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--3 to create a picture file on your desktop, in PNG format, that depicts the entire screen image. A satisfying camera-shutter sound tells you that you were successful.

    The file is called Picture 1.png. Each time you press Shift--3, you get another file, called Picture 2, Picture 3, and so on. You can open these files into Preview or any other graphics program, in readiness for editing, printing, or exporting in a different format.

  • One section of the screen. You can capture only a rectangular region of the screen by pressing Shift--4. See Figure 14-13 for the details.

  • One menu, window, icon (with its name), or dialog box. Once you’ve got your menu or window open onscreen, or the icon visible (even if it’s in the Dock), press Shift--4. But instead of dragging ...

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