Screen-Capture Keystrokes

If you’re reading a chapter about printing and graphics, you may someday be interested in creating screenshots—printable illustrations of the Mac screen.

Screenshots are a staple of articles, tutorials, and books about the Mac (including this one). Mac OS X has a secret built-in feature that lets you make them—and includes some very cool convenience features.

Here’s how to capture:

  • The whole screen. Press Shift-Screen-Capture Keystrokes-3 to create a picture file on your desktop, in PDF (Acrobat) format, that depicts the entire screen image. A satisfying camera-shutter sound tells you that you were successful.

    Top: If you’re interested in capturing only part of the screen, press Shift--4 to turn your cursor into a tiny + symbol. Now drag diagonally across the screen to capture only a rectangular chunk of it, as illustrated here. When you drag and release the mouse, you hear the camera-click sound, and the Picture 1 file appears on your desktop as usual. Bottom: To capture just one dialog box, use the old Camera Cursor trick. That is, invoke Shift--4 and then tap the Space bar to produce the cursor shown here. Click the element you want to snip from its background. (Press the Space bar a second time to exit “snip one screen element” mode and return to “drag across an area” mode.) If you ever change your mind about taking any kind of screenshot, press -period or the Esc key.

    Figure 13-11. Top: If you’re interested in capturing only part of the screen, press Shift-Top: If you’re interested in capturing only part of the screen, press Shift--4 to turn your cursor into a tiny + symbol. Now drag diagonally across the screen to capture only a rectangular chunk of it, as illustrated here. When you drag and release the mouse, you hear the camera-click sound, and the Picture 1 file appears on your desktop as usual. Bottom: To capture just one dialog box, use the old Camera Cursor trick. That is, invoke Shift--4 and then tap the Space bar to produce the cursor shown here. Click the element you want to snip from its background. (Press the Space bar a second time to exit “snip one screen element” mode and return to “drag across an area” mode.) If you ever change your mind about taking any kind of screenshot, press -period or the Esc key.-4 to turn your cursor into a tiny + symbol. Now drag diagonally across the screen to capture only a rectangular chunk of it, as illustrated here. When you drag and release the mouse, you hear the camera-click sound, and the Picture 1 file appears on your desktop as usual. Bottom: To capture just one dialog box, use the old Camera Cursor trick. That is, invoke Shift-Top: If you’re interested in capturing only part of the screen, press Shift--4 to turn your cursor into a tiny + symbol. Now drag diagonally across the screen to capture only a rectangular chunk of it, as illustrated here. When you drag and release the mouse, you hear the camera-click sound, and the Picture 1 file appears on your desktop as usual. Bottom: To capture just one dialog box, use the old Camera Cursor trick. That is, invoke Shift--4 and then tap the Space bar to produce the cursor shown here. Click the element you want to snip from its background. (Press the Space bar a second time to exit “snip one screen element” mode and return to “drag across an area” mode.) If you ever change your mind about taking any kind of screenshot, press -period or the Esc key.-4 and then tap the Space bar ...

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