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jasonium

Screenshots

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I'm going to use Torbins line, if you've seen this, don't be that guy - just move along!

 

I use screenshots ALOT. I'm in the architecture industry and use ichat all the time. I need to get quick shots of what i'm seeing to clients and consultants, while we chat. I have found the command+control+shift+4 absolutely lifesaving. I did have to pop a few knuckles out of the joint to get used to the ackward combination though (with one hand). But then i just paste my screenshot right in ichat, or mail, or even in other drawings in a matter of seconds. On windows, i either have to use a 3rd party app, or paste the whole screendump into photoshop and crop, saveas etc etc.

Here is the list of screenshot shortcuts right in OSX.

 

-To take a picture of the whole screen, press Command-Shift-3.

 

-To take a picture of part of the screen, press Command-Shift-4, then drag to select the area you want in the picture.

 

-To take a picture of a window, the menu bar, the Dock, or other area, press Command-Shift-4, then press the Space bar. Move the pointer over the area you want so that it's highlighted, then click. If you decide you want to drag to select the area, press the Space bar again.

 

-If you press Command-Shift-4 and decide you don't want to take the screen shot, press the Escape key.

 

Screen shots are saved as files on the desktop. If you want to put the screen shot in the Clipboard, rather than create a file, hold down the Control key when you press the other keys. You can then paste the picture into a document.

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Man, your avatar just freaks me out every time I see it!

 

Anyway, adding to the screen shot info: Tiger's default format for screenshots is now PNG. You can change this to TIFF or JPEG via the command line (but I forget the commands right now). Or, you can download TinkerTool. It'll let you change it also.

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I use a widget called Capture 0.7.5 for screenshots, it lets you change the file format and a bunch of other options like showing or hiding the dashboard as well.

 

roog

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... You can change this to TIFF or JPEG via the command line (but I forget the commands right now). ...

You can change it to a variety of formats. I've tested png, pdf, tif, jpg and gif.

 

Here's a little tutorial that should be easy to understand, even for those that have never used the command line before.

 

Changing The Screenshot Format To JPEG

  • Open the application "Terminal". It is located in the Utilities folder in the Application folder. You will see a window. The computer has already printed a few lines in it and is now waiting for you to type your commands.

[*]Type defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg and hit Enter.

[*]Type killall SystemUIServer and hit Enter.

[*]Quit Terminal.

  • Now all screenshot files should be jpegs. To change it to another format just replace the "jpg" by any of the above mentioned formats.

 

What happened?

The first command told the computer to change the preferences of the screenshot utility ("screencapture" it is actully called) so that it saves all screenshot files as jpeg pictures. The second command terminated the process "SystemUIServer" thus we forced it to restart. This is necessary to make the changes to come into effect.

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Milan,

that is simply awesome. I was hoping that this thread wouldn't go the way of 3rd party screenshots because they slow the process down and use up system resources. Your post allows us to now tweak those settings that were previously only presumed to be accomplishable by third parties and retain high speed screenshots.

Hats off.

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Also, as I stated before, you can use TinkerTool to do it for you. It does the same exact thing, but keeps you away from the command line if you're uncomfortable with that.

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I tested some file formats and it turned out that there are plenty of file formats you can make screenshots to.

 

These are the formats I have tested. I would be happy to amend the list if you find out more. Corrections are also welcome.

 

png

pdf

pct, pict

tif, tiff)

jpg, jpeg)

gif)

bmp)

tga, Targa)

 

 

 

Postscriptum: What was the default format in Mac OS 10.1?

P.S.-Edit: Thanks RailRider. Changed that.

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Postscriptum: What was the default format in Mac OS 10.1?

 

Don't remember exactly, but my guess would be PICT.

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I found a few possible formats more and I decided to write an article about making screenshots on Mac OS X. Link!

Comments, criticism and suggestions are welcome. Also concerning language since English isn't my mother tongue.

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I've tested png, pdf, tif, jpg and gif.

Which is the best in terms of quality? I think GIF is the best but I do not know.

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I've tested png, pdf, tif, jpg and gif.

Which is the best in terms of quality? I think GIF is the best but I do not know.

This pretty much doesn't matter since Mac OS X saves the image data in high quality even in lossy formats like jpg.

GIF is definitely a save way to go since it employs loss-less data compression, that means the file size of an image is reduced without degrading its visual quality.

PNG is loss-less as well and you rarely encounter compression in a tiff file.

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I've tested png, pdf, tif, jpg and gif.

Which is the best in terms of quality? I think GIF is the best but I do not know.

This pretty much doesn't matter since Mac OS X saves the image data in high quality even in lossy formats like jpg.

GIF is definitely a save way to go since it employs loss-less data compression, that means the file size of an image is reduced without degrading its visual quality.

PNG is loss-less as well and you rarely encounter compression in a tiff file.

But which is the best.

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That depends.

I've made a little test. I made screenshots using all the mentioned formats. In each case one with a screen dominated by a large white area and one showing a picture of a landscape.

 

Here are the results:

 

Screen dominated by a white area:

gif: 20 KB

jpg: 68 KB

pdf: 64 KB

png: 72 KB

tif: 3.5 MB

 

Screen with a picture:

gif: 464 KB

jpg: 456 KB

pdf: 2.1 MB

png: 1.6 MB

tif: 3.5 MB

 

As you can see GIF is pretty damn good when it comes to images with no complex structures but large areas of a single color. That's because of the way the compression used in GIF works. But it takes a lot more space when the image is more complex although it is still considerably small for an image of the size 1280x960 (That's my screen resolution).

 

JPEG is good for either scenario but cannot compete with gif when it comes to pretty simple image data.

 

In comparison to jpg and gif PDF and PNG suck at complex image data.

 

The sizes of the TIFF files are both the same because TIFF doesn't use any compression at all.

 

Conclusion:

JPEG and GIF are the best. Which one performs better depends on the content of the screen.

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Thanks for the tip, I send screen shots to ppl over iChat. Some of them use windows and the default png format doesnt work well with the aim on windows. I always just reconverted them to jpg. This just saves me a step.

 

:)

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