Become master of screenshots

I often find the need to take screenshots for a variety of reasons. I’m sure you’ve come across the need to share what’s on your screen with others. On a Mac, it’s quite easy, but you need to know how.

First up, there are universal screen shots. You can press Command + Shift + 3 to take a screenshot of your whole screen. This will put a .png file right on your desktop. More often though, you just want part of your screen to show up. For that, press Command + Shift + 4. Your cursor will turn into crosshairs. Just click and drag to highlight what you want to take a screenshot of, or, you can press the Spacebar to take a photo of a single window.

Now, you won’t always want a file to appear on your desktop. Maybe you’re just sending an email to someone, or want to put your screenshot in an document. For this, you’d like your image to be copied to your clipboard, so you can just past it into a document or email. Just press Control along with the other commands to do this. For example, Command + Control + Shift + 3 will copy a screenshot of your full screen to the clipboard. Now you just have to paste it where you want it (Command + V).

Want more options? Mac OS X comes with the Utility “Grab”. Just go to your Applications folder, then into your Utilities folder. You’ll find Grab in there. It’s a handy utility that lets you capture a window, clipping, the whole screen, or even do a timed capture. It’s pretty simple.

And there you have it, you’re now a master of the screenshot. There are other utilities out there with more options, but I’ve never found a need for them. The built in tools are quite powerful and easy to use.

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