I want to be able to take a screenshot using Spotlight. I know I can just press "Command-Shift-3" to get the job done, but I want to get some very computer-illiterate people to learn to take a screenshot without having them to learn a shortcut. They already know how to use Spotlight, hence the question.

I thought of making an Automator script to do this. But that did not work.

on run {input, parameters}

    (* Your script goes here *)
    tell application "System Events"
        keystroke "3" using {command down, shift down}
    end tell

    return input
end run

Any other suggestions? I don't want to install some app to do this.

  • 1
    As an alternative, you can access the screenshot functions via the Preview application, using the Take Screenshot submenu in the File menu. This is probably slightly harder to remember than grgarside's method, but it is available out of the box, and it allows capture of the whole screen, a part of the screen or a window. I've not posted this as an answer since it doesn't really answer the question as it stands.
    – MJeffryes
    Oct 2, 2017 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


You can use this AppleScript in an Automator app to take a screenshot.

on run
    do shell script "/usr/sbin/screencapture \"" & ¬
        POSIX path of (path to desktop as string) & ¬
        "Screen Shot " & (current date) & ".png\""
end run

Save the Automator workflow as an app with an appropriate name for Spotlight to find it and suggest it.


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