I have set Command + Shift + 4 to a keyboard shortcut to take a screenshot and save to clipboard, usually, I will paste this image for next usage.

But I want to lower the resolution of the image in the current clipboard because it's too big, how to do this?

enter image description here

  • Is it the resolution specifically you wish to be lower or are you looking for the size of the file it would create to be smaller?
    – CJK
    Apr 23, 2020 at 17:28
  • In addition you what CJK asked in his comment, are you looking for an automated solution or is the answer given by ankii what your are looking for? If an automated solution, then please be explicit and specific about what you mean by "But I want to lower the resolution of the image in the current clipboard because it's too big". Apr 23, 2020 at 17:34
  • hi,answer given by ankii is what I want, but I want an automation method , so I can paste a lower resolution image immediately
    – user956609
    Apr 27, 2020 at 6:29

4 Answers 4


Now that Shortcuts is available on macOS, this can be done with a simple Shortcut:

  1. Get Clipboard
  2. Resize [Clipboard] to [Size] [600] x [Auto height]
  3. Copy [Resized image] to clipboard

enter image description here

  • 1
    How to you trigger this?
    – conner.xyz
    Nov 29, 2022 at 17:53
  • 1
    I just run the shortcut, either from the Shortcuts app or have this shortcut pinned to the menubar. Nov 30, 2022 at 9:01
  • Is it possible to also change the resolution (e.g. from 144 to 72 pixels per inch)?
    – benjimin
    Oct 29, 2023 at 13:27
  • With the image at Clipboard, you can open Preview.app, hit command+N.

  • Go to Tools menu > Adjust Size..., make modifications.

  • Using the selection, cover the whole image, liberally. Don't worry if you've got lot of padding around it.

    enter image description here

  • Hit command+C and paste wherever you want.

"Export as..." also provides some options to downsize the image.

  • hi,is there any automation method to do this?
    – user956609
    Apr 27, 2020 at 6:29
  • You can make a automator workflow to do so, but most of it is already present in the form of shortcuts like cmd + N, cmd + A, cmd + C. you can look into command Line tools that can do such stuff.. I think brew would have something for that.
    – anki
    Apr 27, 2020 at 6:39
  • there's no shortcut to adjust width and height
    – user956609
    Apr 27, 2020 at 6:47
  • You can see the save as JPG which is a bit straightforward. i.stack.imgur.com/9wm4b.png
    – anki
    Apr 27, 2020 at 7:15
  • 1
    I don't want to save a picture I want a lower res image in the clipboard(not data size, just resolution)
    – user956609
    Apr 27, 2020 at 8:57

I've had success by changing the type from .png to .jpg.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg; killall SystemUIServer

I wrote a small app that can do this automatically. It's called Clop and it's completely free for clipboard image compressing.

As soon as you screenshot to clipboard, Clop optimizes the image to both PNG and JPEG and chooses the smallest one. It can also downscale to a lower resolution (72 DPI) if that's what you need:

Clop downscale to 72 DPI setting

By default, Macs with Retina screens use a 144 DPI resolution for screenshots, which can be too much for most people's needs. 72 DPI seems to be the standard for webpages, which is why macOS screenshots will look twice as big in web browsers.

Disclaimer: the app has a paid upgrade but it's only needed for compressing screen recordings and image files. Clipboard image functions are free.

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