MAC PRINT SCREEN

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    How to Print Screen to a File on the Desktop in Mac OS X

    The basic functionality of taking a screen shot of a window or desktop in Mac OS X takes an complete image capture of the desktop and all open windows and running apps and dumps it to a unique file on the Mac desktop. Each keyboard shortcut will use the pressing of the Command and Shift keys concurrently as the basis for execution, followed by a number or another key:

    • Command+Shift+3: takes a screenshot of the full screen (or screens if multiple monitors), and save it as a file to the desktop
    • Command+Shift+4: brings up a selection box so you can specify an area to take a screenshot of, then save it as a file to the desktop
    • Command+Shift+4, then spacebar, then click a window: takes a screenshot of a window only and saves it as a file to the desktop

    Because this approach effectively ‘prints’ the screen to the desktop as a unique file containing the screen capture, it removes the unnecessary step of having to paste the screen shot into another application and then save it manually. If you’d rather not save the file to the desktop though, you can have it copied to the clipboard instead, which can then be pasted elsewhere just like what happens in the Windows world.

    How to Print Screen to the Clipboard on a Mac

    Saving the capture directly to the clipboard functions a lot more like the Print Screen feature in the Windows world. If you want to do the Mac equivalent of Print Screen, storing the image in the clipboard so that you can paste it into another app or document, these are the commands you’d want to use instead:

    • Command+Control+Shift+3: take a screenshot of the entire screen, and saves it directly to the clipboard for pasting elsewhere
    • Command+Control+Shift+4, then select an area: takes a screenshot of the selection using the rectangular drawing box, and saves it to the clipboard for pasting elsewhere
    • Command+Control+Shift+4, then space, then click a window: takes a screenshot of a window as specified by the hovering snapshot cursor, and saves that capture to the clipboard for pasting

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