As you likely know, when using Finder (including any OS X file dialogue from with an application, and files attached to emails) selecting many common file types and hitting the SPACEBAR will often present a QuickLook preview of the file.

Here’s how to get add this feature for most common (and not-so-common) archived file formats. The currently supported archive formats are: ZIP, TAR, GZip, BZip2, ARJ, LZH, ISO, CHM, CAB, CPIO, RAR, 7-Zip, DEB, RPM, StuffIt’s SIT, DiskDoubler, BinHex, and MacBinary.

1) Download BetterZipQL from here (or you can use the identical link provided on the site).

2) Install BetterZipQL (these instructions are from the site)

Unpack, and copy the BetterZipQL.qlgenerator bundle to your /Library/QuickLook folder (if you want to install it for all users on your Mac) or to the ~/Library/QuickLook folder, this is the Library/QuickLook folder inside your user folder. You may need to create the QuickLook folder inside ~/Library first.

The Quick Look framework will need a little time before it realizes that a new generator has been added. If you are impatient and not afraid of using the terminal, you can execute the following command to make the Quick Look framework reset immediately:

or you could restart the Finder. Or logout and -in again. Or restart your Mac. Or take a nap. You choose.


  • Toggle whether you like to see hidden files and package contents.
  • Choose which columns to display.
  • Toggle whether the header section should scroll out of the window or be kept in place.

You can set the various options directly in the Quick Look pop-up. Just click the Preferences button in the upper right area. Set your options and click the button again to hide it.

When using QuickLook on archive files, you’ll now see a QL window like this:

BetterZipQL screenshot