Advanced Screenshots on Mac OSX

March 29, 2012

Almost every Mac OSX user knows how to make screenshots. It’s a built-in feature of OSX.

For a complete screenshot:
cmd + shift + 3

To grab a part of the screen:
cmd + shift + 4 and then select which part you want to grab.

To grab a single window:
cmd + shift + 4 and then press space. Now you can select the window you want to grab.

These default key combo’s do not grab your mouse pointer. If you want to grab the mouse pointer, you can make screenshots with the (also default on OSX, but hidden in utilities) ‘Grab’ or ‘Schermafbeelding’ (in dutch) appliciation. You can find it using spotlight or in /Appliciations/Utilities/. Use the Preferences dialog to select the pointer and other options.

Last but not least, for people who really want to have more options, regarding filenames, file formats, the annoying camera/photo sound, … of their screenshots: there’s a solution for you too!
The heart of the ‘Grab’ application and the key combos is a command line tool that’s also installed by default on Mac OSX. It’s called ‘screencapture’ and you can read more about it using the man screencapture command in your Terminal. Here’s an example:

screencapture -Cx -t jpg -T 10 Desktop/Test.jpg
-C: Capture the mouse cursor too (default is without mouse cursor)
-x: Don’t play the camera sound
-t jpg: Choose JPG file format instead of the default PNG
-T 10: Set timeout for 10 seconds
filename: Set the path and filename to write the screenshot to.

That’s it! 🙂


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