Change the Default Format for Mac Screenshots

January 2017

Mac OS X saves screenshots in the PNG format which is the format of choice for sharing or publishing images on the web. Nevertheless, other file formats such as JPG, TIFF, PDF or GIF can be used too.

Change the Default Image Format for Screenshots in Mac OS X

This setting can’t be changed from the GUI (Apple menu > System Preferences). To change the setting, you must run a specific command in the Terminal.

The syntax for the command is:
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type (format)


Replace
(format)
by the desired file extension.

Save Screenshots as JPG

JPG offers a better alternative for storing photos and realistic images than the PNG format. It will generally produce images with a smaller file size.

Go to the Application folder > Utilities > Terminal. Run the
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg
command followed by
killall SystemUIServer
.

Save Screenshots as GIF

When compared to other image formats, GIF has the advantage of being smaller in size. Furthermore, GIF files can convey transparency and animation.

Go to the Application folder > Utilities > Terminal. Run the
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type gif
command followed by
killall SystemUIServer
.

The
killall SystemUIServer
command allows you to restart the UI of Mac OSX, which will also enforce your new settings.

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Published by deri58. Latest update on January 4, 2016 at 10:04 AM by ChristinaCCM.
This document, titled "Change the Default Format for Mac Screenshots," is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (ccm.net).