Taking Screen Shots 3

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Taking Screen Shots

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Do you ever need to take a screen shot of your screen, a piece of work, a step in a tutorial. You may notice that a Mac keyboard doesn’t have a Print Screen button, unless you are using a third party keyboard. This can be annoying, but Apple have included to ways of taking screen shots, one of them is really cool and simple short cut method.

The first method is using the Grab tool in Utilities. By opening this up (it doesn’t have any window associated with it) you have a couple of options from the menu bar. Under the capture menu you have Capture > Selection, Windows, Screen and Timed Screen. Each is pretty self explanatory.

The problem with using grab is that you have to open the Application. As well as this you also have to save each screen grab by hand. This is a bit complicated. As a result Apple implemented a couple of very cool shortcuts.

The first method of taking picture is Command + Shift + 3. This takes a screen shot of your whole screen and places a small file on your desktop. This is the image file, names Picture 1.png . Each time you take a picture another file is created and named in sequential order.

Another method is to change the 3 to a 4 when pressing the shortcut keys. While pressing this key command you get up a small marquee style cursor. You can then create a selection of what you want to take. This is very useful for taking pictures of small areas.

The second method also has a couple of other key commands associated with it. If you press the space bar after pressing the key command and before you drag a box, you get a small camera. This is very useful as it will automatically crop and image and only take a picture of the window or menu you select. I personally think this has taken a small backwards step from the Tiger operating system as is includes the drop shadow, which for me is not that useful.

As well as space you can also press control while dragging your marquee selection. Instead of creating a file on your desktop it copies the image to the clipboard. If you press shift it locks the vertical height of the marquee. If you press and hold space after you make a selection, before releasing the mouse, you can move the selection around. This is great if you ever need to move your selection. If you press option on the keyboard and drag your marquee it will create the marquee from where first clicked. Finally pressing escape closes the marquee for taking pictures.

Hopefully this makes sense. Using the short cuts is a lot quicker and easier to use. You don’t need to have grab open. The only problem is you can’t take timed screen shots, which is a bit of a pain.


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