I am looking for a way to launch Preview on my Mac automatically, whenever I take a screenshot to my clipboard. I use "cmd + shift + 4" most of the times, then open preview, then hit "cmd+n" which accomplishes what I'm after, but is just time-consuming. I have looked around but haven't found an option to do this with Automator. I'm not sure if it's even possible that Automator 'monitors' the clipboard and whenever it receives a screenshot, could trigger Preview.

Any help is much appreciated!

  • By default ⌃⇧⌘4 is used to copy picture of selected area to the clipboard, did you change it to ⇧⌘4? What version of macOS are you running? Commented Mar 5, 2020 at 4:58
  • Monitoring the clipboard is possible, but a ballache. Would be much easier to create a new keyboard shortcut that triggers an Automator workflow to take the screenshot and then open it in Preview.
    – CJK
    Commented Mar 6, 2020 at 23:48

1 Answer 1


If you open /System/Applications/Utilities/Screenshot.app, you will be given the option to choose where your screenshot goes. You can select for the screenshot to automatically open in Preview.

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Now anytime you use your keyboard shortcuts to take a screenshot, the default action would be to open the screenshot in Preview.

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  • Depends on what version of macOS as the feature you mention is not in macOS High Sierra and earlier. It's also why I asked the OP what version of macOS he's running. Commented Mar 6, 2020 at 3:03
  • Thanks a ton @James. Absolute game changer for me! Commented Mar 9, 2020 at 17:54

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