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Apple looks to patent mouse-over QuickLook

updated 12:20 pm EDT, Thu October 2, 2008

Mouse-over QuickLook?

An Apple patent application, published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office, contains indications that the company may seek to expand on the preview concept first introduced with Leopard's QuickLook. Apple notes that in most operating systems, the mouse cursors reacts comparatively little to its positioning, for instance changing shape to enter text or click on a URL. This does provide not much (if any) information however, something the proposed patent would aim to change.

Unlike QuickLook, which requires that a person select a file and hit the spacebar to bring up a preview, Apple's system could be set to bring up a preview thumbnail when mousing over items, including webpages linked through Safari. Should a thumbnail be impossible or take too long, a cursor could alternately display an icon representing the item's format.

In a more complex version of the concept, mousing over could in fact present a contextual menu, presenting options such as e-mailing, file transfer or simple playback. People could alternately be shown several supporting applications; in the case of a text file, for example, users could choose to open it through Pages, Word, BBedit or Text Edit.

by MacNN Staff





  1. TheSnarkmeister

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This sounds like the most annoying feature since Help Balloons.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Yikes

    For clarification, you should say "the most annoying feature of an Apple OS since Help balloons".

  1. resuna

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Vibrant in-text ads.

    This sounds like the most annoying feature since Vibrant in-text advertising. At least MacNN allows you to turn them off. Some sites don't.

  1. apple4ever

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I hate nothing more than the ads (like here on MacNN) that display an ad OVER THE FREAKING TEXT I AM TRYING TO READ. It makes want to buy the product LESS.

    I'm hoping that this won't be the case for Apple's patent. I don't think I'd like the automatic display.

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