Mac Tip: Terminal Tweaks to Change Default Screenshot Format, Location & Name

In a previous tutorial, we showed you how to take screenshots in Mac OS X. Today, we are sharing a set of interesting terminal tweaks to get even more out of screenshots on your Mac. I have tested all of these to work in Snow Leopard.

Some more Interesting Terminal Tweaks for Mac:

Before we proceed please note:

  • All these terminal tweaks can be restored to original settings
  • To Launch Terminal type Terminal in Spotlight(Cmd+Space) or launch manually from Application > Utilities
  • After every tweak you need to restart SystemUIServer for the changes to be effective. To do this type killall SystemUIServer in Terminal and press Enter.

Taking screenshots in mac os x 3

How to Change Screenshot Filename:

By default the screenshots are named as follows.

Taking screenshots in mac os x 1

While you cannot remove the timestamp from the name, you can definitely change the first word “Screenshot” to something else. To change the default screenshots name open Terminal and type the following command and press enter after typing.

defaults write name FILENAME

To restore defaults, type:

defaults write name “Screen shot”

How to Change Screenshot Folder Location:

Type this command in Terminal,

defaults write location PATH

If you are not so comfortable typing paths in Terminal don’t worry. Just type the command and then just drag the desired folder to terminal and its path will be automatically copied.

If you are typing the location yourself, make sure the specified folder exists else you’ll get the following error.

Screenshot folder not found error

To restore defaults, type:

defaults write location ~/Desktop/

How to Change Screenshot File Format:

Not many people know that they can also change the default file format to any of the nine formats mentioned in the list below. To change format type:

defaults write type FORMAT

Availible formats are :

  • png (default)
  • pdf
  • jpg
  • jp2 (JPG2000)
  • gif
  • tif (TIFF)
  • bmp
  • pict
  • tga

To restore defaults, type:

defaults write type png

How to Disable Screenshot Shadow:

By default, whenever you capture any window using Command+Shift+4+Space shortcut you would have noticed the shadow attached with the image.

It can be a nuance at times. For example, my image compression tool is set to add shadow automatically after compressing images. That adds double shadows to some images. Also, pictures with alpha appear weird in some wordpress themes.

To disable Shadow, type:

defaults write disable-shadow -bool true

To enable Shadow(default condition), type:

defaults write disable-shadow -bool false

Article by Rajat

Rajat has written 180 articles.

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