So we all know that the Retina has a double density screen. As such, when I take screen shots they are 144ppi instead of 72ppi. These are great when I am looking at them in Photoshop, but if I paste them into an e-mail or post them to my blog, they're twice as large as they should be. Scaling them to 50% makes them look terrible.

Here is a screen shot I took directly, and should be 400x170 px, but it is clearly larger than that (click here for direct link, which shows it is actually 800x340 px):

enter image description here

If I bring it into Photoshop and change the resolution from 144ppi to 72ppi, it switches to the right dimensions, but the resampling is absolutely terrible (direct link):

enter image description here

I just want crisp screen shots at the right size, without losing the beautiful crispness of text during normal usage. In other words, I'm hoping there is a solution to this problem without changing this setting (sorry the screen shot is double actual size!):

enter image description here


2 Answers 2


I'm afraid that there really isn't a way to do it. I've been running into the same issue. The effective resolution at 1440x900 is actually 2880x1800 pixelwise- so the reason that you see crisp text is because you are looking at an image with 2880 x1800 resolution on a capable display. Because scaling down usually involves smoothing, the images will look terrible in email /on other peoples computers.
One solution is to download a program such as SwitchResX that allows access to "non-HDPI" resolutions. This would allow you to set the display to a true 1440x900, take the screen shot, and switch it back. Best of luck!


Retina Capture claims to perform a 1x screenshot by redrawing the screen at lower resolution rather than scaling down the image.

The quality of the capture depends on the application. In my case (a java application) it didn't really look better than the scaled-down version, but it might work well for others.

Screenshot from RetinaCapture

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