OSX Screenshot Shortcuts

Posted on 2011/07/24 by shanmoon

Shortcuts

  • Command-Shift-3: Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it as a file on the desktop
  • Command-Shift-4, then select an area: Take a screenshot of an area and save it as a file on the desktop
  • Command-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Take a screenshot of a window and save it as a file on the desktop
  • Command-Control-Shift-3: Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it to the clipboard
  • Command-Control-Shift-4, then select an area: Take a screenshot of an area and save it to the clipboard
  • Command-Control-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Take a screenshot of a window and save it to the clipboard
  • The following keys can be held down while selecting an area (via Command-Shift-4 or Command-Control-Shift-4):
    • Space, to lock the size of the selected region and instead move it when the mouse moves
    • Shift, to resize only one edge of the selected region
    • Option, to resize the selected region with its center as the anchor point

Formats

Different versions of Mac OS X have different formats for screenshots.

The default screenshot format can be changed, by opening Terminal (located at /Applications/Utilities/Terminal) and typing in:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type image_format killall SystemUIServer

Where image_format is one of jpg, tiff, pdf, png, bmp or pict (among others). If you omit the second line, you will need to log out and in again for the change to take effect.

Grab and Preview Instead of using the keyboard shortcuts above, screenshots can be taken by using the Grab application included with Mac OS X. It is located at /Applications/Utilities/Grab. Some versions of the Preview application have an option under the File menu to take a screenshot.

From the Terminal The screencapture command in the Terminal can also be used to capture screenshots, and is useful for scripts. Here is an example.

screencapture -iW ~/Desktop/screen.jpg