Mac Tip – How to Take Screen Shots in OS X

These instructions were created for Mac OS X 10.6.3. Your version of OS X may differ slightly.

There are two ways to print screen in OS X: using the Grab application that comes with OS X or using keyboard shortcuts without opening Grab. Theses instructions use keyboard shortcuts.

To Take a Screen Shot of an Entire Screen

1.     Press Command (⌘)-Shift-3.

2.     A PNG file containing the screen shot appears on your desktop. Double-click the screen shot file and it opens in Preview.

3.     Choose File-Save As….  Under Format, choose the type of file you want to save.

Screen Shot of Menu with Title

To Take Screen Shot of Menu with Title

1. Select the menu you want to shoot and if desired, highlight a menu item and expand a submenu.

2. Press Command (⌘)-Shift-4, then release. The cursor becomes crosshairs (+).

3. Drag the crosshairs to encompass the area you want to shoot, including the title and submenu, if desired. The shot is taken at the moment you release and you will find the PNG file of the screen shot on your desktop.

With all screen shot procedures above, except the first one (full screen shots), you may press escape to cancel before taking the shot.

To Take a Screen Shot of Menu without Title

1.     Select the menu you want to shoot and if desired, highlight a menu item.

2.     Press Command (⌘)-Shift-4, then release. The cursor becomes crosshairs (+).

3.     Press the space bar so the crosshairs become a camera and the selected menu will become shaded.

4.     Tap or click to take the shot. An image file appears on your desktop.

To Take a Screen Shot of a Window

1.     Select the window you want to shoot.

2.     Press Command (⌘)-Shift-4, then release. The cursor becomes crosshairs (+).

3.     Press the space bar and the crosshairs become a camera.

4.     Click your mouse or tap your track pad. A PNG file containing a screen shot of the window appears on your desktop. Double-click it to open the file in Preview. In Preview, you may print the screen shot or save it as a different type of image file (jpeg, tiff, etc.).

To take a Screen Shot of Part of a Screen or Window

1. Press Command (⌘)-Shift-4, then release. The cursor becomes crosshairs (+).

2. Drag the crosshairs to encompass the area you want to shoot. The shot is taken at the moment you release and you will find the PNG file of the screen shot on your desktop.


Screen shot picture files may be edited with iPhoto or in Preview.

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