A QuickLook plugin that lets you view plain text files without a file extension
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QLStephen is a QuickLook plugin that lets you view plain text files without a file extension. Files like:


You can also customise the plugin to determine which files it previews. See Customizing white/black lists below.



Download the latest version of the QuickLookStephen plugin. Unzip and copy the file into your /Library/QuickLook or ~/Library/QuickLook folder. You may have to create the QuickLook folder if it doesn't exist.

Manually Compile

If you're compliling the project yourself, you just copy the generated QLStephen.qlgenerator file into the relevant QuickLook folder as mentioned above.

Customizing white/black lists - Step by Step

If you wish to change the current behavour, you will need to follow the instructions below:

Plists used here are not same as user defaults so you won't find in ~/Library/Preferences. Instead you need to edit the plist files inside the bundle (in this case it is the plugin file: QLStepehen.qlgenerator).

1. Show the contents of the bundle.

If you the plugin installed then it should be in ~/Library/QuickLook/ directory.

2. Edit the appropriate plist file in your favorite text editor.

If you don't know which one :

  • QLStephenWhiteList.plist : files with these names will be ALWAYS previewed
  • QLStephenExtensionsBlackList.plist : files with these extensions will NOT be previewed
  • QLStephenDirectoriesBlackList.plist : files contained in directories with these names will NOT be previewed


If you have installed the plugin (by placing it in ~/Library/QuickLook/) and can't see your changes take effect:

  • Make sure you are editing the correct plist of the correct bundle (It could happen you have two QLStephen plugins and the one read is in another directory like /Library/QuickLook/, etc.
  • Run qlmanage -r in the Terminal, it will reset QuickLook so plugins will be reloaded.

Why QLStephen?

Because I was listening to Adam and Joe when I first wrote it.


Original author: Duncan Robertson

Special thanks to the following people for submitting patches:


  • Fork the project
  • Send a pull request
  • Don't change the build number, I'll do that when I release a new version