An excellent feature on Macs is the ability to quickly preview photos, videos, and files. While this feature isn't built into Windows 10, you can easily get it using either Quicklook or Seer. Both of these apps provide similar functionality, have elegant designs, and are easy to download, so which one stands on top as the best way to quickly preview files on Windows 10?
Both Seer and Quicklook provide the same basic functionality. Once either is setup, you can click the spacebar to open up a preview of files, photos, and videos. Both support a large number of file formats and can start running when you boot up your PC. But Seer has one trick that makes it stand out when compared to Quicklook, the ability to copy photos or frames of videos to your PC's clipboard.
When you're previewing an image or video you can just hit CTRL+C to copy the image or frame of video to your clipboard and then can paste it anywhere. The image above shows me copying a photo and pasting it into an email. I don't think copying images is too much of a time saver since you can drag and drop them into most things but the ability to grab a single frame of a video is very handy.
When it comes to previewing text files, I didn't find either app to be especially impressive. Neither supports previewing Word documents but you can preview text files with them.
With a large overlap of features, I give Seer the advantage when it comes to power because of its support for copy and paste.
Neither Quicklook nor Seer have a homepage that you can interact with. Clicking on them from the Start Menu or program list doesn't actually open a window. The main design difference is how previews appear on your screen. Both have the ability to keep a preview open when you click somewhere else on the screen and allow you to play and pause videos. The main difference is the 1 pixel border that surround previews.
Personally, I hate the look of the 1 pixel border around windows. Seer doesn't have the 1 pixel border so it looks more attractive to me, but it really comes down to personal preference. Quicklook has a 1 pixel border that matches the theme you have Windows 10 set to. Some people prefer having a border because it helps indicate which window on the screen is active.
There are slight design differences other than the pixel border but neither app is definitively more attractive. In my opinion, Seer looks more like the fully immersive Mac experience while Quicklook looks more like a Windows 10 app.
Ease of access
Seer and Quicklook are downloaded in different ways but neither of them is difficult to get onto your PC. Quicklook is available for free on the Microsoft Store and Seer is availalbe on 1218's webiste. Being in the Microsoft Store makes Quicklook easier to download and keep up to date but 1218's website is very easy to use.
Another difference is price. Quicklook is available for free but to keep Seer up to date you'll have to pay for a lifetime license for $12.18 to always have the latest version. There is a free version of Seer available though that works very well and is only slightly behind the latest version.
Seer isn't difficult to download or expensive but Quicklook is the winner when it comes to ease of access for being available from the Microsoft Store and being free. It's important to point out that while Quicklook is availalbe in the Microsoft Store, it doesn't work with Windows 10 S devices.
Who earns the crown?
You can't go wrong with either of these programs and picking which is better depends on your preferences. Seer is more powerful and more immersive, better replicating the Mac experience that it's inspired by. Quicklook is easier to download and manage while also being free for life. If I had to recommend one, I'd pick Seer but I think it's worth trying both.
Regardless of which you pick, I strongly recommending trying these apps. The ability to preview photos and videos is a great addition to Windows, especially if you're used to being able to do so on Macs.
Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com (opens in new tab).
"In my opinion, Seer looks more like the fully immersive Mac experience while Quicklook looks more like a Windows 10 app." You imply that Windows 10 apps don't look that good and I agree. The terrible style makes them unusable compared to full programs. I like the author's move to make "looks like a Windows 10 app" a universally negative statement.
what an 4ss of an assumption is that? He simply compares Seer more to the looks of the Mac version and the other one with other W10 apps. The only negative here is your comment (which I'm not surprised of really) You should stay off the bleach... Messes with your head.
There is definitely an implication here. He says it looks like a Windows 10 app as if it is a bad thing and it definitely is a bad look/feel.
the only one who's implying that is YOU. But ignorance is bliss right?
That's your interpretation of it and I disagree with your interpretation. If I said I didn't like iOS because of the design or user interface does that mean I'm implying it's bad? No of course not, just that it's not what I prefer to use.
Hans, sadly, Bleached only posts here to bash MS and support Google. He's more of a fanboy than anyone else here, just not for MS.
Yeah I know :-)
Guess I'm having a hard time seeing how either program would integrate into my workflow. I mean, it's not like it takes a long time for a photo to open in the photos app, or a video to open in VLC. Even PDFs (which I lazily have defaulted to Edge), open quick enough.
Have you never been using a Mac?
I use a Mac everyday for work and I almost never need to preview anything. If I click on something it's because I need it open and ready to install.
Same thing here. I don't see the point; you can already preview files by enabling Large Icon thumbnails in File Explorer anyway. Also, if you have an SSD and a fairly quick machine it's easy to just open the files. That said, it's nice to have the option at least.
Quick look wins in my opinion. It has a nice native look, is practically functional, and in the Microsoft Store.
"Neither supports previewing Word documents but you can preview text files with them." Huh, I just tried to preview a Word document with QuickLook and it worked flawlessly? Even an Excel file and a PowerPoint file could be previewed without problem. 👍 Just wish I hadn't mistakenly pressed space when targeting a 8.2GB video file that was located on OneDrive only since it started to download immediately. 🤦 But yeah it worked too... eventually. I'd give the crown to QuickLook for sure. Seer was nice and I'm sure it resembles the Mac feature slightly more but being able to preview Office files and getting it updated from the store is just way more useful. That said, as previous commenters have said, I'm not sure I find it really necessary. But I'll keep it installed for now.
Just gave Seer another go and found a bunch of plugins that can be downloaded and activated in the settings. These include Office documents and more, so I guess the cro wn is still up for grabs! 👑
You couldn't cancel the loading (of the big file)?
Well, I tried to cancel the download. I pressed cancel when OneDrive noticed me the file was downloading which usually stops it, this time however it didn't stop.
Search “Seer Pro” on Windows Store please
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