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10.6: Remove time/date stamp from screen shot filenames System
Snow Leopard only hintI upgraded my system to Snow Leopard from Tiger, and noticed that Snow Leopard adds a date and time stamp to screen shots' filenames. I really don't care about this new feature, and wanted to remove it. After a bit of a search, I found the solution.

Type (copy) into Terminal:
sudo /Applications/TextEdit.app/Contents/MacOS/TextEdit /System/Library/CoreServices/SystemUIServer.app/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/Localizable.strings
After you type your password, TextEdit will come up and it will open a text file (Localizable.strings) with root editing powers. Search for these lines:
/* Format screencapture file names */
"%@ %@ at %@" = "%1$@ %2$@ at %3$@";
Between the quotes on the right side of the equals sign is the date and time addition. Just edit it, something like this:
/* Format screencapture file names */
"%@ %@ at %@" = "Screen Shot";
Make sure to not leave this empty! Using the above example, the first screen shot file will be named Screen Shot, and then Screen Shot 1, Screen Shot 2, etc.

If you are using a system language other than English, change the Terminal command as needed. For example, French.lproj, German.lproj, etc. When you are ready, use Save (not Save As) in TextEdit and quit. If you want to see the result immediately, restart the SystemUIServer in Terminal:
killall SystemUIServer
Note that I tested this only on Snow Leopard.

[robg adds: I imagine this will break code signing on the SystemUIServer app...but I'm not sure what impact that may have on daily use. I have not tested this one myself.]
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10.6: Remove time/date stamp from screen shot filenames | 12 comments | Create New Account
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10.6: Remove time/date stamp from screen shot filenames
Authored by: Anonymous on Jan 04, '10 08:31:27AM

The default behaviour looks pretty useful to me... So, being a user left behind in 10.5/PPC-land, I'd like to see if reversing the process above would work for 10.5.



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10.6: Remove time/date stamp from screen shot filenames
Authored by: stevebr on Jan 04, '10 10:12:26AM
... I'd like to see if reversing the process above would work for 10.5.

I was thinking the same thing. A Google search for "folder action move screenshot" is yielding some interesting approaches. Presumably folks who would like get the results of the hint but not worry about the potential code signing risks could apply a folder action to do what the hint does.



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10.6: Remove time/date stamp from screen shot filenames
Authored by: michelcolman on Jan 04, '10 11:13:40AM

I agree, default behavior is much better because the screenshots are now sorted in order. With the old 1-2-3-4-5 system, if you removed Screenshot 3 while keeping 1, 2, 4 and 5 on the desktop, the next screenshot would be named Screenshot 3 again. Good luck figuring out the name of the screenshot you just took if you have 20 or so screenshots on the desktop with some of them trashed... With the new naming system, you can just click on some file that's alphabetically after "Screenshot..." and shift-tab to the last screenshot.

By the way, to go through all the screenshots on the desktop, I recently thought of using Quickview and that made my life so much easier! Just use exposé to hide all windows, click on a screenshot, press the space bar, and tab/shift-tab through the screenshots. Maybe I should submit this as a hint...



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10.6: Remove time/date stamp from screen shot filenames
Authored by: notbrain on Jun 04, '10 02:36:57PM

There is still an issue with ordering and the new datetime format - the 12-hour time.

2010-06-04 at 11.14.36 PM.png
2010-06-04 at 11.23.46 AM.png

is the wrong order, and for some reason this occurs for me alot.

24-hour time formatting anyone?



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10.6: Remove time/date stamp from screen shot filenames
Authored by: sjk on Jun 19, '10 12:15:00PM
24-hour time formatting anyone?
Customizing the Short Times format under System Preferences > Language & Text > Formats influences the time format used in "Screen shot …" filenames (among other things).

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10.6: Remove time/date stamp from screen shot filenames
Authored by: samg on Feb 20, '11 04:19:42PM

Clearly an old post, but I just came across this and it was useful to me. I found though that I had to modify the medium time, not the short time. Maybe it's new that OS X pulls from that. Click on Customize next to times, and then click on the down arrow in the "pill" for the first number and choose 00-23. Screen shot names will get created with 24 hour times now.



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Manipulate screen shot filenames and other defaults
Authored by: DamnItsHot on Jan 04, '10 07:01:38PM

There is actually quite a bit that can be changed using defaults for screencapture. See the man page for what is available

To change screen capture behavior:
defaults write com.apple.screencapture name "New Name"
killall SystemUIServer

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location "~/Path/To/New/Location/"
killall SystemUIServer

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type [new format]
killall SystemUIServer

screencapture -c
screencapture -i ~/Desktop/snapshot.png
screencapture -io ~/Desktop/screenshot.png
screencapture -M ~/Desktop/screenshot.png
screencapture -P ~/Desktop/screenshot.png
screencapture -t png ~/Desktop/screenshot.png
screencapture -T 5 ~/Desktop/screenshot.png
screencapture -x ~/Desktop/screenshot.png

see:
man screencapture
in Terminal.app for above



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Manipulate screen shot filenames and other defaults
Authored by: missbrown on Jun 18, '10 05:55:31PM

Great hint.

However, the filenames include a space between "New Name" and the sequential number of the screenshot.

Could be possible to have "name_1.png" instead of "name 1.png" ?

Thanks.



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10.6: Remove time/date stamp from screen shot filenames
Authored by: Udo on Jan 05, '10 02:05:39PM

Thanks for this hint.

I disliked the long screen shot file names. If I take a screen shot for an e-mail I am sending, I delete it immediately after attachment. If I want to keep a screen shot for posterity, I give it a meaningful name, immediately after it was taken.

In both cases I find that I can spot a short screen shot name faster on the desktop.

---
Have a nice day
Udo



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10.6: Remove time/date stamp from screen shot filenames
Authored by: notbrain on Jun 04, '10 01:45:32PM

This is great - the main issue I've had with the new date format is that the 12-hour time format screws with ordering in the Finder. In the past I could reliably assume that the most recent screenshot was at the top or bottom of the list - the new version is just not suitable.

Does anyone know where to find a reference as to what the %1 %2 %3 etc placeholders are? Would be cool to see if the datetime can be changed to a more order-friendly format.

Thanks for this btw.



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mistake - ignore
Authored by: MJCube on Jun 05, '10 06:27:10AM

Oops, meant to reply to the thread, not to this one post.

Edited on Jun 05, '10 06:31:38AM by MJCube



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I copy to clipboard instead of save to file
Authored by: MJCube on Jun 05, '10 06:31:54AM

I almost always want to edit my partial screen shots and name them myself, so I use "Copy picture of selected area to the clipboard", paste into Graphic Converter to edit, and save manually with an appropriate name, file type and location. I changed the keyboard shortcut for this command (and disabled the other 3 for screen shots) in System Prefs > Keyboard & Mouse > Keyboard Shortcuts. But I'm a hands-on kind of user.



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