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What's the easiest way to take a screenshot of my Mac?

I've used, but it's a bit annoying just to get a quick screenshot. Is there a faster way?

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up vote 38 down vote accepted

cmd shift 3 takes a screenshot of the entire current Desktop (all attached monitors, as separate shots].

cmd shift 4 takes a screenshot of a dragged selection.

cmd shift 4 then space (you must press space separately) then click, to take a screenshot of a specific window.
Holding Opt ⌥ as you click will remove the drop-shadow.

Add control to the shortcuts above to place the screen shot on the clipboard instead of saving it to the desktop.

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Thanks, that is easy! I like the shadows on the windows! These keyboard shortcuts seem to dump the screenshots on my desktop which is OK, but is there a way to copy them directly to my clipboard instead, sort of like the "PrntScr" key in Windows? – Airplane Mode Nov 9 '10 at 5:45
@Airplane I edited my answer you can use control for that job. – Am1rr3zA Nov 9 '10 at 5:50
You can alter the place that screenshots get saved using some of the populate hidden-tweaks apps like 'secrets', or use the Terminal to execute this command: defaults write location -path <full path to the location>, e.g. /Users/YourName/Screenshots – JBRWilkinson Nov 11 '10 at 11:33
If you use Snagit or Skitch, you don't need to press all those keyboard shortcuts, you just need to activate their screenshot functionality and drag your mouse to capture any parts on the screen. Plus, those programs offers more functions like editing and sharing. – user83870 Sep 9 '14 at 3:14

Also you may define a shortcut key for copying the selected area to clipboard as I did.

Here is how:

  1. System Preferences
  2. Select Keyboard Pane
  3. Select Keyboard Shortcuts tab
  4. Select Screen Shots from left menu
  5. Double click to the shortcut option of "Copy picture of selected area to the clipboard" and define a key that rarely used (eg:F13)

And done! From now on, when press that key, the area selection pointer appears and after you select the region on the screen, it copies the picture to the clipboard and you may paste anywhere.

Hope it helps...

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