Mac Tip: Change The Image File Format Of Your Screenshots

Posted in How To on 07/12/2011 by Mark Greentree


This Mac tip is provided by Mark Greentree and was originally posted on Mark’s blog – Everyday Mac Support. For more of Mark’s tips visit his site, follow him on Twitter, or browse his archive of posts here.

How To: Change The Image File Format Of Your Screenshots

As you may be aware the screen capture you undertake with shortcuts such as Command-Shift-3 and Command-Shift-4 will save your screenshots in .PNG format.

However, you can change this format to one of the following:


In order to do this we will need to use Terminal. To locate Terminal simply navigate to your Applications folder then to the Utilities Folder. Within the Utilities folder you will locate Terminal.

Simply launch and then enter the following followed by return:

defaults write type PDF

Then type the following followed by return:

killall SystemUIServer

You will notice that PDF is at the end of the first line. If you wanted your screenshots saved as a JPG simply replace PDF with JPG.

Should you wish to go back to the original PNG file format simply follow the steps as shown above and put PNG at the end of the first line.


Mark Greentree

Mark Greentree is the principle blogger and podcast creator of Everyday Mac Support. His aim is to inform users at all levels of experience how to get the most out of the Apple hardware and associated software. He is the lead host of Not Another Mac Podcast, an Apple based round table discussion with Mac users and experts from all over world.