This package allows OSX Finder to display thumbnails, QuickLook previews and metadata for "DirectDraw Surface" (DDS) texture files.
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QuickLook DDS

This package allows OSX Finder to display thumbnails, previews and metadata for "DirectDraw Surface" (DDS) texture files.


  • Download the .pkg file of the latest release.
  • Double-click on it.
  • The Installer app will walk you through the installation process.
  • To see thumbnails you may need to relaunch Finder (ctrl-⌥-click on the Finder icon in the Dock and choose Relaunch) or log out and back in again.
  • You may experience high CPU and disk usage for a few minutes after installation while Spotlight re-indexes all of your DDS files.


Finder screenshot Preview

Get Info 1 Get Info 2

Supported file formats

  • DirectX 8/9 DDS
  • DirectX 10 DDS extensions
  • Cubemaps

Supported encodings

  • DXT1 / BC1
  • DXT2
  • DXT3 / BC2
  • DXT4
  • DXT5 / BC3
  • ATI1 / BC4 / LATC luminance
  • ATI2 / BC5 / RGTC normal map
  • Uncompressed RGB, RGBA, RGBX, Luminance & Luminance + Alpha
  • Uncompressed RG normal map


  • Run the Terminal app (found in Applications → Utilities).
  • Copy the following and paste into the Terminal app:

sudo rm -rf "/Library/Application Support/QLdds" "/Library/QuickLook/QLdds.qlgenerator" "/Library/Spotlight/DDS.mdimporter"

  • Press Enter.
  • Type your password and press Enter.


  • There's some disagreement on how normal maps are stored. This plugin assumes the DirectX10 BC5 and OpenGL COMPRESSED_RG_RGTC2 convention that R=X,G=Y. Note: this is called "ATI2N (Alternate XY Swizzle)" in some tools.
  • There's some disagreement on how the Blue/Z channel in a normal map is reconstructed. This plugin assumes the Blender convention that Blue:[0, 255] maps to Z:[0.0, 1.0]. Note: this is different from the Doom3 convention.
  • Palettized and floating point encodings are not supported.
  • DirectX 10/11 DXGI encodings other than those listed above are not supported - specifically BC6 / BC7 BPTC encodings.
  • Requires OSX 10.6 or later.


  • Packaged using Packages.
  • Nyx0uf for the idea of adding image dimensions to the preview title.


Copyright © 2012-2016 Jonathan Harris.

Licensed under the GNU Public License (GPL) version 2 or later.