How to preview WebP files on macOS with Quick Look

WebP is an image format initially introduced as a way to shrink the web, but is annoyingly incompatible with a lot of programs. It employs both lossy and lossless compression algorithms, both of which shrink common image formats. WebP images are said to be 26% smaller than PNG files, for example. 

But while Windows supports a native way to preview these files, that straightforward compatibility didn’t quite make the cut in macOS. Luckily, however, there’s a bit of a workaround to view the images in Quick Look on any Apple desktop or laptop. 

For those unfamiliar, Quick Look (hitting the spacebar) is a way to preview files without actually opening them. You can access it in the file’s context menu, or by clicking a file — but not double clicking to open it — and pressing Command + Y. 

The workaround involves installing a curl script, which isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Once installed, you too can preview WebP images in Quick Look using a simple plugin. 

1. Type Terminal in Spotlight search bar.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

2. Double click the Terminal app to open it.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

3. In the Terminal window, copy-paste or type the following script: curl -L https://raw.github.com/emin/WebPQuickLook/master/install.sh | sh  

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

4. Press Enter to run the script to install WebPQuickLook. 

5. In the Finder, right-click on the webP image to see the menu.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

6. In the menu that opens, click Quick Look.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Note: If you have HomeBrew installed as a way to manage your file installations, you can also use the following script: brew cask install WebPQuickLook.



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