There are two ways you can grab screen shots from OS X. Through the use of built in shortcuts and by using the Grab utility. I use this feature all the time when taking screenshots for Learning OS X. I’m also constantly using it to send images of error screens to customer support. It’s a great utility, it’s free and once you make it part of your arsenal, I guarantee you will use it on a regular basis.
The system short cuts for taking screen captures are
- Shift+⌘+3 to take a picture of the entire screen and save to a file
- Shift+Ctrl+⌘+3 to take a picture of the entire screen and save to the clipboard
- Shift+⌘+4 to take a picture of a rectangular area and save to a file
- Shift+Ctrl+⌘+4 to take a picture of a rectangular area and save to the clipboard
When they images are saved to a file, they are saved as a PDF or TIFF file to the desktop
I generally use the Control modifier to save them to the clipboard and then open Preview, paste them into the preview window and save the file.
Grab on the other hand is a Utility that you launch to allow you to take screen captures. There are a few cases where Grab is better for making screen captures then the system shortcuts.
- Grab lets you decide whether or not to include the cursor when you take a screen capture. If you are using the OS X system screen capture, the cursor is hidden
- Grab also lets you take delayed pictures of your desktop. This is useful if you need to setup a state before grabbing the image. You can do this by pressing Shift+⌘+Z
There you have it, two simple ways to grab beautiful screen captures from OS X. If you have any cool uses of Grab, let us know in the comments.