Consider the situation: I have many active apps on my (main) workspace and I've taken screenshot of one of them, which was auto saved on desktop. I need to put this screenshot to another active app(e.g. mail).

To achieve this Should I go through minimizing all unneded applications one by one (there could be a dozen of them) until the desktop is seen and only target application is active and in front of workspace, so I could drag the file?

I could have use "show dektop" hot key/gesture but it hides the target app as well as others and it's not possible AFAIK to bring only it to dektop, as soon as I touch it all apps will jump back to the places they've been before "show desktop" were applied.

Would be nice if I clould bring only one app to front.

  • 1
    I'd have a rethink as to how you use Spaces. If Mail is on one Space & you can see the picture on the desktop in any other Space, then you just grab it, hold ctrl/[num] to shift to Mail & drop it in. See superuser.com/a/1187552/347380 and apple.stackexchange.com/a/179403/85275 for some ideas
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 10, 2021 at 11:45
  • Yep, using multiple worspaces is an option, but usually I face the mentioned situation when most of apps (needed for short term) a already dumped on one ws, just because they went there by default.
    – Vsevolod
    Feb 10, 2021 at 11:48
  • I usually send browser and IDEs(other apps that opened long term) to dedicated workspaces and I'm a fan of them, but still I face this situation on regular basis, also there is apps that don't maximize to separated workspace well.
    – Vsevolod
    Feb 10, 2021 at 11:51
  • 1
    If you can see the screenshot (etc) on the desktop you can drag it to your desired app in the Dock - but it's much slower than my Spaces method. You have to wait a few seconds before it realises that's what you're trying to do; a dwell period so it doesn't jump around as you're dragging.
    – Tetsujin
    Feb 10, 2021 at 11:55
  • Do I get right that workspaces method implies you source and target apps in separated workpaces? Usually in such cases I don't see screenshot on desktop and I minimize all apps in oder to do so. But it's possibly quicker to add another empty workspace and then from there drag file to target app in dock, you are right. (If I get it correctly)
    – Vsevolod
    Feb 10, 2021 at 12:03

1 Answer 1


I use this script set up as a folder action. Basically, whenever I make a screenshot, this script activates, opening the folder I use for screenshots in the Finder, and opening the screenshot in Preview for editing. Copy it into Script Editor, save it as a script to ~/Library/Scripts/Folder Action Scripts/some_name.scpt and then use the Folder Actions Dispatcher app (available through spotlight, from down in the /System/Library/CoreServices folder) to attach the script to the desktop folder or whatever folder you prefer.

on adding folder items to this_folder after receiving these_items
    repeat with this_item in these_items
        set item_path to POSIX path of this_item
        tell application "System Events"
            set this_disk_item to disk item item_path
            tell this_disk_item
                if its name begins with "Screen Shot" and kind is "PNG Image" then
                    -- this opens the containing folder in the Finder
                    open its container
                    -- this opens the screen shot in Preview for editing
                    open it
                end if
            end tell
        end tell
    end repeat
end adding folder items to

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