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How to Take Screenshots in Mac OS X

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I have been a Windows user ever since Windows 95 came out, and it wasn’t up until this past May (2010) that I decided to make the switch to Macs; it wasn’t really hard to adapt from one OS to the other. It’s just that some basic functionality is way different from from what I am used to, for example, in Windows you can cut-and-paste file and in OSX you cannot (this annoys me) unless you create a special script to do that.


I was going crazy trying to figure out how to take a screenshot, luckily I asked Google, and in a heartbeat, I was able to accomplish my task. There are several methods to take a screenshot, you can either use shortcut keys, Grab, Preview, or Terminal. First off, I’m going to explain how to take screenshots using your keyboard.

Shortcut keys



Images save to the desktop

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.

Images save to the clipboard

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.

Grab utility



You can acces Grab thru “Applications > Utilities > Grab”. Once Grab is opened, click “Capture” menu then make the selection that fits your needs. You can choose from either Selection, Windows, Screen, or Timed Screen. After taking the screenshot, you will need to Save the picture.

Preview



You can access Preview thru “Applications > Preview”. Once Preview is open, click “File > Take a Screen Shot” then make the selection that fits your needs. You can choose from either Selection, Window, or Entire Screen. After taking the screenshot, you will need to Save the picture.

From Terminal



You can access Terminal thru “Applications > Utilities > Terminal”. To take a screenshot from terminal you need to use screencapture command.

To take a screenshot of the entire screen and save it to the desktop, type the following.

screencapture -S ~/Desktop/screen.jpg

To view more options for screencapture, type the following.

man screencapture

The use of this command is very useful when creating scripts.

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