Take a Timed Screen Shot in Mac OS X
You can take time delayed screenshots in Mac OS X easily by using the Grab utility or the Terminal app, included with every Mac OS X version.
We’ll cover taking timed screen shots in Grab first because it’s more user friendly and doesn’t involve the command line which is a bit more technical, and then demonstrate timing screenshots with the terminal approach second.
Both Grab app (called Screenshot app in later MacOS versions) and Terminal are bundled on all Macs in the /Applications/Utilities/ directory, find them there to get started, or launch it with Spotlight (Command+Space) or the Launchpad.
How to Take Timed Screen Shots with Grab on Mac
Open the Grab / Screenshot app if you haven’t done so yet. Once you’re in the app, do the following:
- Pull down the “Capture” menu and select “Timed Screen” or hit Command+Shift+Z to bring up the timed capture alert dialog that you see in the screenshot
- When you’re ready to start the screen shot timer, click on “Start Timer” and you’ll have 10 seconds to stage your screenshot before Grab snaps the entire screen
Easy enough, right? Here’s an example of a screen shot timed and taken with the Grab tool:
You’ll notice Grab won’t be visible in the screenshot, which is nice otherwise the app would be kind of useless as it’d include pictures of itself. Another great thing about the Grab app for taking screen shots in Mac OS X is that you can include the mouse pointer, which can be helpful for some situations.
Taking Time Delayed Screen Shots via Terminal in Mac OS X
If you’re inclined to travel the more technical road, you can also take time delayed screen shots from the Terminal using the screencapture command:
screencapture -T 10 osxdaily.jpg
You can adjust the time to anything in seconds, that example is for a 10 second delay. The filename follows, which will be created in your users home directory unless you specify otherwise. You can see some more screencapture options here.
You’ll notice I say screen shot, but those coming to the Mac from Windows often refer to this process as “Print Screen” thanks to the little button on their old PC keyboards. Unless you time the pressing of that button, timed screenshots are a feature of Mac OS X only. Also you might notice in that screenshot that I’m hiding my Mac OS X menu bar, this is achieved through a 3rd party utility called MenuEclipse.