How To View an Index Sheet of Pictures with Mac OS X

Slideshow feature in Mac OS X Finder
Slideshow feature in Mac OS X Finder.

Many people don't realize there is a built in feature for quickly viewing pictures in Mac OS X. You don't need to open iPhoto or install any third party software to see a thumbnail index or a quick slide show of your pictures--just use the built in Slideshow feature.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 30 seconds

Here's How:

  1. Use Finder to open the folder of pictures you'd like to view. The pictures can be on any kind of media--hard disk, CD, flash drive, memory card, network share, etc.
  1. Select the pictures you want to view. If you want the whole folder, just press Command-A to select all.
  2. Right click and choose Slideshow. If you only have a single button mouse, Ctrl-click and choose slideshow.
  3. Press I to change the slide show to an index sheet.
  4. Use the arrow keys to navigate the grid of thumbnails, and press enter to view the image large.
  5. Use the F and A keys to switch between Fit to screen (F) and Actual size (A) views of the large image.


  1. An index sheet will only display 100 thumbnails, so it's best to limit your selection to 100 images or less before invoking the Slideshow command.
  2. Another way to access the Slideshow feature is from the View menu in the Preview application.
  3. Look for the Slideshow button in the Mail app when you receive an email with attached pictures.
  4. When a Spotlight search finds images, a small play arrow will appear to the right of the group heading. Clicking this will invoke the same Slideshow feature.

    What You Need:

    • Mac OS 10.4 or higer