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Control over your Screenshots with Preview Apps
You can take screenshots with keyboard shortcuts, the Grab application, or third-party applications. The Lion version of Preview takes screenshots now, too.

In Preview, select File » Take Screenshot, and select from the three options: From Selection; From Window; or From Entire Screen.

When you select your menu item, an overlay appears reminding you what to do next. You can use the Application Switcher (Cmd+Tab), Mission Control, or left-right trackpad swiping to get to the desired desktop and application. Then select the desired screen area or window and click to take your screenshot. You can't take a screenshot of menus this way because you have to click to bring up a menu. (For that, select the desired menu/submenu and use the good, old Cmd+Shift+4 » Space bar keyboard shortcut.)

OK, so why go to all this trouble when I can just use Cmd+Shift+3 or Cmd+Shift+4 to do the exact same thing with a lot less trouble? Well, frankly, most of the time you wouldn't. But Preview has some nifty tricks up its sleeve that it's inherited from the venerable Grab application.

Selecting the From Entire Screen option gives you a 10 second countdown so you can get things just the way you want, which with Mission Control and Spaces is easier than ever because you can setup one desktop for your screenshot and open Preview in another. You have time to position the cursor where you want it, too.

After you take the screenshot, instead of dropping a new file on to your desktop, the new image opens right up in Preview where you can edit it as desired, including cropping out undesired parts and adding annotations. Click the Close button (or the Save... or Export... menu item) and you can choose from one of six different image formats, including JPEG, PDF, or even OpenEXR. You can name it and save it wherever you want, and there's Versions and Full Screen support, too. (Full screen screenshot pranks, anyone?)

Longtime users of Grab will likely say, 'So what?; But Preview has incorporated Grab's features and brought them nicely forward with support for the latest APIs and UI features. You've heard of Grab, right?

A little history: A hold over from NeXSTEP/OpenStep, Grab is an odd little app that's been around since the very first version of Mac OS X. Grap.app lives on in Lion; version 1.6 (build 109) copyright 1995-2011 is in your Utilities folder.

[crarko adds: Grab was always one of those programs I saw people having difficulty understanding how to use. It was kind of a strange process, not unlike taking a screenshot in Windows. This way seems to be far more intuitive.

*Changed from a 10.7-only hint as people have noted this is also present in earlier versions.*]
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10.7: Control over your Screenshots with Preview
Authored by: LimitlessX72 on Aug 17, '11 07:48:21AM

the grab functions were present in Preview under 10.6 and 10.5



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Yep, it's been there since 2007
Authored by: leamanc on Aug 17, '11 01:24:36PM

Yep. Yet another item that someone just discovered while using Lion, but it's been there for years now.

Craig, this is a good hint, but it shouldn't be marked as 10.7, because it is applicable to 10.5 on up.



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Yep, it's been there since 2007
Authored by: crarko on Aug 18, '11 08:37:29AM

Done. Thanks for catching this.

Craig A.



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Yep, it's been there since 2007
Authored by: ceej on Aug 19, '11 08:37:29PM

My bad. I'd already leaped to Lion on both machines when I wrote this, so I didn't have a system to check back against.



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10.7: Control over your Screenshots with Preview
Authored by: Robbll on Aug 17, '11 08:12:19AM

This is a terrific Hint and I thank you for it...I can never remember what buttons to use to do the various screen shots...this makes it simple! Thanks!



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10.7: Control over your Screenshots with Preview
Authored by: sabi on Aug 17, '11 08:23:06AM

Another way to use Preview with screenshots is one of the "copy picture ... to the clipboard" shortcuts (the defaults are ⌃⇧⌘3/4), then open Preview and use "New from Clipboard" (⌘N) to open the screenshot in a window. I find this a bit easier since it involves less switching back and forth to the app you're trying to take a screenshot of.

Then you can crop or even (in 10.7) annotate your screen shot before saving it to a file.

Edited on Aug 17, '11 08:23:59AM by sabi



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10.7: Control over your Screenshots with Preview
Authored by: macnixer on Aug 17, '11 08:39:01AM

Preview can "Take Screen Shot" in Snow Leopard too. Try "File - > Take Screen Shot >"

I am not sure what this hint is supposed to be. Seems like a observation not a hint.



