons), in any application. In these Dialogs you can also view a file’s contents up-close by pressing