How to take a screenshot on a Mac

how-to-take-a-screenshot-on-a-mac

Keyboard shortcuts are how to take a screenshot on a mac. In Mac OS X there are a few keyboard shortcuts for saving images, these commands are processed by the SystemUIServer.

How to take a screenshot on a mac page contents

  • How to take a screenshot shortcuts
  • Screenshot file formats
  • Grab and Preview
  • From the Terminal
  • Third Party Applications
  • Links

How to take a screenshot on a mac page Keyboard Shortcuts

Take a screenshot of the entire screen, and save it as a file on the desktop:
Command-Shift-3

how-to-take-a-screenshot-on-a-mac-full-screen

Take a screenshot of an area of the screen and save it as a file on the desktop:
Command-Shift-4 (then select an area)

how-to-take-a-screenshot-on-a-mac-select-area

Take a screenshot of a specific window and save it as a file on the desktop:
Command-Shift-4 (then Space, then click a window)

how-to-take-a-screenshot-on-a-mac-select-window

In the Leopard operating system and later, Command-Shift-4 or Command-Control-Shift-4 keys can be held down while selecting an area to take a screenshot of.

Lock the size of the selected region and instead move it when the mouse moves:
Space
Re-size only one edge of the selected region:
Shift
Re-size the selected region with its center as the anchor point:
Option

How to take a screenshot on a mac file formats

Different versions of Mac OS X have different file format output for screenshots:

  • Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar): jpg
  • Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther): pdf
  • Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and later: png

In Mac OS X 10.4 and later, the default screenshot format can be changed, by opening the Terminal application (located at ~/Applications/Utilities/Terminal) and entering in:

How to change a screenshot file type to .jpg (jpeg):

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg
(then press Enter / Return)
killall SystemUIServer
(then press Enter / Return)

How to change a screenshot file type to .tiff:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type tiff
(then press Enter / Return)
killall SystemUIServer
(then press Enter / Return)

How to change a screenshot file type to .png:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type png
(then press Enter / Return)
killall SystemUIServer
(then press Enter / Return)

How to change a screenshot file type to .bmp:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type bmp
(then press Enter / Return)
killall SystemUIServer
(then press Enter / Return)

If you do not input the “killall SystemUIServer“, you will need to log out then log in again for the change to take effect.

How to take a screenshot on a mac Grab and Preview

Instead of using the keyboard shortcuts to take a screenshot, it can be done by using the Grab application included with Mac OS X. It is located at ~/Applications/Utilities/Grab.

In Mac OS X 10.4, the Preview application can also be used to take screenshots, by using the Grab submenu in the File menu.

How to take a screenshot on a mac with the Terminal application:

To take a screenshot from the terminal application enter the following:

screencapture -iW ~/Desktop/screen.jpg
(then press Enter / Return)

How to take a screenshot on a mac with 3rd party applications

There are several 3rd party applications that can be used to take screenshots on a mac. Here are some popular ones:

  • Jing Great for screen shots, video recording with a useful online sharing feature.
  • Snapz Pro X a popular choice that can also record movies. SnapzPro X has a number of features and is shareware.
  • SnapNDrag also a popular choice with several features in addition to those offered by the default screen capture tools. SnapNDrag can take a screenshot, then the screenshot can be dragged to a destination. SnapNDrag is freeware software with some disabled features, but it also has a pro version.

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