4 Replies Latest reply: Apr 9, 2013 11:50 AM by baltwo
Carl Sutherland Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)

I see in old posts that cmd-shift-3 is supposed to take a shot of the entire screen and cmd-shift-4 is for highlighting a portion of the screen and taking a shot. But mine don't work. Occasionally when I do the 3 I get a screen shot to my desktop, but when I do the 4 the cross hairs show up and I can select a portion of the screen, but when I let up on the mouse the selection lines disappear and no shot is taken. What can I do?


Thank you



iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.3), iPhone, Parallels and Windows 7, TC
  • 1. Re: How do I take a screen shot-keys are not working
    J Soren Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)

    Using an app will give you a lot more flexibility. Keyboard shortcuts - particularly those with > 2 key combinations - have a tendency to not always respond.


    The Screenshot Plus widget is popular. I like the grab app, but there are plenty of other choices.

  • 2. Re: How do I take a screen shot-keys are not working
    putnik Level 3 Level 3 (690 points)

    I've not had problems with the key combination but there are times during startup or installation, when the computer is not ready yet, and I resort to using a camera, to report a problem.

  • 3. Re: How do I take a screen shot-keys are not working
    John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (36,390 points)

    Start your Mac in Safe Mode:


    To start up into Safe Mode (to Safe Boot), do this:

      1. Be sure your Mac is shut down.
      2. Press the power button.
      3. Immediately after you hear the startup tone, hold the Shift key. The Shift key should be held as soon as possible after the startup tone, but not before the tone.
      4. Release the Shift key when you see the gray Apple icon and the progress indicator (looks like a spinning gear).

    During startup in Mac OS X v10.4 through Mac OS X v10.6.8, you will see "Safe Boot" on the login window, which appears even if you normally log in automatically. During startup in Mac OS X v10.2 through v10.3.9, you will see "Safe Boot" on the Mac OS X startup screen.

    To leave Safe Mode, restart the computer normally, without holding any keys during startup.

    Read about it: Mac OS X: What is Safe Boot, Safe Mode?


    Safe Mode or "Safe Boot" is a troubleshooting mode that bypasses all third party system extensions and loads only required system components. Starting in Safe Mode will take much longer than usual and some features (such as iTunes) do not work in Safe Mode. This is expected, and your usual work environment will return after restarting normally.


    Does the problem still exist while in Safe Mode?

  • 4. Re: How do I take a screen shot-keys are not working
    baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (60,115 points)

    Step one is to log into a newly created admin user account and see if the problem persists. BTW, I've never had these fail to work:


    Screen shot 2013-04-09 at 11.50.11 AM.png