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#MacOSX : Taking Screenshots


You will be surprised but even without stamp key on the keyboard you can take screenshots whitout 3rd party apps! 😀

There are several keyboard combinations that can be used to take screenshots in Mac OS X. The SystemUIServer process handles these commands.

  • 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.
  • 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 clipboar.

From Mac OS X Leopard and later, the following keys can be held down while selecting an area (via Command-Shift-4 or Command-Control-Shift-4):

  • Space: to lock the size of the selected region and instead move it when the mouse moves.
  • Shift: to resize only one edge of the selected region.
  • Option: to resize the selected region with its center as the anchor point.

NOTE: different versions of Mac OS X have different formats for screenshots.

NOTE2: in Mac OS X 10.4 and later, the default screenshot format can be changed, by opening Terminal app and typing :
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type image_format
killall SystemUIServer

Where image_format is one of jpg, tiff, pdf, png, bmp or pict (among others). If you omit the second line, you will need to log out and in again for the change to take effect.

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About whitehatty

Computer Engineer and Scientist interested in Computer Security, Complex Networks, Math, Biology and Medicine. "Think Different" life style. Quake 3 Arena player. NERD by DNA.

Posted on April 25, 2012, in Mac OS X Tips & Tricks and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. A feature well working in Tiger was the support to external USB (Apple) modem, very useful as fax sender and in case of DSL failure. This feature is lost in Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion, maybe because some kext has been removed. Maybe it’s possible to restore the dismissed feature, is there any way to get it again without programming? say, copying the correspondant kext(s) (or printer device, but in System Preferences there is “receive faxes on this computer”, so something should be activated) from Tiger library and putting it in the right place…
    Apple give no more support to its own external modem, but there are third party devices who replace the ex-Apple USB modem.

    • The issue with the USB modem is that the drivers are 32 bit only. The Apple USB modem won’t work under Snow Leopard when it’s forced to 64 bit. Lion runs 64 bit default.
      If you have an existing Tiger setup try this:
      Look for usb modem .kext in Tiger /System/Library/Extensions/ directory and copy it on a usb key; it should be named something like AppleUSBModem.kext
      Then copy it back in Leopard /System/Library/Extensions/ directory.
      After copying the kext files, you have to delete the kext-cache, so that the new kexts will be added by the system when it rebuilds the cache next boot. To do
      this, use Onyx, it is really easy.
      At last, start the Disk utility and repair permissions for your drive. This is necessary for your new installed kexts, so that the system will load them when you start OS X.
      Now you have to restart in order to load your new installed kexts.

      WARNING: unsupported driver may cause system hang or crash, so be really careful, save your work.

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