A few years back, TekRevue’s Jim Tanous wrote an awesome article about taking Mac screenshots, including important keyboard shortcuts to remember, helpful Terminal commands, and so on. As he mentions, there’s a way to use a built-in application to take timed screenshots on the Mac, so if you need a picture of a menu that disappears whenever you try to take a traditional screenshot, for example, this would be the way to go. Let’s check it out!
The first step to taking timed screenshots on the Mac is to launch the Grab program. To do so, open your Applications folder, and then find the subfolder labeled “Utilities.” Inside the utilities folder is the Mac’s built-in screenshot application called Grab.app.
Double-click on Grab.app to open it, and you’ll see its menus appear across the top of your screen in the Menu Bar. The Grab app allows you to take standard screenshots like the ones detailed in our previous article, but the real magic is its ability to take timed screenshots on a countdown delay. You’ll find this option in Capture > Timed Screen.
When you click “Timed Screen” (or use the keyboard shortcut Shift-Command-Z while the Grab app is open) a dialog box will appear and inform you of what’s about to happen.
As it says, choosing the Start Timer button will give you ten seconds to configure whatever conditions you want to take a screenshot of. So, hurry! Go open menus! Do what you need to, fast! Then you’ll hear an audio cue as the screenshot’s about to be taken, and when it is, you can choose where to save the resulting file.
One more thing: Grab will include your cursor in its screenshot, as it notes in the dialog box shown above. If you’d like to control what that looks like (or turn off the cursor entirely), go to Grab > Preferences.
In the resulting box, you’ll pick your preferred pointer type (or choose “none” with the box at the upper-left corner).
So, you know, if you for some reason need your cursor to look like a little gloved hand, you can go nuts with this. I mean, I don’t know why you’d wanna do that, but you’ve got the option, at least.
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