Geek 101 How to take a screenshot on a Mac

first_imgOne of the nicest features about OS X is how simple the operating system makes it to take a screenshot. And not only is easy to take a screenshot, it’s easy to take the screenshot that you want. For example, using Windows, you have to jab the Print Screen button (if you can find it), open an image editor, paste the full resolution image, and then crop it to your liking. Or you can use a third party application, like Greenshot, which will work well enough, but will add additional to your list of always-on apps. Taking a screenshot on a Mac is a much more elegant process.The first thing to know is that the instructions are available on your Mac, you just need to go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts tab. When you are there you can select “Screen Shots” on the left and you’ll see the window above. This will lay out the four stock screenshot shortcuts as well as give you the ability to toggle any of them on or off. By default they are all on.Take a screenshot on a MacTaking a screenshot of the entire screen is quite easy… so long as you know the symbols Apple uses for its keys. To take a screenshot and have it saved as a .PNG file you just need to press Command-Shift-3 (all at the same time). You’ll be greeted with a camera’s shutter sound, which will confirm that the action was completed.If you’d like the screenshot to be copied to the clipboard, so you can then paste it into a image editor the way you do in Windows, then the shortcut is Command-Control-Shift-3. It’s a bit tough to contort your hand into that position, but it’s doable!Take a custom-sized screenshot on a MacOS X makes it super easy to take a screenshot of a area that you select. This is useful if you just need a single window or part of a document. It’s a great time-saver because it means you won’t have to go into another program and crop the image. These shortcuts are just like the ones above, you simply need to replace the “3” with “4”.So in order to save custom-sized screenshot you just press Command-Shift-4. This will change your icon to a target with two numbers next to it. At first the numbers will indicate the screen position, in pixels (with 0, 0 a the top left and your screen’s resolution dimensions at the bottom right). Once this icon is present you just need to click, drag the highlighted box over the area that you want to save, and then release the mouse/trackpad button. Then you’ll hear that familiar camera shutter. It’s worth noting that, while dragging, the two numbers next to the icon will change from the screen position to the size of the screenshot (width by height).If you’d like to simple copy a select area of the screen to the clipboard then the shortcut is Command-Control-Shift-4.Change the image typePNG is an ideal file format for a screenshot because it is not lossy and it’s widely accepted, but it is possible to change the file format that your Mac uses. To do this you need to go into the Terminal and then…Enter in: defaults write type [IMAGE FORMAT ABBREVIATION]Enter in: killall SystemUIServerIn place of [IMAGE FORMAT ABBREVIATION] you can put in the format you’d like including: png, jpg, tif, bmp, tiff, psd, gif, sgi, and tga.Change the screenshot file destinationAfter you take a screenshot (without the Control button) there will be a file created. By default it goes to the desktop, but you can change that if you’d like. Do to this you need to be in the Terminal…Enter in: defaults write location /FILEPATH/Enter in: killall SystemUIServerJust make sure to replace /FILEPATH/ with the destination you’d like. The is the desktop, ~/Desktop/.Other tools for taking screenshotsIf you’d prefer an actual application then OS X has a program called Grab. This works just like the shortcuts, but you’ll have to use the program’s Capture menu in order to select the action you’d like. The options are are bit more advanced though, so you will have more tools are your disposal. These include: Selection, Window, Screen, and Timed Screen.Grab’s preferences and customization options are woefully limited, so if you’d like added functionality you’ll need a third party app. The most popular tool for taking screenshots on a Mac is Skitch, which is quite handy. Another great option is a Mac app called Slingshot, which will take a screenshot and then automatically upload it to Dropbox or Imgur. It will then copy the link so it’s immediately available for sharing. A free option for this, though one that limited to Dropbox, is called GrabBox.last_img read more