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Screen capture

From: Unix for Mac OS X Users

Video: Screen capture

In this movie we're going to learn to take screen captures from the command line. Do you already know how to do screen captures in the Mac? It's simple. You just hold down the Command key, the Shift key and hit the number 3 key and it will take a screenshot of your screen and put it on your Desktop. There is another version of that. If you hold down Command+Shift+4 you'll get an interactive screen capture which means that you get crosshairs. You select exactly the portion of the screen that you wanted to capture and when you let go just that portion of the screen gets turned into a capture as a file on your Desktop. We can do the exact same thing from the command line plus there are a few extra options that we don't normally have available to us.

Screen capture

In this movie we're going to learn to take screen captures from the command line. Do you already know how to do screen captures in the Mac? It's simple. You just hold down the Command key, the Shift key and hit the number 3 key and it will take a screenshot of your screen and put it on your Desktop. There is another version of that. If you hold down Command+Shift+4 you'll get an interactive screen capture which means that you get crosshairs. You select exactly the portion of the screen that you wanted to capture and when you let go just that portion of the screen gets turned into a capture as a file on your Desktop. We can do the exact same thing from the command line plus there are a few extra options that we don't normally have available to us.

Let's see at its most basic first. From the command line you just simply type screencapture. It's that easy. Followed by the name of the file where you want it to go. So screencapture and let's put it on our Desktop and then I'm going to call it screen_capture.png. By default the screen captures are going to be PNG files. Now already this is a slight improvement over the regular Mac version, because we get to specify our own location and our own filename. Whereas we can do the other way the Mac gives it a filename based on the time that the picture was taken and puts it on your desktop.

So let's hit Return and it takes the screenshot and puts it on the Desktop. Now in addition we have a number of options that we can specify. There is the lowercase -i option and that's put us in that interactive capture mode exactly, the same as if we done Command+Shift+4. Once you have those crosshairs and you decide you don't want to take the screen picture you can just hit Escape key to cancel out of it. There is a lowercase -m option if you wanted to capture your main monitor only. That's of course only if you have multiple monitors. By default the Mac will capture all monitors. Then there is a capital -C for showing the cursor.

By default the cursor is not shown in the screen capture. If you did want the cursor for some reason, you couldn't do that from the Mac, but you can do it from the command line. You can use the -t option followed by a Format if you wanted it in a different format than png. You can use pdf, jpg, tiff. There are number of others as well, but these are the main ones. The capital -T allows you to specify a Delay. So you put the -T option followed by a number of seconds that you wanted it to wait before snapping the picture. Once it finishes snapping the picture you can use the -P Option to open that file with Preview or the -M option to send it directly to Mac Mail and put it in a mail message. Or if you don't want to even have a file you can use the lowercase -c option and capture it directly to the clipboard.

Let's try a few to these out. So this time instead of the simple version I'll do screencapture, but I'll specify some options. Let's say I'm going to use lowercase -m to get my main monitor, capital C to include the cursor. We're going to open in preview when we're done with the capital P, and then let's put a delay on it capital -T 3 and wait 3 seconds. Then let's also change the format using lowercase -t, make it a jpg file, and this time I'm going to save it in my current directory which is the Unix files directory inside my user directory.

So I'll just save it there and I'll call it screen_capture.jpg since the JPEG file this time. So there we go. I hit Return. It waits 3 seconds and then it snaps the picture and it opens it up in Preview for us. So here is the actual screen capture. So again all of the special configuration options are available in the man pages if you need to look them up. Now if is the kind of thing you find yourself doing often, then create an alias for it. That has all the configurations that you want. Put that in your bashrc file and then you can just type something simple like screencap and voila! You'll get your screen capture configured exactly the way you wanted.

