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How to: Take a screenshot in Mac OS X

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Photo credit: CJ Sorg (Flickr)

Sometimes the simplest of things need an answer and this is one such occasion. Long term Windows users arrive on Mac OS and wonder, “Where’s the Print Screen button” or “How do I take a screenshot?“. Even now I’ve been using Mac OS for nearly a year, I still have to refer to a reference guide to remember the appropriate keyboard shortcuts because there are lots of options depending on your requirements.

For your convenience, here are the options and their corresponding keys. (The Command key is the one with a picture of an Apple on it!)

  • Command-Shift-3: Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it as a file on the desktop
  • Command-Shift-4, then select an area: Take a screenshot of an area and save it as a file on the desktop
  • Command-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Take a screenshot of a window and save it as a file on the desktop
  • Command-Control-Shift-3: Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it to the clipboard
  • Command-Control-Shift-4, then select an area: Take a screenshot of an area and save it to the clipboard
  • Command-Control-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Take a screenshot of a window and save it to the clipboard

In Leopard and later, the following keys can be held down while selecting an area (via Command-Shift-4 or Command-Control-Shift-4):

  • Space, to lock the size of the selected region and instead move it when the mouse moves
  • Shift, to resize only one edge of the selected region
  • Option, to resize the selected region with its center as the anchor point
[Source: MacRumours.com]
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