OS X and iOS use .strings files for localized text strings as described in the String Resources Documentation:

  • Easily preview Mermaid diagrams
  • Live update when editing in your preferred editor
  • Capture screenshots with customizable margins
  • Create PNG from the Terminal
  • Free download on the Mac App Store

Resource files that contain localizable strings are referred to as strings files because of their filename extension, which is .strings.

It is yet annoying that OS X and Xcode don’t provide a built-in QuickLook plugin for previewing .strings files. When you preview such a file in QuickLook you see this window:

Without ‘StringsFile’ QuickLook plugin

To solve this issue, here is a simple QuickLook plugin called ‘StringsFile’ that lets you preview .strings files (plain text .strings and binary property plist .strings).

This QuickLook plugin is really useful to quickly check the content of a .strings file. When you preview such a file, you will now see:

With ‘StringsFile’ QuickLook plugin

A precompiled version can be downloaded here: StringsFile.qlgenerator.zip

You can download the source code here : Download ‘StringsFile’ Source Code


  • Download the precompiled version
  • Unzip
  • Copy the file into /Library/QuickLook/ or ~/Library/QuickLook/
  • Execute the command qlmanage -r in the Terminal - or restart the machine

Update (02.04.2014): The plugin has been updated to also generate a thumbnail for .strings files.