Taking screenshots is a great way to capture an image of whatever is there on your screen. It comes handy in various situations when you need evidence or you want to keep a record of a receipt or report generated, which cannot be saved as a file. So, you take a screenshot and convert it into a file. If you use an OS X, the screenshot captured on Mac will be saved as PNG by default.

change screenshot format mac

PNG is the abbreviated form of Portable Network Graphics and the biggest benefit of using this format is that it keeps up the quality of images; however, the one downside is that the size of image file tends to be larger than other types of formats. This often poses a problem when you try to upload the files online because it takes a lot of time.

Instructions to change the Screenshot format on Mac

To get this done faster, your best bet would be to change the format of the images from PNG to jpg. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of a little trick that can help you easily change the format of your screenshot images. In this trick, you will use a terminal to generate a certain command which will inform the system to alter or change the file format for the screenshots.

How to Change Mac Screenshot Format to JPG

First of all, you need to launch the terminal on your computer device. Next, you click on the Launchpad and then search for ‘Terminal’.

When the terminal is launched, you can type the following instructions to change the file format and then press Enter. Here’s the command:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg;killall SystemUIServer

Now take a screenshot on your Mac and try to save the file on your file. You will see that the file format has changed to jpg instead of png.

save a screenshot as a jpeg

You can use the similar kind of trick to save the screenshot in different other file formats. Below you will find the commands for each format.

How to Change Screenshot Format on Mac to GIF

The GIF images are usually low resolution types and they are not capable of retaining the high quality of the actual image as it was captured. This is a good option if you do not want others to pay attention to the minute details in the picture. To save the file in this format, you need to type the following commands:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type gif;killall SystemUIServer

How to Change Screenshot Format on Mac to TIFF

TFT stands for Tagged Image File Format and this type of format is mostly used for the high-quality images. If you are interested to turn the screenshots into this type of format, then you can use this command:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type tiff;killall SystemUIServer

Read Also: Download Photoshop CS6 for Mac OS

How to Change Screenshot Format on Mac to PDF

This is the most professional type of format and it is mostly used for document purpose. If you would like to save the image file in PDF format then please use the command given below:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type PDF;killall SystemUIServer

How to Change Mac Screenshot Format to PNG

After trying all these formats, if you feel that you like the default version better then you can at anytime revert back to the default by following the command given below:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type png;killall SystemUIServer

We hope the above information helps you change the format of screenshots on your Mac with ease.

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Stephan Popov
When iDevice users experience problems with the iOS software or unlocking, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. My passion is providing answers to your problems. I help iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users by recommending fixes for common iOS bugs and tools that improves your experience. I conduct in-depth research for every topic i cover on this blog, to ensure that I cover everything Apple users need to troubleshoot their issues. When not writing for UnlockBoot, i enjoy swimming in my backyard pool. P.S. i prefers the Maldives for holidays. Connect with me on Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter.