URL Preview

Know where those URLs are going

This little Action Extension for 10.10+ will let you see a quick popup showing a preview of the destination for a URL in text you’re working on. It’s a great complement to SearchLink, as it helps verify that it inserted the result you were looking for without switching away from your editor.


Download and run the URLPreview application in the zip file. Once it runs, the Action will be installed.

You can go directly to System Preferences -> Extensions to enable the Preview URL Action:

Alternatively, just select some text and pull down the action menu from the action icon that appears at the bottom right of the selection when your mouse hovers over it. Select “More…” from the dropdown to go to the System Preferences panel and enable Preview URL.


Preview URL will scan the selected text for ‘http’ and ‘https’ links. If one is found it will open it in a popup. If no links are found, it won’t do anything. You can close the popup by hitting Escape.

Only the first URL in the selected text will be previewed. You need to have the full URL within the selection, but it’s OK if additional text is included; the URL will be extracted automatically.


YouTube Video


Preview URL Action Extension v1

Preview a URL in a popup in Yosemite

Published 06/05/15.

Updated 06/05/15. Changelog

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Quick Action (Service)

Because of issues running this extension on Catalina, I’m also providing a Quick Action version of this concept. Simply install it by double clicking, then select text containing a URL, right click, and select “Preview URL”. It will preview the first URL found.

Preview URL v1.0.0

macOS Service (Quick Action) for quickly previewing a URL

Published 01/07/20.

Updated 01/07/20. Changelog

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My collection of PopClip extensions includes a “CheckURLs” extension. This incorporates the above Quick Action version but allows multiple URLs, and any navigation that takes place within the preview can update the selected text with the final URL if you click “OK.”

Speaking of URL Preview…

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