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lachoy (1663)


I am actually Chris Winters; I am actually living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; I am actually married and have three cats. (Guess what one of them is named?) I am the "OpenInteract" guy, which could be good or bad.

Journal of lachoy (1663)

Friday December 02, 2005
04:05 PM

Screencaps on multiple multiple monitors, XP and OS X

[ #27837 ]

The other day I needed to capture part of my Mac screen for something or other. After looking up the chord (I always forget it: Cmd-Shift-3!) I hit it and the very satisfying snapshot sound played. [1] And as normal I saw the image captured to a file ('Picture 1') on my desktop ...and then I saw another one, labeled 'Picture 2', with the contents of my other monitor. Each graphic had its own resolution too. Neat!

When I first started this entry it was about how, except for that obscure key combo, OS X makes this easy compared to XP. But then I realized that I rarely do full-screen captures in XP, it's typically a single window (Alt-PrintScreen), and I don't think I've ever done a full-screen with multiple monitors.

So I snapped the full-screen: no clicky sound, but for my limited purposes I think I like XP's version better. Even though it captures to the clipboard instead of straight to a file. Instead of splitting the desktop image into two separate files it merges them into one. Since my monitor and laptop don't have the same resolution (1280x1024 x 1400x1050) there's a little black bar at the bottom of the monitor to compensate for the difference.

There's likely a way to do this on OS X too -- in fact, I'd be surprised if there isn't. But this was a case where XP surprised me, and that doesn't happen very often.

[1] I hope whoever created that sound gets some cash, since it seems to be the same one that plays on my phone whenever I take a picture.

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  • cmd-shift-4. Hold ctrl down and drag from the corner you want to the opposite corner.

    When you let go, the camera noise happens, and your image is in the clipboard.

    Don't hold control if you don't want it in the clipboard.

    (I think the Mac is more flexible, but YMMV).
    • I think the OS X is more flexible too -- AFAIK, XP only has Ctrl/Alt-PrintScreen to capture fullscreen or a single window, but being able to capture a region means you can grab background areas in one shot instead of grabbing everything then cropping. But my OP is a "common case A is easier on Foo than Bar" and still worth mentioning.
      • I prefer the OSX way to do it as well.

        I've been using these boxes for longer than I care to admit, and if I've needed to take a dozen screen shots, it's a lot. But I've never forgotten Cmd-Shift-3 and Cmd-Shift-4, because it's always been that way, or at least it has been for about the last 21 years since the 128K was released. ;-)

        Yet there's a nicely labeled "Print Scrn" button on PC/Win* keyboards, but I can never remember the magic incantation to use it. Go figure.