One of the advantages of the OS X graphics system is its ability to rapidly alter the scale of displayed images. This ability not only includes the thumbnails that represent files and folders on your Mac’s hard drive, but extends to the OS X system and application icons themselves.

In this article, we’ll show you two methods for quickly getting a better look at your thumbnails and icons.

1.) This feature is best demonstrated by using a folder that contains a number of files with pictorial thumbnails. Here, we’ve opened a Finder window with a set of wallpaper images in jpeg format:

Finder Window with Thumbnails.png

2.) If you are running OS X 10.5 Leopard or earlier, Ctrl-Click (or Right Click if you have a two button mouse) and select Show View Options:

Selecting Show View Options in Finder.png

3.) A View Options window will open specific to that folder:

Folder View Options Window.png

4.) Grab the Icon Size slider and drag it to the right to increase the thumbnail size in real-time. In Leopard and earlier versions, the maximum icon size is 128 x 128 pixels:

Resizing Icons in OS X 10.5 and Lower.png

In OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, you can go all the way up to 512 x 512 pixels:

Resizing Icons in OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.png

5.) In Snow Leopard, there is an even easier method to rapidly resize your icons. In the bottom-right of the Finder window, there is a slider which can be grabbed and dragged to resize the thumbnails instantly:

Finder Icon Slider in OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.png

6.) These methods work with system and application icons as well. Here, we’ve used the Finder window slider to rapidly resize our Applications folder icons:

Resizing Application Icons in OS X.png

The ability of OS X to easily display graphical images at multiple sizes is one of the key elements in its visual attractiveness, but also can be a useful feature for those users with sight issues, or to quickly examine a particular thumbnail in more detail without using Quick Look or opening an application.