web analytics

Capture Screen or Window Using Apple Preview, Grab, or Keyboard Shortcuts

Technology > Apple

apple-grab-screen-capture-utilitySummary. There are many situations when it’s useful to copy a window or computer screen, such as when creating support documentation or attempting to document an error message.

For Apple users, there are primarily three methods for capturing the screen, a window, or section of the display.

  • Grab is a utility included on Apple computers that allows you to capture the entire screen, a selection of the current screen, or a window. It is found in the Utilities folder within Applications.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts make it possible to capture the screen or a selected region of the screen by pressing Shift + Command + 3 (for a screen shot) or Shift + Command + 4 (to select an area of the screen to capture).
  • Preview is a program found in the Applications folder that is normally used to view image files and PDF documents. It can also be used to capture screen images from Selection, Window, or the entire screen. The various Take Screen Shot options are found under the File menu in Preview.

Special Tip for Window Image Capture. When using Grab or Preview to capture a program window, what you’ll notice is that all program windows will be slightly gray and muted. This is because the Grab or Preview program will be the currently active program. To change this, prior to selecting a program window, press Shift + Tab to select the program you are about to capture. This will make the captured image clearer.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com