When I take a screen capture using 'capture selection from screen' or using 'control-command-shift-4' and then paste it in an email, the clip cannot be seen by the receiving party. Instead they see a blue question mark in a box.

Has anyone else struck this problem ?

Saving the screen capture direct to disk works fine.

  • What happens if you drag it to the email rather than paste? or as suggested, try jpg. Same? The blue question mark would say that the resource is missing, yet tagged to be there. It may be that their email client/firewall is stripping attachments.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 9:40

1 Answer 1


The default file type for screencaps in OS X is .png format. Perhaps your recipients' email readers cannot process .png files.

You can change the default file type by executing these commands in Terminal.

To change the default format to JPEG, for example, use these commands:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg
killall SystemUIServer

Other formats you can choose: gif, pdf and tiff.

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