No QuickLook under Snow Leopard


QuickLook isn’t working for scriv files under Snow Leopard, though I see a QuickLook folder in project packages.

Is this a known issue, will it be resolved?



I can’t reproduce this - QuickLook is working fine in Snow Leopard in .scriv files for me. What do you see when you invoke QuickLook?


Same problem here: No QuickLook under Snow Leopard.

I’m not sure if QuickLook for Scrivener bundles was missing right from the moment I installed Snow Leopard, or if it stopped working at some later point in time. But right now, all I see when QuickLook’ing a Scrivener document is a larger version of the default “scriv” icon plus some technical data like type, size, and date last modified.


I’m afraid this problem is specific to your machine (as with the op), so it is rather difficult to say what is going on. Nothing changed in the way QuickLook previews work between Leopard and Snow Leopard, and Scrivener’s QL feature definitely still works on 10.6. It sounds as though it just isn’t being called on your machine, though.

Is QuickLook working on other files?

Where are your .scriv files stored? Are they on the local hard drive or elsewhere? (If not on the local disk, what happens when you try to QuickLook a .scriv file that is on the local disk?)

I recommend trying the following:

  1. Reinstall Scrivener and then restart your computer.

If that doesn’t help:

  1. Open (from ~/Applications/Utilities) and type “qlmanage -r” and then enter to reset your QL generators.

  2. If you still have no joy, go find the file from ~/Library/Preferences, move it to the Trash, and then restart your computer.

I hope that one of the above will kickstart your QuickLook generators into action.

The main thing to know here is that this cannot be an issue with Scrivener. Why not? Because Scrivener doesn’t provide a QuickLook generator! For package files such as .scriv files it’s not necessary to provide an actual plugin - instead the preview is saved inside the .scriv file itself, and QuickLook looks there automatically. So it has to be a problem with QuickLook not looking as it should.

One other thing to check on that score though - which version of Scrivener are you using? If you are using a really old version such as 1.01 or suchlike, then there would be no QuickLook preview. Also, you might want to try ctrl-clicking on your .scriv file and selecting “Show Package Contents”. Then look inside for a “QuickLook” folder. Inside that there should be two files, an image file and an HTML file that contains the preview - if these are all there then the problem definitely lies with QuickLook and not Scrivener. If they are not there, then that is the problem, and let me know.

I hope some of the above helps!
All the best,


thanks for the detailed response.

I investigated this problem a little further and found something interesting. “qlmanage -m” returns the following line (among others):

[size=85] com.literatureandlatte.scrivener.scriv -> /Applications/ [/size]
Apparently, QuickLook tries to use LittleSnapper’s [1] generator to display Scrivener files. And fails. What I don’t know is whether this is QuickLook screwing up or LittleSnapper doing something it shouldn’t be doing.

In any case, “qlmanage -r” doesn’t make a difference. Uninstalling LittleSnapper, however, fixes the problem instantly.

Of course, I don’t want to permanently ban LittleSnapper from my hard drive. So I guess I’ll have to live without Scrivener QuickLook for now. But maybe you can work with Realmac Software to determine what exactly is going wrong, and to find a way for both applications to better coexist?



Ah, now that I think about it, another user reported a problem with QuickLook with LittleSnapper installed. I would recommend getting in touch with them, as it must be a problem with their QuickLook plugin. As I say, Scrivener just provides a preview in the package, so for some reason the LittleSnapper plugin is overriding that. I’ve checked the LittleSnapper .plist file of extensions they support, and they don’t have anything to do with .scriv, so there’s no reason their plugin should do this as far as I can see. So definitely the best route is for you to take it up with them.
All the best,

Okay, I’ve posted a bug report here: … -scrivener

Great, thanks.

Out of interest - because I tried installing LittleSnapper myself and didn’t see the problem (though maybe it will happen when I reboot) - does this only affect .scriv files, or does it affect any other package-type files. For instance, does QuickLook still work on .rtfd files (.rtfd files are packages while .rtf files are flat)? I’m trying to think of other package files on which you might try it too - it seems odd that it would only cause problems with .scriv files, so I’m wondering if it is generally trying to read any package file type. Not many files are packages, but .scriv and .rtfd are (as are Ulysses files).

Thanks and all the best,

If you use it, Tables files are packages. I don’t have Little Snapper … or rather, I think I did download it to try, and found it gave me all sorts of problems, so removed it. I can’t remember the details, though. I think it screwed up OmniWeb or something at the time.

Actually, come to think of it … Presumably to check QuickLook you wouldn’t need to have Tables on your machine, so you could have a look with this Tables file (zipped up), one which is nothing confidential. It does have the QuickLook folder, but interestingly, it only contains a thumbnail, not a full-size image or data for a full-size image.


Mark (61.5 KB)


sorry for letting you wait.

I finally found the time to do some more testing. And I found another case where LittleSnapper breaks QuickLook for package-type files: Automator Workflows (.workflow). So it does indeed look like this is more than just a problem with .sciv files.


Thanks for the update, Sam. Danny of Real Mac Software got in touch with me about this after your support message to them, and from what he says, it seems they are registering their QuickLook importer for Apple packages, which would override the default QuickLook behaviour of looking in packages for the QuickLook folder. I haven’t heard back from him just yet, but it seems they are aware of it at least. This will mean that if LittleSnapper is installed, any file package format that stores its QL preview internally rather than having a custom generator will be affected. If you haven’t already, let RealMac know about the .workflow files as well.

Thanks again and all the best,