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MacTips: Three Ways to Take a Screenshot with Mac OS X

July 5, 2010 1 comment

I love the way Mac OSX handles screen captures. Unlike Windows, it’s built right into the OS itself so it’s available whenever you need it. You’ll need the following hotkeys to take a screenshot.

Full Screenshot Hotkey: cmd+shift+3;
After using this hotkey, your screen will flash and a png file with the date and time will appear on your desktop ready to use.

Cropped Screenshot Hotkey: cmd+shift+4;
After using this hotkey, your mouse cursor will turn into a crosshair. Just hold down the left mouse button, and highlight the area of your screen that you want to capture and bam! There will be a nicely cropped png file on your desktop.

Element Screenshot Hotkey: cmd+shift+4, then spacebar;
This one is useful if you need to capture a specific program window that’s open. As with the previous method, hold down cmd+shift+4 until you see the crosshair. Once you do, just hit the spacebar and your crosshairs should now turn into a camera. Hover over the window you want and click the left mouse button. Boom! You’re desktop should now have a perfectly cropped screencap of the window you clicked on, shadows and all.

Note for new Mac users: The cmd key is the one with apple one it ;)
Another Note: Holding the ‘ctrl’ key instead of the ‘shift’ key in the above hotkeys, will result in the screencap being saved to the clipboard instead of your desktop!

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Categories: Mac OS X, Tips Tags: , , , , ,