So again this is the exact same screen capture you can normally do on the Mac, but we just have these extra enhancements available to us through the power of Unix.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Unix for Mac OS X Users
Unix for Mac OS X Users

82 video lessons · 27775 viewers

Kevin Skoglund
Author

 
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  1. 3m 57s
    1. Introduction
      1m 14s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 43s
  2. 32m 2s
    1. What is Unix?
      7m 27s
    2. The terminal application
      4m 23s
    3. Logging in and using the command prompt
      5m 19s
    4. Command structure
      5m 22s
    5. Kernel and shells
      5m 25s
    6. Unix manual pages
      4m 6s
  3. 15m 58s
    1. The working directory
      2m 49s
    2. Listing files and directories
      3m 59s
    3. Moving around the filesystem
      4m 58s
    4. Filesystem organization
      4m 12s
  4. 1h 4m
    1. Naming files
      5m 41s
    2. Creating files
      2m 19s
    3. Unix text editors
      6m 39s
    4. Reading files
      5m 35s
    5. Reading portions of files
      3m 27s
    6. Creating directories
      2m 40s
    7. Moving and renaming files and directories
      8m 32s
    8. Copying files and directories
      3m 7s
    9. Deleting files and directories
      3m 38s
    10. Finder aliases in Unix
      4m 10s
    11. Hard links
      5m 30s
    12. Symbolic links
      6m 36s
    13. Searching for files and directories
      6m 32s
  5. 34m 58s
    1. Who am I?
      4m 3s
    2. Unix groups
      1m 52s
    3. File and directory ownership
      6m 41s
    4. File and directory permissions
      4m 27s
    5. Setting permissions using alpha notation
      6m 49s
    6. Setting permissions using octal notation
      3m 49s
    7. The root user
      1m 57s
    8. sudo and sudoers
      5m 20s
  6. 52m 34s
    1. Command basics
      4m 4s
    2. The PATH variable
      4m 13s
    3. System information commands
      3m 40s
    4. Disk information commands
      6m 8s
    5. Viewing processes
      5m 0s
    6. Monitoring processes
      3m 36s
    7. Stopping processes
      3m 19s
    8. Text file helpers
      6m 50s
    9. Utility programs
      7m 28s
    10. Using the command history
      8m 16s
  7. 20m 39s
    1. Standard input and standard output
      1m 24s
    2. Directing output to a file
      4m 13s
    3. Appending to a file
      2m 44s
    4. Directing input from a file
      5m 28s
    5. Piping output to input
      4m 40s
    6. Suppressing output
      2m 10s
  8. 41m 28s
    1. Profile, login, and resource files
      9m 11s
    2. Setting command aliases
      6m 59s
    3. Setting and exporting environment variables
      4m 54s
    4. Setting the PATH variable
      6m 10s
    5. Configuring history with variables
      6m 17s
    6. Customizing the command prompt
      6m 5s
    7. Logout file
      1m 52s
  9. 1h 25m
    1. grep: Searching for matching expressions
      5m 21s
    2. grep: Multiple files, other input
      4m 28s
    3. grep: Coloring matched text
      2m 57s
    4. Introduction to regular expressions
      3m 22s
    5. Regular expressions: Basic syntax
      3m 19s
    6. Using regular expressions with grep
      5m 20s
    7. tr: Translating characters
      8m 17s
    8. tr: Deleting and squeezing characters
      5m 30s
    9. sed: Stream editor
      7m 45s
    10. sed: Regular expressions and back-references
      7m 8s
    11. cut: Cutting select text portions
      7m 42s
    12. diff: Comparing files
      4m 35s
    13. diff: Alternative formats
      4m 30s
    14. xargs: Passing argument lists to commands
      7m 25s
    15. xargs: Usage examples
      7m 59s
  10. 42m 25s
    1. Finder integration
      4m 45s
    2. Clipboard integration
      5m 5s
    3. Screen capture
      3m 42s
    4. Shut down, reboot, and sleep
      3m 34s
    5. Text to speech
      2m 36s
    6. Spotlight integration: Searching metadata
      3m 41s
    7. Spotlight integration: Metadata attributes
      4m 24s
    8. Using AppleScript
      5m 23s
    9. System configurations: Viewing and setting
      5m 51s
    10. System configurations: Examples
      3m 24s
  11. 1m 26s
    1. Conclusion
      1m 26s

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