Solution Spheres

Using Apple technologies (and possibly others) to create a seamless digital lifestyle for home and business.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

How To Tuesday: Change the default screen capture filetype

OK, I always forget how to do this. If you use Cmd-Shift-3 you'll take a pic of your entire screen. Using Cmd-Shift-4 and you get some crosshairs, which allow you to select a region of the screen to capture.

In previous versions of OS X the captured screenshot was saved as a PDF, onto the desktop, in a doc titled "Picture 1" (and then Picture 2, etc.).

In Tiger the default screencap file format mysteriously changed to PNG. Maybe because that's what Widgets use? I dunno.

However, for my blogging over at Download Squad I have to use JPEGs. So I used to take a screenshot, pull it into Photoshop, do my thang, and save it for the web as a JPEG. Ack. Photoshop don't run too good on my dinky iBook...

So what if I could save out the screencap as a JPEG? You can, in fact, switch the default screencap format to whatever you like (within reason). PNG, PDF, JPG, and more... How?

Go into terminal, and type this:
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg

This will write a little change into a config file, changing the format from PNG to JPG (see that on the end?)...
Pretty snazzy. Except you'll have to log out and back in (or reboot) for the changes to stick.

Works for me!

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