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Taking a screenshot in Mac OS X

Adam Pope Profile Image

Adam Pope
February 21, 2008

Taking a screenshot in Mac OS X is a relatively complex process compared to the straightforward ‘just press the key’ approach Windows users will be used too. However, once you know what to do, the screenshot functionality of OS X is considerably more powerful and versatile.

Screenshot Key Combinations in Mac OS X

The following key combos can be used to take screenshots.

Key CombinationArea CapturedResult
Command + Shift + 3Entire ScreenFile saved on desktop
Command + Ctrl + Shift + 3Entire ScreenCopy to clipboard
Command + Shift + 4Click n Drag to select areaFile saved on desktop
Command + Ctrl + Shift + 4Click n Drag to select areaCopy to clipboard
Command + Shift + 4 then Space barClick to select windowFile saved to desktop
Command + Ctrl + Shift + 4 then Space barClick to select windowCopy to clipboard

Mac OS X also provides the Grab utility (described by O’Reilly) which offers even more powerful screenshot taking capabilities.

Happy Screenshotting!

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