There are several variations of keyboard shortcuts that you can use to take copies of your screen. It can oftentimes be challenging trying to remembering the exact shortcut you want to use.
There is another option and that is using the Terminal app. Given that I have Terminal open a lot of a time, I tend to use it for my screen shots.
Below are a few common screenshot commands you can use in Terminal:
Choose the Window with your mouse
To take a screenshot of a window and have it open the image in the Preview app, you will need to provide the name of the file. Enter the command below in the Terminal app and then click the window you want to copy with your mouse. Replace “crazy-duck.png” with the name you want you give to your image.
screencapture -c -W -P crazy_duck.png
If you want to simply place the image on the clipboard (and not have the file display in Preview), leave out the -P flag and the image name. The image is then placed on the clipboard from where you can paste it into other applications.
Take Screenshot Of Entire Screen
To take a screen capture of your entire screen (and not just the active window) and then open the new image in Preview, use the following command: screencapture -P crazy_duck.png
Add a Delay Before Taking Screenshot
If you want to add a delay so you have time to bring the window you want to the front and minimize any others, use the -T flag along with the interval, in seconds. In the example below, I am going to wait 10 seconds, capture the entire screen, name the image lac_bleu.png which will then be added into Preview:
screencapture -T 10 -P bleu_lac.png
All Of The Flags You Can Use With The Screencapture Command
Below is a list of all of the flags that you can use in conjunction with the screencapture command. Feel free to play around with these flags and find the ones that fit the best into your own workflow.
usage: screencapture [-icMPmwsWxSCUtoa] [files]
-c force screen capture to go to the clipboard
-C capture the cursor as well as the screen. only in non-interactive modes
-d display errors to the user graphically
-i capture screen interactively, by selection or window
control key – causes screen shot to go to clipboard
space key – toggle between mouse selection and
window selection modes
escape key – cancels interactive screen shot
-m only capture the main monitor, undefined if -i is set
-M screen capture output will go to a new Mail message
-o in window capture mode, do not capture the shadow of the window
-P screen capture output will open in Preview
-s only allow mouse selection mode
-S in window capture mode, capture the screen not the window
-t image format to create, default is png (other options include pdf, jpg, tiff and other formats)
-T Take the picture after a delay of , default is 5
-w only allow window selection mode
-W start interaction in window selection mode
-x do not play sounds
-a do not include windows attached to selected windows
-r do not add dpi meta data to image
-l capture this windowsid
-R capture screen rect
Tip: I automate this even further by assigning TextExpander shortcuts to the screencapture commands and flags that I use most often. Type the shortcut directly into the Terminal application and TextExpander will insert the command for you.