Change the Screenshot Image Format

Normally when you take a screenshot using Cmd ⌘ + Shift ⇧ + 4 it is saved in TIFF format, this tweak allows you to change the default format to PNG, JPG, GIF, PDF or others.


To implement this tweak:

  1. Start a new Terminal session (in Finder click Applications > Utilities > Terminal).

  2. To set this to PNG, type (or copy and paste) the following command:

    defaults write com.apple.screencapture type -string "PNG"

    To set this to PDF, type (or copy and paste) the following command:

    defaults write com.apple.screencapture type -string "PDF"

    To set this to JPEG, type (or copy and paste) the following command:

    defaults write com.apple.screencapture type -string "JPG"

    To set this to JPEG 2000, type (or copy and paste) the following command:

    defaults write com.apple.screencapture type -string "JP2"

    To set this to GIF, type (or copy and paste) the following command:

    defaults write com.apple.screencapture type -string "GIF"

    To set this to TIF, type (or copy and paste) the following command:

    defaults write com.apple.screencapture type -string "TIFF"

    To set this to BMP, type (or copy and paste) the following command:

    defaults write com.apple.screencapture type -string "BMP"

    To set this to PICT, type (or copy and paste) the following command:

    defaults write com.apple.screencapture type -string "PICT"

    To set this to TGA, type (or copy and paste) the following command:

    defaults write com.apple.screencapture type -string "TGA"

    To set this to SGI, type (or copy and paste) the following command:

    defaults write com.apple.screencapture type -string "SGI"
  3. To reset this setting to the default value, type (or copy and paste) the following command:

    defaults write com.apple.screencapture type -string "TIFF"
  4. To activate this tweak immediately, type the following command, or wait until the next reboot:

    killall SystemUIServer
  5. Close the Terminal session by typing exit at the prompt.

Note: This also affects the command-line "screencapture" application.

Disclaimer: Making any changes to your system can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. We cannot guarantee that problems resulting from these modifications can be resolved. Please follow the instructions carefully and use the information provided at your own risk.