How To Take A Screenshot On Mac OS X

mainOne of the many good things about Mac OS X is the built in support for taking screenshots. But then again, in this day and age, what operating system doesn’t? Well, this is where it differs a little. I am sure most of you know how to capture a screenshot on OS X, but there might be situations where your requirements change a bit. There are many different ways to capture the content being displayed on your screen. Each one of those methods has something different and unique to offer. These methods are very handy at times! I have described a few different methods here. Let’s see what they are.  

Method 1: Take a screenshot of your entire screen

Make sure your screen displays exactly what you want. Then press Command+Shift+3. It will capture the screenshot of your screen and save it on your desktop. The filename will contain the word “Screenshot” along with the date and time.

Method 2: Save screenshot to clipboard

In this method, we will see how to capture the screenshot and not have it saved as an image by default. Press Command+Control+Shift+3 and the image will be saved to your clipboard. This is equivalent to using Command+C on text. Basically, you are saving the data in temporary storage. Now you can go anywhere and press Command+V and the image will be pasted there.

Method 3: Capture a part of your screen

Press Command+Shift+4 and you see a small cross-hair reticle. Now, select the area of the screen you’d like a picture of. Then release the mouse and the image will be saved on the desktop by default.

Method 4: Screenshot of a single window

This method allows to capture everything in a window regardless of its size. Press Command+Shift+4 and hit Spacebar. The mouse pointer will turn into a camera-like icon. Now move your mouse inside the window of interest and then left-click with your mouse.

Method 5: The Grab utility

Go to Applications > Utilities > Grab. This will open the Grab application but you will not see an active window. You will see the menus on the top left corner. Click the Capture menu and you see a list of options. They are pretty self-explanatory and they do the same things we discussed in our previous methods.

Method 6: Change the default location of the saved images

This is not a new method per se, but this can be used in conjunction with any of the methods. Create a new folder on your desktop (or anywhere you want) and give it a meaningful name like “Screenshots”. Open the terminal and type the following:

$ defaults write location path/to/the/Screenshots/folder
$ killall SystemUIServer

If you don’t know the path to the “Screenshots” folder, just drag the folder with the mouse into your terminal and the required text to its path will be added automatically. Another way to get the path would be to right click on the “Screenshots” folder and select “Get Info”. You should be able to see the full path in the window that pops up.

Method 7: Use third-party tools

There are various tools available to capture the screenshots of your screen. Along with that, they have much more functionality included as well. Some of the good tools are Monosnap, Jing, Skitch, etc. Try them out if you want!


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