Show the Mouse Pointer in Screen Shots on Mac

Feb 12, 2012 - 5 Comments

Mouse Pointer visible in a screen shot

If you’ve ever taken a screen shot in Mac OS X you’ll notice the cursor is nowhere to be found, even if you’re taking a screenshot of something like a menu in use. Instead, if you want to snap the mouse cursor or pointer as well in the screen shot, you’ll use a slightly different screenshot method.


By using the Grab utility, which is part of all Mac OS X installations, you can take screen shots showing the mouse pointer, and it’s even somewhat customizable in that you can set it to display different cursor pointer types.

How to Take a Screen Shot with the Mouse Cursor Visible on Mac OS X

  1. Launch Grab, located within the Applications Utilities folder
  2. Pull down “Preferences” from the Grab menu
  3. Select the desired cursor pointer type
  4. Use the “Capture” menu to take a screen shot with the mouse cursor included

Take a screen shot with the mouse cursor

Now that you have selected a cursor, your best bet is to take a timed screen shot, which can be done through the Grab applications ‘Capture’ menu. Voila, your new screen shot has the mouse cursor included.

Note that the standard screen capture keys will still not include the cursor, so you must continue to use Grab to capture a screen image with the pointer visible.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

5 Comments

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  1. Broojo says:

    Pretty awesome, I love all the options they give you.

  2. Anton says:

    Thank you! Very useful.

  3. Demis says:

    Thanks for the tip.
    Any way to capture whatever pointer is being used (rather than replacing it with the Grab.app options)?

  4. Alex says:

    Curious about what Demis has asked, as well!

  5. Matt says:

    Yeah, me too. This is no use, as the pointer selection is limited — what if you need to show the specific cursor being used when using a modifier key in an application (e.g. time-stretch tool in Cubase or Reaper). It seemingly can’t be done…

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