I need a screenshot program that will freeze the current content (in my case, a streaming live lecture) and allow me to take a regional screenshot. In other words, once I hit the screencapture shortcut, the streaming content should freeze at the current frame, allowing me to drag and select a region, the screenshot is saved, and then I can repeat as needed. Without this feature, I may start a regional drag on a formula the speaker is showing, but in the meantime the speaker has moved on to another slide and I can't capture the info I need for my notes.

The only Mac program I've found that does this freeze before capture is Snapz Pro X. The problem with this program is that the screen capture process is multiple steps and not built for rapid screen captures. The steps include typing the shortcut combo, mouse clicking from a number of available buttons to select the capture mode, moving or resizing the existing regional capture settings, and finally taking the screenshot by hitting return. Unfortunately, there isn't a way to set in the preferences or custom shortcut combo to automatically do a regional snapshot. Also, you also have to start from the last region you took -- so if you need to take a smaller region that is within the boundaries of the prior snap, you have to drag it out of the way first.

Are there any programs besides Snapz Pro X that will allow a regional snap that freezes the current screen contents?

  • 6
    Alternatively, quickly capture the entire screen and crop afterwards?
    – Gerry
    Mar 19, 2013 at 17:01
  • That is a good idea. Use Command + Shift + 3 to grab a quick screenshot then crop it in with a simple image editing software. Mar 19, 2013 at 17:14

3 Answers 3


Don't know any applications that do what you're after but here's a couple of alternative options for you. Second two won't pause the video but will give you instant capture.

  1. Pause the video then capture at will? Sorry if that sounds too obvious! Guess that you might be viewing live footage so that might not work...
  2. Shift+command+4 will give you a regional marquee grab (takes grab on mouse-up) saved to the desktop (or add the control key to add to the paste buffer).
  3. Use Grab - its the OSX 10.6 native screen capture app under /applications/utilities. It has the option to grab the current window (or selected region or entire screen).

    1. Choose the option you want
    2. Make the screen ready (ie video playing)
    3. Choose it with a click You may be able to set this up as a keyboard shortcut under /system preferences/keyboard/keyboard shortcuts - I've not tried.

I hope that helps!


After looking at the options, I decided applescripting and automator might be the way to go. I liked the idea of Gerry and bassplayer7 of taking a screenshot and then later crapping. I essentially automated this and it works pretty well. I attached the applescript to an automator service and attached that to a keyboard shortcut. The only problem is that the program I need to screen capture from won't allow me to run the keyboard shortcut for some reason (just get a plunk sound), although I can do a normal regional screenshot (command+shift+5).

Here is the applescript:

on run {}
    -- save a screenshot to the documents folder, then open in Preview
set RandomName to random number from 1000000 to 9999999
set picPath to ((POSIX path of (path to documents folder)) & RandomName & ".png") as string
do shell script "screencapture -tpng -P " & quoted form of picPath
tell application "Finder" to set theMovie to picPath
-- now go fullscreen in Preview using keyboard shortcut
tell application "System Events"
    tell application process "Preview"
        keystroke "f" using {command down, shift down}
    end tell
end tell
    -- screencapture region and save to clipboard, then close Preview
do shell script "screencapture -i -c " & quoted form of picPath
tell application "System Events"
    tell application process "Preview"
        keystroke "w" using {command down}
    end tell
end tell

    -- go to evernote to paste the note
set myAppName to "Evernote"
tell application myAppName to activate
end run
  • I'm no native speaker, but isn't crapping something you do privately in a bathroom? You surely mean cropping, right?
    – wullxz
    Jan 10, 2018 at 3:20

You can use command+shift+3 to capture the entire screen quickly then crop later.

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