I love my Mac’s Utilities folder (Applications > Utilities)! It’s one of Apple’s hidden treasures. Tucked away inside your Mac’s Applications folder, Utilities is the land of Apple’s most dependable apps that never get to your Mac’s main stage, the Applications folder. It’s the place where you find the guts! Where apps like Disk Utility, Terminal, Activity Monitor, Console, and Keychain Access live. Talk about your powerhouses! Alongside its brothers and sisters is a little known Mac app called Grab.
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What Makes Grab So Special
Grab is an app for macOS and Mac OS X that lets you take screenshots of your screen. This little utility supports capturing the entire window, the entire screen, or only a portion of your screen. Although other apps and utilities do similar things, Grab is a decent chap. Sure the built-in Command-Shift–3 and Command-Shift–4 shortcuts are good, but this little app is great! So why settle for just good when we can have great, all from Grab.
So here’s what Grab does
- Captures part of the screen
- Takes screenshots of a window on the screen
- Captures a Timed Screen
- This gives you 10 seconds to set-up and move any windows or open any menus, so they’re all included in your screenshot
- Includes option to show or not show a pointer in screenshots
- Access Preferences, then select a different pointer type or no pointer
- Capture your entire screen
- Save screenshots in various formats–JPEG, PNG, even TIFF
- Screen captures include a small tooltip showing your pointer’s exact coordinate location on-screen
Let’s Take Some Screenshots!
You access Grab in various ways
- Grab is in the Utilities folder under Applications.
- Or type /Applications/Utilities/Grab.app in Finder
- Or Launchpad > Other > Grab
- Open Spotlight Search and type in Grab
Take a picture of a part of your screen that you select
By clicking Grab > Capture > Selection or using the keyboard shortcut Shift+Command+A, you capture a specific region of your screen by dragging around. After selecting the desired area, the capture opens in a new window that you save on your computer.
Taking a picture of a window
By clicking Grab > Capture > Window or using the keyboard shortcut Shift+Command+W, you take a picture of a window that you select. A prompt instructs you to choose the window you want to capture and click the “Choose Window.”
Taking a picture of entire screen
By clicking Grap > Capture > Screen, using the keyboard shortcut Command+Z, you can take a picture of your whole screen. A prompt instructs you to click the screen when you are ready to capture your screen.
The Coolest Feature: Taking a picture of a Timer on screen
By clicking Grab > Capture > Timed Screen using the keyboard shortcut Shift+Command+Z, you start a 10-second timer, activate part of your screen, and then take a screenshot. Grab app captures ten seconds after you start the timer. When you are ready, click the “Start Timer” button, and you have ten seconds to stage your shot before the screen is captured. After ten seconds, the entire screen is be captured. Timed Screen is usually used to take pictures of your Mac’s menu and menu options.
After taking your screenshot, you see information about it by choosing Edit > Inspector or using the keyboard shortcut Command+1. Here you find your image’s view size and depth. All screenshots default to the TIFF format; however JPEG and PNG are options you select when saving. Then use Preview app to see and crop or make any other changes to your screenshots.
A lot of people want to change the image resolution. This app natively captures in the TIFF ( .tiff) format, which is fairly high-res. Since Grab is making screenshots of your display, its resolution is limited to your display’s resolution.
Think of it this way–it’s capturing the actual pixels on your screen. So for the best image quality, make sure you are viewing at the highest resolution your display allows. Go to System Preferences > Displays and check that you’re getting the highest pixels available for your monitor.
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