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Jun 08

While some folks may find the Grab application handy, I prefer to use keyboard shortcuts to take pictures of the screen in Mac OS X. There are a few ways to snapshot your desktop…

1) To take picture of the entire screen

Press Cmd+Shift+3

2) To take picture of a specific window/object

Cmd+Shift+4, then press Spacebar, then Click on the window/object

Cmd+Shift+4, then press Spacebar, then Click on the window/object

3) To take picture of a selected area

Press Cmd+Shift+4 and Click/Drag over desired area

While dragging:

  1. Hold Spacebar to move selected area.
  2. Hold Shift to change size in one direction only (horizontal or vertical)
  3. Hold Option for center-based resizing.

Screenshots are saved to the Desktop as PNG file (OS 10.4 and later) or a PDF file (OS 10.3 and prior). To copy the screenshot to the clipboard instead of creating a file on your desktop, hold the Control key in combination with the above keystrokes.

938 Responses to “How to capture screenshots in Mac OS X with keyboard shortcuts”

  1. Rae Says:

    : gasps : Awesome! I use the Grab application every other day — but no more! In fact, I just tested this out, and it does indeed work like a charm. Why thank you.

  2. Willem Says:

    Thanks for the linkback, Lee! I've also detailed how to copy screenshots to the clipboard instead of your Desktop here: http://www.geekology.co.za/blog/2009/01/taking-sc

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