Tweaking Mac OS X screenshots

Most of Mac users do know how to change the default name of captures taken in OS X, in the Terminal or via Onyx. Just like me, you may want to replace the default « Screenshot » name by something more personal. Plus, since Snow Leopard, a date/time stamp is automatically added to the file name and I don’t like that.

As I did a long time ago, some command lines allow you to change the file name and remove the date/time. Regarding these last bits, it works for captures that are actually saved, but it doesn’t work for captures stored in the clipboard (not saved). Until now.

As a reminder, here are the basic Terminal commands you can use to tweak your screen captures (you can find them on various websites). At the end is the command to completely remove the date and time.

To apply the changes, remember to use the command killall SystemUIServer while the Terminal window is open.

File name

defaults write com.apple.screencapture name Capture

Replace Capture with any string you would like to use.

File format

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type png

The default format is set to png. Replace it with any of these allowed formats : png pdf jpg jp2 gif tif bmp pict tga.

Window shadow

You can include or exclude the shadow when capturing a whole window. Shadows are enabled by default. If you want to disable this feature :

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true

Use this command with the false boolean in order to re-enable shadows.

Destination folder

Your captures are save to the desktop, by default. You can decide to change that by specifying a new path for your captures. Here is the default path in this command :

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~/Desktop

Time stamp

Here is my preferred one. I didn’t know it before today. I use CloudApp everyday and it was boring to have the date and time in the file name of every capture. Plus, some other websites or services do include the full name in url’s so accentuated characters can be a problem.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture include-date -bool false

Replace false by true to get the date back.

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