OS X Screenshot tips n' tricks


Here’s a few ways you can make using screenshots online and elsewhere easier1:

1. Taking a screenshot of a window without a busy background:

Press ⌘ + Shift + 4 to initiate the screenshot crosshairs, then hit Space. This will change the cursor to a little camera, which you can click on a window to take a screenshot of just that window.

2. Change the default location that screenshots are sent to:

Open up the Terminal2 and enter these two lines one after the other (I’ve entered the path I’m using but you’ll obviously have a different path.)

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location /Users/sidoneill/Google\ Drive/Dropbox/screenshots

killall SystemUIServer

Now any screenshot you take will be sent to this folder instead of the Desktop. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to put in the path you can type the

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location

and then drag the folder you want to reference into the Terminal window. Voila!

3. Resize large screenshots for quicker sending or use online

I’m using Hazel to do this. Simply, every time a new screenshot enters the folder, I move it to another folder and resize if it’s larger than 500KB3. I resize to 640px along the longer side. Here’s the rule I use:


  1. In OS X, obviously, although I’m sure that these are all possible on other OSes.

  2. Here’s an introduction to using the Terminal

  3. I’m thinking about making this size smaller - but I need to find out how big 640px wide files get.