Another helpful utility that comes bundled with Mac OS X is the Grab utility. What this does, is takes a picture of your screen, which can come in handy if you ever find yourself writing instructions for others. You might argue that it’s easier to simply use the standard keyboard shortcuts to accomplish this: Shift + ⌘ + 3 to take a picture of the entire screen or Shift + ⌘ + 4 to capture a portion of your screen. While this may be true, there are some advantages to using the Grab utility.
For one thing, you can choose whether or not to include your mouse pointer in the capture and if you do decide to include it, you have the ability to change how it is displayed.
One of my favorite features of Grab is the Timed Screen feature. This gives you ten seconds to set up your screen before capturing. This means that you can hide windows, rearrange folders and pull down any desired menus before the screen shot is taken.
Once the capture is completed, it is loaded into a new window from where you can save it (Grab saves in TIFF format), print it or simply close the window without saving.
Quick Guide: Using Grab
- Choose Go > Utilities from any Finder window.
- Double-click the Grab application.
- To capture the entire screen, press the ⌘ +Z keyboard shortcut
or choose Capture > Screen from the menu. Click on the screen that you want to capture.
- To capture on a selected area of the screen, press the Shift + ⌘ + A keystroke combination or choose Capture > Selection from the menu. Drag over the area you wish to capture.
- To capture the entire contents of a window, press the Shift + ⌘ + W or choose Capture > Window from the menu.
- To use the Timed Capture feature, press Shift + ⌘ +Z or choose Capture > Timed Screen from the menu. Set up your screen the way you like.
- To choose whether to display the mouse pointer, choose Grab > Preferences from the menu and make your selections.
- To save your screenshot, choose File > Save and then navigate to the folder where you want to save the file.
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