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How to Save Mac Screenshots as JPG, GIF, PDF, and Other Formats ?

Tutorials Mac OS X

When you press Cmd + Shift + 3 or Cmd + Shift + 4 to take a screenshot on Mac, it saves the file in PNG format. But if you can make Mac screenshots save automatically in other formats such as JPG, GIF, TIFF, HEIC, or even PDF.

change screenshot image format in Terminal

Open Terminal from the Application > Utilities folder, or use Spotlight to open it. To save Mac OS screenshots in JPG format/extension, copy this command and paste it on your Terminal and click Enter.

defaults write type jpg;killall SystemUIServer

Or save screenshots in HEIC format using this command.

defaults write type heic;killall SystemUIServer

Or save the screenshots as PDF.

defaults write type PDF;killall SystemUIServer

Or save Mac OS screenshots as GIF image.

defaults write type gif;killall SystemUIServer

Or save screenshots as TIFF image format.

defaults write type tiff;killall SystemUIServer

And if you want to revert back and save screenshots as PNG format images.

defaults write type png;killall SystemUIServer

note : As you can see, the command is the same for all formats. All you’re doing is replacing png with jpg, heic, pdf, gif, or tiff.

save screenshot in Mac OS as PNG or JPG or GIF format

Can’t save screenshot as WebP

But you can’t save Mac OS screenshots as WebP image format. You can convert any image format to webp using cwebp or ffmpeg.

Use this command to convert JPG or PNG or Gif to WebP.

ffmpeg -i input.png output.webp -y


ffmpeg -i input.jpg output.webp -y

You can use cwebp instead of ffmpeg as you can see in the following command.

cwebp input.png -q 80 -o output.webp

Read more: tips and tricks for Mac OS X

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