How to Use Xee Image Preview for Macintosh

By Richard Burke

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • MAX OS-X

  • Digital Images

Open Source Previewer

The Macintosh operating system includes a free image viewer for previewing images. This allows the user to simply double-click on an image file to see the image full frame. While Mac Preview is a fine little application, the functionality can be improved by switching to the Open Source free application, Xee. Xee adds some user-friendly technology to the function making it easier to preview the image. Simply download the free version from the link in Resources below and put it into your application folder. Read on to find out how to use this nifty little application.

Open a file. If Xee is started, then simply double-click on the image file to see the preview. If not, choose open from the file menu and locate your file to open it.

Notice the browser bar at the top of the image. This allows you to zoom in on an image or scroll backward and forward through the folder. Xee recognizes all of the images in the open folder and will scroll through them all as you click the arrows. This is a significant improvement over Mac Preview. You can also have multiple folders and images open at the same time.

Click on Preferences to review and set the preferences for the software. There are four tabs allowing you to set the way you want the software to work. The preferences allow you to set how you want scrolling to work, for the image or through images. Image size, window size and many more default preferences can be adjusted through the four tabs. Slideshow preferences can be set from the BROWSE drop down menu at the top.

Click on formats to decide how you want Xee to behave. You could set it to be the previewer for ALL image types. Xee supports a lot more formats than MAC PREVIEW, so I recommend this. That way you can just put Zee in the applications directory and use it as your default previewer, however, you could just use it as a preview for all the RAW formats or JPEGS only; the choice is yours. If you set it for ALL formats, it will become your default previewer and be called when you click on an image file.


Place the Xee application in your APPLICATIONS directory and select ALL for formats to make it your default previewer.