If you right click and copy an image from Safari, Mail, etc. (or command-control-shift-4 to save screenshot to clipboard), certain apps support pasting (e.g., Mail, MS Word, etc.), but I can't paste the image to a folder in finder.

Is there some way to override the default behavior, allowing me to paste to a folder, the aforementioned image data as a file using command-V? I don't really care what the file type is.

REVERTED EDITS TO QUESTION: See accepted answer to original question below.

  • 1
    The edit makes this a completely different question. Please consider posting it as such. The answers below now bear no relation to your question.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 18, 2020 at 17:54

2 Answers 2


Here are the steps to get something working (I asked a separate question to extend this solution so that it will work with CMD-V instead of CTRL-CMD-V):

  1. Install pngpaste using brew install pngpaste.

  2. Make Automator Quick Action, and configure as:

enter image description here

osascript -e 'set formattedDate to (do shell script "date +'%Y-%m-%dat%H-%M-%S%p'")' -e 'tell application "Finder" to set thePath to the quoted form of (POSIX path of (insertion location as alias) & formattedDate & ".png")' -e 'if ((clipboard info) as string) contains TIFF picture then do shell script "/usr/local/bin/pngpaste " & thePath' -e 'if ((clipboard info) as string) does not contain TIFF picture then tell application "System Events" to keystroke "v" using control down'
  1. Save and close.
  2. Assign a shortcut to trigger the service:

enter image description here

FUNCTIONALITY: If you want to paste any file just as normal, use CMD-V and if you want to paste a screenshot or image from the internet use CTRL-CMD-V.

  • I also had to run this to allow the Automator Action to work: sudo ln -s /opt/homebrew/bin/pngpaste /usr/local/bin/pngpaste
    – Don Vince
    Apr 3 at 15:23

As a workaround, you can open Preview and use File → New from Clipboard (cmd-N). Preview opens the clipboard data and you can save this as a file to the location you desire.

  • See edits please.
    – Landon
    Dec 18, 2020 at 17:49

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