How to do beautiful print screens, with shadows on the border, like this image?

Screenshot with shadow

Is the shadows automatic? A Mac tool? Do I need to manipulate the image in other programs like Adobe Photoshop?

  • 1
    +1 surprisingly i found out that not many people knew about this nifty feature in Mac OS X
    – user6124
    May 25, 2011 at 14:46

3 Answers 3


No, you do not need to. This feature is built into Mac OS X.

To do this, press +Shift+4 then press Space. The selector will then change into a camera icon, and you can take a screenshot of the selected window with a shadow.

screenshot of screenshotting

(I couldn't capture the camera icon)

End result: end product

  • +1 - I didn't know about the space option. Man, that's an ugly camera icon. May 25, 2011 at 14:41
  • 3
    To make it easier, the spacebar doesn't have to be pressed right in the sequence like that: Cmd-Shift-4 [release] gives you the crosshairs, after which you can press and release the spacebar. May 25, 2011 at 14:48
  • 1
    That's a lot of junk you have on your Desktop. May 26, 2011 at 16:31
  • Extra modifiers: Ctrl, capture to clipboard, Cmd-N in Preview will create a new window containing the screenshot; Option, eliminate the drop shadow
    – Harvey
    Oct 20, 2014 at 18:07
  • You can get the camera icon by capturing a screen recording using Quicktime. It has to be the whole screen, though. Then grab a screenshot of a frame from the movie. If you try to just record a portion of the screen, then there's an invisible window floating above all others and when you hit Space, it'll highlight the whole screen in blue.
    – Harvey
    Oct 20, 2014 at 18:16

Actually I prefer NOT to capture with the shadow at all. There is a command line procedure for suppressing the shadows, but you can accomplish the same thing through the GUI of TinkerTool.

enter image description here

Install TinkerTool and then under its "General" tab, un-check the box next to "Include shadow when capturing window".

  • 2
    TinkerTool basically does just defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true. You can disable shadows for single screenshots with screencapture -i -W -o. (-i = interactive, -W = window selection mode.)
    – Lri
    Aug 10, 2011 at 13:30
  • 1
    Thanks for the explanation. While I can certainly perform command-line operations, I highly value tools like TinkerTool, MacPilot, Cocktail and DeepVacuum, which can do all sorts of command-line functions for me in a nice, simple GUI that organizes many parameters of many applications together in one place.
    – user9290
    Aug 10, 2011 at 20:02
  • You can also disable the shadow by holding ⌥alt when you click to take the screenshot.
    – grg
    Apr 10, 2017 at 15:06

The shadows aren't automatic. There is a free tool called ImageShadowAdder that can do these for you.

  • 2
    The shadows are automatic if you press space and capture just a window.
    – Ian C.
    May 25, 2011 at 14:48

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