I'm pretty new to Automator but it seems like it's possible - I just can't seem to get it to work.

I'd like to be able to take a screenshot and then open it up in Preview for easy annotation. If it's possible I'd then like to copy it to clipboard after saving but that's not 100% needed.

I've tried following a few articles but never received good results. The one that got me closest is here: https://andytaylor.me/2014/05/22/better-os-x-screenshots-with-shell-scripts/

I don't need Dropbox so I edited that part out and I modified it based on some other suggestions - here's what I have:

filename="shot_$(date '+%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M-%S').png"
mkdir -p "$path"
screencapture -o -i "$path$filename"
open -a 'Preview' "$path$filename"

When I run the Automator task it says that it was completed successfully but it just opens up Preview, it doesn't even allow me to do a screencapture. When I copy/paste into Terminal it hangs on the last line - but successfully allows me to do the screencapture.

1 Answer 1


@Feanux I was answering your question and then you deleted it but I see you reposted it, anyway I have made a Automator app that does this and will attach a screenshot (that was taken by Automator).enter image description here As you can see it takes two screenshots, one for clipboard and one for preview/save


enter image description here

  • Since they're interactive screenshots it prompts me to just take 2 screenshots automatically and doesn't open Preview :(
    – Feanux
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 16:27
  • I'm uploading a screen capture of this working, give me a sec... Commented May 20, 2016 at 16:29
  • mediafire.com/download/13mzxw87b22zp2k/screen.mov Commented May 20, 2016 at 16:34
  • Did it work for you? If so could you mark my question as correct :) Commented May 20, 2016 at 16:49
  • Works great if I want to do a fullscreen screenshot but I need to make it interactive to be choose the selection. Changing the "Type" to Interactive means I now have to take the screenshot twice and choose the same selection both times.
    – Feanux
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 16:54

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