I’ve found Grab to be one of the most useful utilities for explaining things or collaborating with others. It allows you to pick even a tiny part of a screen and say, ‘Look at this’.

However, I was trying to explain something in Aperture and wanted to grab a drop- down menu and a pop-up menu of the adjustments that had been done to an image. I couldn’t figure out how to capture such windows, because as soon as I invoked Grab, they disappeared.

This seems true of drop-down or pop-up menus in any application. I was stumped. Is there an easy way to do this?
Michael Perini

Use a keyboard shortcut rather than Grab. These are the default shortcuts and their functions:


Cmd-Shift-3: captures the entire screen

Cmd-Shift-4: freezes the screen and allows you to select a portion to capture

Cmd-Shift-4 plus spacebar: lets you capture a specific menu or window – just move the camera cursor to the object you want to capture.

If you add the Control key to these shortcuts, the image is captured to the Clipboard rather than placed on the desktop as a PNG file.

In your case, focus on the keyboard shortcuts that include the number 4. Use those shortcuts, and you’ll find that any windows and menus will freeze in place, allowing you to select them.

There are some things that won’t be captured by using these keyboard shortcuts – Front Row, we’re looking at you. If you need to capture a Front Row screen our suggestion is this:

From another Mac, use Screen Sharing to log in to the Mac running Front Row. Do this, and you can capture that other Mac’s screen by using the standard keyboard shortcuts on the host Mac. We often do this to capture Front Row screens. (Be sure that on the host Mac you click outside the Screen Sharing window before you take the screenshot. Otherwise, the remote Mac will assume that shortcut was meant for it and will dump you out of Front Row.)