Screen shot “how to” for iOS and Mac

Screen shots are a wonderful thing. You can take a screen shot of something that you don’t want to forget. Like Password info for a new account that you started, or a picture that you found on the web when the site won’t let you save it. You get the idea. The question is do you know all about how they work and how to make a screen shot? Or for you recent adapters from Windows…a Print Screen. Follow me below and I’ll walk you through some ins and outs.


We’ll start first with an easier one, The iOS screenshot. This is very simple. To take a screenshot on any iOS device just press the Sleep/wake button and the Home buttons at the same time. That’s it! You’ll know when it takes the picture because you will hear a shutter sound and the screen will flash white. It will then be saved to your camera roll.

A fun thing about the iOS screen shot on iOS 5 is you can now edit this picture. You can enhance it, Remove red-eye and even crop it and it will be saved again to your camera roll. These are great tools for profile pics too. Just tap Edit at the top right of the screen then select the attribute you want to change at the bottom.

Mac screen shots

Now here’s where it gets a little more involved, but don’t worry it’s not difficult. To take a screenshot on a Mac simply hold the Command-Shift-3 at the same time. Or if you hold the first two keys you can wait to press the number 3 to take it at a specific time. There is also another way to take a screen shot and it’s the same as above but instead press the number 4 (Command-Shift-4). What this will do is allow you to select an area of the screen that you want to take a shot of. A cross-hair icon with two numbers to the lower right appear where your mouse cursor is. Just navigate to the starting point then click and drag. Once you let go it will snap the shot.

If you’re using OS X 10.0 and above another option would be to use the Grab utility. You can find this by navigating to your Applications then Utilities folder. When using this method you can choose to capture the entire screen, or a window, section or a Timed Screen shot. Just click on capture in your menu bar at the top of the screen. The only draw back is that this method will only save it as a TIFF file. I prefer to use Command-Shift-4 method opposed to this.

Change the location where the file saves to

Now the screenshot save default is the desktop when taken. If you want to change this location elsewhere, like your documents folder. you will have to use Terminal and type in a few commands to make this change.

To change the location open the Terminal (open applications then utilities) and type in both commands below (these are separate commands so hit Return after each one). Where it says Pictures at the end of this command you can change it to Documents for example. I think that Pictures is a good spot though. It would also be best to copy and paste these commands to the Terminal so there are no typos. After this is done any screen shot taken will save to the designated folder.

defaults write location ~/Pictures/

then type

killall SystemUIServer

If you decide that you want the original location to be the desktop again use this command.

defaults write location ~/Desktop/

then type

killall SystemUIServer

There are also some 3rd party apps that will help you do the same thing, one is OnyX. This is a free application and under the Parameters section It will let you select the path of where your screen shot saves, change the name and select which file type you would like to save it as. The file save type options are BMP, Gif, jPeg, jPeg 2000, PDF, Open EXR, PNG, TGA and Tiff.

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  1. Screen Shot “How To” – iOS & Mac « - January 28, 2012

    […] know all about how it works and how to make a screen shot? Follow the steps located on this link … ElectricSproket … and they will walk you through some ins and outs and show just how to do it, even if your a […]

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