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10.7: Control over your Screenshots with Preview
Authored by: tom_b on Aug 18, '11 01:56:19AM

An observation that clearly wasn't obvious to a lot of people since it's been around since 10.5 and people hadn't realised. There are tons of hints like this one in the archives and I, for one, appreciate them since every now and then I learn something surprising and useful.



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10.7: Control over your Screenshots with Preview
Authored by: astrosmash on Aug 17, '11 11:56:45AM

When Grab.app was running in NeXTSTEP it would change the top NeXT Dock icon (like the Finder icon today) to a moving eyeball icon. The take a full-screen capture you would just click on the eyeball in the Dock. It's pretty handy for taking lots of screen shots.

What's cool is that the old NeXTSTEP camera and eyeball icons are still in Grab.app's Resources folder in Lion (in both color and 4-bit grey shade varieties), even though the app no longer uses them. Those icons have to be 20 years old by now.



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10.7: Control over your Screenshots with Preview
Authored by: Lri on Aug 17, '11 12:18:26PM

screencapture also has a flag for opening the screenshot in Preview:

screencapture -ioP ~/Desktop/`date '+%y%m%d%H%M%S'`.png

Other image editors:

f=~/Desktop/`date '+%y%m%d%H%M%S'`.png
screencapture -io $f
osascript -e 'activate app "Adobe Photoshop CS5"'
open $f -a 'Adobe Photoshop CS5'


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10.7: Control over your Screenshots with Preview
Authored by: jaydisc on Aug 17, '11 11:26:54PM

Unfortunately, you still need Grab for the Timed screenshot which is really the only way to get a screenshot that includes the cursor.



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10.7: Control over your Screenshots with Preview
Authored by: ceej on Aug 19, '11 08:29:27PM

No, actually you don't. The "From Entire Screen" option gives you a 10 second countdown; a timed
screenshot like grab, which captures the cursor as well. That info is in my hint. As others have pointed out, that feature is in previous versions as well. (I don't think I ever noticed it until I wrote this hint about Lion, but I had already taken the leap to Lion on both of my machines so I wasn't able to look back to those previous versions to check.)



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10.7: Control over your Screenshots with Preview
Authored by: jaydisc on Aug 19, '11 08:33:45PM

Awesome! Thanks very much for that.



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Control over your Screenshots with Preview
Authored by: donmn763 on Aug 19, '11 06:55:03AM

I just upgraded to 10.7 and noticed that screenshot (Cmd+Shift+3) no longer captures an enlarged screen.

When running 10.6.8 I used Control+mouse wheel to enlarge a section of the desktop then take a screenshot. The result was a screen capture of only the enlarged area of the desktop. I then cropped the image to save it.

Running 10.7, screenshot captures the ENTIRE desktop no matter what I've zoomed on.

Grab doesn't capture an enlarged image nor does Preview. I've looked at Universal Access preferences and Services preferences, but can't find anything to help capture a snapshot of the enlarged desktop.

Suggestions?

Thanks,
Don



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Control over your Screenshots with Preview
Authored by: ceej on Aug 19, '11 08:35:36PM

Cmd-shift-4 and drag across the area you want to capture. Should work even with an enlarged screen. Or Preview's (or Grab's) File: Take Screenshot -> From Selection... option.



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Control over your Screenshots with Preview
Authored by: donmn763 on Aug 20, '11 04:15:27AM

Thanks for the reply. I've tried both of the suggestions but they do not capture the magnified image. Only a normal image. I'm stumped.



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Control over your Screenshots with Preview
Authored by: ceej on Aug 20, '11 08:39:54PM

OK, I see what you mean. If it worked in previous versions, perhaps you should report it to Mac OS X Feedback as a bug or enhancement request. It appears that it is capturing the screen grid coordinates that you've dragged across rather than the zoomed image of the screen that you see, so the resulting picture and what you thought you were taking a picture of don't match up. I guess you'd have to take a full screen capture and crop it to what you want or decrease to the normal zoom level before taking your desktop image. Then you can zoom the resulting image to the viewer's desired zoom level.

I know that's not what you want it to do, but I don't see a way to do what you want, only the workarounds I mention above.

Apple Product Feedback: http://www.apple.com/feedback/



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Control over your Screenshots with Preview
Authored by: donmn763 on Aug 21, '11 03:45:24AM

Thanks for your reply, ceej. You've helped confirm for me that I've not gone right 'round the bend. It's not a HUGE deal....I'm sure I'll find a work-around. Thanks to all for your support!
Don



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