Using QuickLook in SwiftUI

Jun 27, 2022 · Follow on Twitter and Mastodon swiftuiquick-look

SwiftUI is growing with every new release, but there are still old treasures to be found in various Apple frameworks, that aren’t part of the core SwiftUI library. One example is MapView in MapKit, another is the amazing quickLookPreview view modifier in the QuickLook framework. Let’s take a quick look.

SwiftUI support for QuickLook is a feature that I hadn’t heard anything about, until I stumbled upon it by chance. With it, you can let users preview any previewable content at a certain URL, such as PDF files, images etc.

To use QuickLook with SwiftUI, you must first import the QuickLook framework. You can then apply the quickLookPreview view modifier and bind it to a mutable URL.

To see it in action, consider that we have a multi-platform SwiftUI app for iOS and macOS, that has an embedded image called meadow.jpg. Our ContentView looks like this:

import SwiftUI
import QuickLook

struct ContentView: View {

    var url: URL?

    var body: some View {
        Button("Preview") {
            url = Bundle.main.url(forResource: "meadow", withExtension: "jpg")

That’s actually all there is to it. Setting the url property will make the quickLookPreview view modifier present the previewable content at the provided url, in a way that suits the platform.

If we run this app in iOS, tapping the button presents the image in a full screen cover:

A screenshot of using QuickLook in iOS

If we then run the same app on macOS, tapping the button presents the image in a nice modal:

A screenshot of using QuickLook in iOS

Note that using QuickLook in SwiftUI is only available in iOS and macOS, not tvOS or watchOS.

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