Change the Default Format for Mac Screenshots

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.

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. 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

. 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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