Forwarding Address: OS X

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Screen capture shortcuts

To make the screenshots I used in that last post, I used a few new tricks I learned recently.

Command-Shift-3 captures the whole screen.
Command-Shift-4 will capture a selection.

In both cases, PDFs are dumped to your Desktop folder, usually in the form of Picture 1, Picture 2, etc. I opened them in Preview and exported them to PNG.

Off the top of my head, I don't know of a tool to do that automatically from the command-line. ImageMagick's convert doesn't seem to handle PDFs.


  • The command line utility mentioned in this hint may help.

    By Anonymous, at 1:43 PM  

  • But wait! There's more!

    Press Command-Shift-4 then press pace. Your cursor will change to a camera and you can shoot any whole window.

    By DrunkPuppy, at 1:54 PM  

  • If you add the Control key to the mix then the screenshot is copied to the pasteboard, and not saved as a file to your Desktop.

    Then you start an app and just paste or 'new from clipboard' to start working with the image.

    By Dale, at 5:19 PM  

  • You just heard about command-shift-3? That trick goes back to the original Mac 128.

    By Anonymous, at 10:42 PM  

  • for image conversion from the command line sips might help
    sips --help
    this technote might be of interest.

    By Anonymous, at 2:21 PM  

  • If you've xpdf installed, then you can use pdfimages to extract images from .pdf files.

    By Salvatore, at 1:28 AM  

  • I would suggest the QuickImage CMM from to do the conversions. A great tool!

    By Kim Gammelgård, at 6:16 PM  

  • Peace,

    Wouldn't it be nice if you guys can post your mac desktop pics so I can see it?

    I have no mac pc, too sad huh?

    By okel, at 11:14 PM  

  • Just to emphasise Dale's earlier comment

    Control Shift 4 will copy the selection to the clipboard

    swap to Preview

    Command-N will create a new document with screen shot

    Command-Shift-E will export to a variety of formats.

    Add a keyboard macro program for activating Preview and this is all very fast.


    By Anonymous, at 12:39 PM  

  • I wrote a little bit of Pyquartzon that allows one to easily convert a PDF screenshot to PNG from the command line.

    By bbum, at 9:54 PM  

  • my browser doesn´show those pictures!?!

    By tango argentino, at 11:50 AM  

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