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Change Default Screen Capture from PNG to JPG on Mac OSX

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Published on Feb 25, 2013

How to switch your default screen shots taken with screen capture on Mac OS X from PNG to JPG or any other image file format using the Mac Terminal.

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Transcript: Change Default Screen Capture from PNG to JPG on Mac OSX

Randy McKown here and I'm going to show you how to change the default format of your screen captures on Mac OS X. Before we get started I'm going to hold down Command+Shift+3 and take a screen capture so we can look at whats going on.

If I right click the image and select get info we can see that by default its set to PNG, which stands for Portable Network Graphics. Whats really important is this right here. My screen capture is 1.7 MB which is way too big for most cases. We could always cut this file size down is by converting to a JPG in Photoshop later but it would be nice if it was already done for us. Now, the only way to change this default setting is by using Terminal.

Alright, start up Launchpad. Go into your Utilities folder and start up Terminal. Just type in what I show you & I'll also included it in the text below so you can simply copy paste it into your Terminal.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg

Now, the last part jpg is obviously saying that we want the default to be a JPEG. You can actually change this to any image format you want. You can change it to a BMP, TIF, PDF, whatever. Once you have that hit enter and type:

killall SystemUIServer

Make sure to capitalize it just as I have here. Once you have that hit enter. Ok Lets take another screencpature and see how the info has changed. Command+Shift+3 .. Right click .. get info ..

We can see that our default is now set to JPeg and check this out. We went from 1.7 MB to only 370 KB, which is a major reduction. Plus, we don't have to bother changing this to a JPeg because its already been done for us.

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