Taking Screenshots in Mac OS X and Changing the Default Filetype from PNG to Whatever
Many Mac users take screenshots of their desktop for various reasons, be it showing off their setups, post to their blog or flickr, development, whatever. Most of us just use command-shift-3 and command-shift-4, but did you know there’s more options than just those two keyboard shortcuts? I’m not talking about third party apps, but options built right into Mac OS X. From specifying windows and filetypes, to saving to the desktop or the clipboard, it’s all here. Take a look:
Here are other screenshot options built right into Mac OS X, and their accompanying key commands:
Full screen (Save to Desktop) – CMD+Shift+3
Full screen (Save to Clipboard) – CMD+CTRL+Shift+3
Select region (Save to Desktop) – CMD+Shift+4
Select region (Save to Clipboard) – CMD+CTRL+Shift+4
Select item (Save to Desktop) – CMD+Shift+4 then Spacebar
Select item (Save to Clipboard) – CMD+CTRL+Shift+4 then Spacebar
One thing I dislike about the default settings of Mac OS X screenshots is the filetype PNG. PNG can be great and certainly has its place, but I generally find JPEG format to be more compatible across all platforms. So how do you change the screenshot setting from PNG to JPG? Easy:
In earlier versions of Mac OS X, open up a Terminal and type:
defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleScreenShotFormat JPEG
in Mac OS X 10.6 o newer, type:
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg
Now you need to type ‘killall SystemUIServer’ for changes to take effect.
You won’t receive any confirmation but it does work, and testing it out is simple, just take a screenshot and look for the JPG file on your desktop. You can actually change the format to things other than JPEG and PNG; PICT and TIFF are also formats to use if you’re so inclined. Simply replace JPEG with any of the other filetypes and it will work the same.