Use Preview To Take Your Screenshots [OS X Tips]

Use Preview To Take Your Screenshots [OS X Tips]

Command-Shift-3 is so last year. Using Grab to, well, grab shots of your screen is blasé. If you’re really hip, you’ll use today’s tip to get your screenshots and thank us for it in the comments below.

First up, launch Preview. It’s probably in your Dock, but if not, head over to your Applications folder and scroll down to find Preview.

Click on the File menu and move your mouse down to “Take Screen Shot.” You’ll have three options: to take a picture of a specific selection, a certain window, or the entire screen. Oh, the powah!

If you choose From Selection, you’ll get the familiar crosshairs and a nice little message reminding you to do just that. Click and drag those down around any portion of the screen you want to take a picture of.

If you choose From Window, your mouse cursor will turn into a camera icon, and will highlight any window you hover over. The resulting image will grab that whole window, regardless of whether it was in the foreground or back behind other windows when you took the picture.

When you choose From Entire Screen, you’ll get the message that “Countdown to screenshot has started,” and a nice visual timer will tell you how long you have to arrange everything just so.

You can hit Escape on the keyboard at any time during each of these types of Preview screenshots to cancel the selection. When you actually take the shot, though, it will show up as a PNG in a new Preview window, named Untitled. Simply save this file as you usually do.

, Macworld, OS X Daily]

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  • rockymtnhigh

    I’m sorry but why would I want to load another program into memory – Preview – to do a task I can easily do with a few keystrokes? If I was using Preview, sure, but otherwise? Seems like wasted effort.

  • JuanWei

    Command+Shift+4 and Command+Shift+4+Spacebar perform the same functions you wrote about, capturing screen shot of a selection and a specific window.

    These shortcut keys have existed for sometime.

  • ramunasbl

    Yes, to use shortcuts, however I think that Rob is aware of

    Command+Shift+4 and Command+Shift+4+Spacebar perform the same functions you wrote about, capturing screen shot of a selection and a specific window.

    These shortcut keys have existed for sometime.

    Yes, to use shortcuts is more comfortable. However, I think that Rob is aware of all the shortcuts and in this article just points to another OS X app feature that it is good to know. Sometimes, it is easy to miss some of app possibilities, even using an app every day.

  • Todd Aron

    The countdown timer for the whole screen is news to me and could prove useful, and that the image will be put to window so one can save it anywhere. I’m always renaming screenshots and posting them to… another place, and often the PutFile is more convenient than navigating in the Finder.

  • Lane Jasper

    I agree that you can just use the command shift 3 or 4 (to crop an area) but it’s always nice to know these lil tips from inside other apps as well. I’m sure the author knows the command-shift-4 or command-shift-3 etc options, it’s been around awhile. ;-)

  • Bob Forsberg

    Non-existent in 10.5

  • Boris Terekidi

    Command + Shift + 3

    nuff said.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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