Screenshots on the Mac

Ever want to take a screenshot on a Mac? You can. The functionality is a little bit hidden though the functionality is incredible. The Mac has three varieties of screenshots. A screen shot can be taken of the entire screen, a rectangular portion of the screen or any window on the screen. Let’s explore how to do each.

The Entire Screen

This first option takes a picture of the screen, the whole screen and nothing but the screen (to date myself while butchering a Dragnet reference). To take a picture of the entire screen, press the keyboard combination <command><shift>-3. At that time, two things happen: (1)You will hear a camera shutter sound. (2) A new file will be put on the desktop with a title of the form Screen Shot <Date> at <time>.png. For instance, the screen shot, Screen Shot 2012-04-19 at 8.06.49 AM.png, got taken at 8:06:49 AM on the nineteenth of April in 2012.

A Rectangular portion of the Screen

This option takes a screen shot of a rectangular portion of the screen. To take a picture of a portion of the screen, press the keyboard combination <command><shift>-4. The cursor will change to a cross hair:


At that point, click then drag out the area that you would like to capture. After dragging out the rectangular area, two things happen: (1)You will hear a camera shutter sound. (2) A new file will be put on the desktop of the rectangular area with a title of the form Screen Shot <Date> at <time>.png.

There are a couple of options available for this style screen shot. First, to center a screen capture, hold down the <option> key. The clip spot becomes the center of the rectangle and the captured rectangle will grow symmetrically around the click point.

The second option uses the <spacebar>. It is invoked after the click while doing the drag of the rectangle. It works as a constraint. Upon pressing the <spacebar> the constraint is determined by the next cursor movement. If the next movement is up or down, the width will be fixed. If the next movement is left or right, then the height will be fixed. Releasing the <spacebar> clears the constraint.

Any Window on the screen

This option will take a picture of a specific window on the screen. To take a picture of a specific window, press the keyboard combination <command><shift>-4, followed by pressing the spacebar. The cursor will turn into a camera:


As the cursor is moved around, the current targeted window will turn blue. Upon clicking two things will happen: (1)You will hear a camera shutter sound (2) A new file will be put on the desktop of the current window with a title of the form Screen Shot <Date> at <time>.png.

But Wait! If you act now!

Sometimes it is helpful to put the results of the screen capture on the clipboard instead of a external file. That is accomplished by adding the <control> key to the key combination. These key combinations take a bit of finger stretching. So to put the entire screen in the clipboard, press <command><control><shift>-3. To put a rectangular region or window onto the clipboard, start with press ing the keyboard combination <command><control><shift>-4.

Stephen Magladry, your iTechieGuy

‘Why Do Macs Cost More?’

A few days ago, I was working to remove a stubborn piece of malware from a customers computer.

Most times while my programs are doing their thing, I will talk to customer(and sometimes at the customer) just to pass the time and maybe answer their questions.

This time the customer and I were talking about Macintoshes, and he asked me ‘why do Macs cost more?’  I took me a moment to marshal my thoughts, because of all the Mac questions I’ve had, this one had never been asked so directly.

I answered, “Why does a Mercedes cost more than a Ford?”

Lets think about that for a moment; why does a Mercedes/BMW/Lexus etc. cost more than a Ford or a Chevy or a Kia or a Hyundai?  After all, they both have four wheels, an engine, seats, windows, so why are they different?   The way I see it comes down to these things:

  • Quality of manufacturing
  • Design and aesthetic appeal
  • Features
  • Status

Any luxury car, such as a Mercedes, is assumed to have all of these qualities and a a highers level than its lower priced rivals.  After all, how many times have you heard someone brag about their new Ford Fiesta?

So, how does this apply to Macs?  The same way.  Macs are assumed to be better built with better quality parts (no, the innards of computers, while standardized, are not of the same quality), have better design, easier functionality and “they just look cool.”

This just leaves status.  Is a status symbol worth the two or three times the money of an equivalent (or perhaps superior) lower priced product?

Of course it is.  Thats what marketing is for.  To convince us that no amount of money can equal the envy of our friends and associates.

That, then, is why Macs (and iDevices) cost more.  You are buying the luxury model.  But when you think of all the hassles you put up with when you are working with PC’s, is a a hassle-free, stress-free life really so much of a luxury?

No.  Not is isnt.  And that, is why Macs cost more.