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Simplify the process of capturing screenshots System
The supplied method of taking screenshots in OS X is simply horrible, especially if you just switched from Windows or another OS where the Print Screen key on your keyboard will perform that function. What was it in OS X again? Command-Shift-3? Or Control-Command-Shift-3 if you want the capture on your clipboard?

Insted of performing these keyboard gymnastics, open System Preferences, click on the Keyboard & Mouse panel, then the Keyboard Shortcuts tab. In the Screen Shots section, change the definition of 'Save picture of screen as a file' to F13, and 'Copy picture of screen to the clipboard' to Shift-F13. Just like that, taking screenshots is suddenly much easier -- very handy for submitting hints to macosxhints.com!

[robg adds: A simple but effective tip; I've used it to reassign the "region" capture commands instead, as I use those two most of the time.]
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Simplify the process of capturing screenshots
Authored by: Mikey-San on Jul 19, '06 08:29:32AM

This is STUPIDEST editorializing by a hint submitter I've ever seen. Rob shouldn't have run the opening paragraph as it was written.

How the hell is "print screen" any better than all of the screenshot methods in Mac OS X? "Print screen", if you want to nit-pick OS usability, means "print the screen" to the user. Yet when I press the key, nothing happens at all that I can see. Nothing "prints". To nerds, "print" doesn't necessarily mean "paper comes out of my HP inkjet", but to everyone else in the world, it does.

Oh, you mean a screenshot was put somewhere on the pasteboard? How am I supposed to know that? At least by default, OS X will make a camera snapshot sound when it happens. But really, think about it from a usability standpoint:

If you press command-shift-3, you already know that you've taken a screenshot, because you can't hit that accidentally.

Mac OS X's screenshot commands are multiple keys because they're extensible commands, and because users like to SMASH ON THE KEYS HURRR when something isn't working. Asking for a screen dump won't make an intensive, system-stalling command or application any faster, so it's a bad idea to trigger it accidentally.

There's a reason stuff like this isn't a single key by default. See also: control-alt-delete, Mr Windows Man.



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Re: Simplify the process of capturing screenshots
Authored by: Uncle Asad on Jul 19, '06 09:01:28AM

Hear, hear! :D



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Simplify the process of capturing screenshots
Authored by: sjmills on Jul 19, '06 11:23:28AM

You got that right!

Those of us who've been using a Mac all along know the key equivs by heart and can easily hit any of the 4 combinations with one hand in our sleep.



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Simplify the process of capturing screenshots
Authored by: Mikey-San on Jul 19, '06 12:42:29PM

"Because we've used it for years" doesn't really mean "usable", to be fair.

To be realistic, however, it's in the help system and really easy to find. Searching for "screenshot" in Mac Help returns everything you need to know.



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Simplify the process of capturing screenshots
Authored by: SpankyG4mac on Jul 20, '06 09:26:41AM

I agree with Mickey, I have a 4 year old and when i am not around, she likes to push all the keys on the keyboard.



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Simplify the process of capturing screenshots
Authored by: fractacular on Jul 20, '06 03:46:47PM

So you think your 4-year-old is going to hit cmd-shift-3 more often than F13 by itself?

Also, I don't understand the issue with usability. How do you remember that it's cmd-v for paste? Just remember that it's 3 for whole screen, and right next to that is the alternative, 4 for part of the screen. Then there is a modifier that is consistent -- adding the ctrl key always means put it on the clipboard.

Remembering the cmd-shift part is not too bad either. Try and remember it as a feeling rather than a list of modifiers. cmd and shift together have a specific feel. It only takes doing it a few times to memorize that feel as a single unit, rather than as a combination of two units which you can never remember.

But even then, be logical about it. It's most likely going to start with the cmd key, right? And Apple probably wouldn't make it a bare cmd-3, since that should be reserved for programs. So remember the shift key.

Because it's so much more robust than the windows screenshot paradigm, of course it has to be slightly more complicated. But, it is consistent and it is easy to remember if you remember it the right way. I think using Apple's built in keys is far superior than mapping new and unsystematic keys to make screen shots.



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Simplify the process of capturing screenshots
Authored by: fractacular on Jul 20, '06 03:49:07PM

Nevermind on the 4 year old, I now see you are agreeing that a multi-key combo is superior.. (cough cough which it unarguably is!!!!)



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Simplify the process of capturing screenshots
Authored by: Kar98 on Feb 05, '07 06:32:25PM

Fine, be that way :-)



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