Free technical help for digital creators - music, video, art, photography, graphic & web design

Mac OSX screenshots by Matt Ottewill

Pictures taken of your screen or sections of it are commonly referred to as Screenshots or Screen grabs. Both Windows and Mac OS have built-in tools and 3rd party software available.

Mac OS commands

You can create pictures of all or parts of your screen (which will be saved to the desktop in pdf format) using these commands ...

  • The whole screen Apple-Shift-3 = to capture a picture of the entire screen
  • Rectangular selection Apple-shift-4-drag = creates a picture file of your rectangle selection when you release the mouse
  • A single Menu, Window, Icon or Dialogue box Apple-shift-4 then the Spacebar. Your cursor turns into a tiny camera icon. Click on the item you want to create a picture of.

System utility

Mac OSX also comes with a simple application called Grab for creating screenshots. Find it in the Applications - Utilities folder.

3rd party software

Snapz Prox is an excellent program for creating a range of screenshots in a variety of file formats. It can also create timed QuickTime movies of your on-screen actions. Find it at