Mac OS X – Taking Screenshots

KeyBoard 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

In Leopard and later, 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

Set Default Formats

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type image_format
killall SystemUIServer

Where image_format is one of jpg, tiff, pdf, png, bmp or pict

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

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3 thoughts on “Mac OS X – Taking Screenshots

  1. Shift+command+4+(select area) makes the “picture shutter sound” but does not go to my desktop as it did on my older “white mac”. When I view clipboard only what I Command+C is in there. HELP!!

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