Wednesday, August 14, 2002

For the longest time, OS X has supported the classic (back to, what, 1986 or so, at least) Mac OS means of taking a screen shot. Namely, shift-cmd-3 takes a full shot of the screen as PDF (default -- this can be changed). For multiple monitor systems, only the screen that the mouse is on is taken.

Shift-cmd-4 allows the user to select an area of the screen to "shoot". There are some additional options. Namely, if you hit the space bar while the capture cursor (a little target) is on the screen, the cursor turns into a camera and the screen shot will contain only the window under the mouse.

Also, if you hold down the ctrl key as the shot is taken, the resulting image will be written directly to the pasteboard.


A command line utility is also included such that screen shots can easily be scripted or integrated into applications. Usage is as follows:

usage: screencapture [-icmwsWx] [file] [cursor]
  -i      capture screen interactively, by selection or window
            control key - causes screen shot to go to clipboard
            space key   - toggle between mouse selection and
                          window selection modes
            escape key  - cancels interactive screen shot
  -c      force screen capture to go to the clipboard
  -m      only capture the main monitor, undefined if -i is set
  -w      only allow window selection mode
  -s      only allow mouse selection mode
  -W      start interaction in window selection mode
  -x      do not play sounds
  file    where to save the screen capture

11:41:27 PM  pontificate