One thing I love about Mac OS X (compare to Windows) is the fact that it has a substantial built-in support for taking screenshot from the get go! Unlike Windows which has only two screenshot shortcuts, i.e. PrtScn (to take the whole screen) and Alt+PrtScn (to take the active window), Mac OS X has several ways of taking a screenshot:
To take a Screenshot of the whole screen:
Command+Shift+3 : Take a screenshot and save it to the Desktop
Command+Ctrl+Shift+3 : Take a screenshot and save it to the Clipboard
To take a Screenshot of a particular window:
Command+Shift+4, then Space : You will see that the mouse pointer will change to a (rather old) camera icon, with which you can choose which window you want to take the screenshot of. As you hover the pointer on a window, the window color will change to indicate that it has been selected. To actually take a screenshot of the selected window, just click on it. This shorrtcut, like the one above, will also save the resulting screenshot on the Desktop.
Command+Ctrl+Shift+4 : The same as its sibling above, but again instead of saving the screenshot to the Desktop, it’s saving it to the Clipboard.
To take a Screenshot of an area of the screen:
Command+Shift+4 : The mouse pointer will change to a target cross-hair with two numbers next to it indicating the x and y coordinates. As you move the pointer the two coordinates will change according to where the cross-hair is positioned. To select an area, just click – hold – and drag the pointer to make a rectangle to mark the area that you want to grab. As soon as you release the mouse/touchpad button, a screenshot of the selected area will be saved to the Desktop. Remember, this happens immediate, so if you make a mistake you just have to redo it again.
Command+Ctrl+Shift+4 : Same as above but saving to the Clipboard.
In Leopard you will have another modifier key to help you on your selection:
Space: If you hold the Space key while you are making a selection, the area of the selection (the resulted rectangle) will be locked. And when you move your pointer, the whole selection will move (normally it would resize the selection).
Shift: If you hold the Shift key while you are making a selection, it will resize only one side of the rectangle (which side depends on which way you move your pointer next, up-down-left-right).
Option (that’s Alt for Windows user): If you hold the Option key while you are making a selection, the area will resize with its centre as the anchor point.
The resulted screenshot image will be in a PNG format by default. If you want to change this format, you can do so by opening Terminal (located at /Applications/Utilities folder) and type in the following command:
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type image_format killall SystemUIServer
Where image_format can be one of jpg, tiff, pdf, png, bmp or pict (and many others).
Not content with providing us with this Awesome Keyboard Shortcut, Apple has also given us a screen grabber application (also by default), which is called, wait for it, Grab :) You can find Grab at /Applications/Utilities folder.
If you want to read more info on this (also other alternative screenshot apps), you can go the this Macrumors wiki page, from which I based this post.
Do you have any tips and tricks in doing screenshot in a Mac? or maybe you have your own favourite screen grabber app? Please share with us in the comment.
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