Apple Mac, capture window Screenshots without a shadow
Following on from my article about creating an easily accessible folder for Screenshots I’ll cover how to capture a window without the unwanted box shadow.
What to look for gallery
• Image 01
Apple Mac Screenshot With ShadowBack to Images
- • Image 02
Apple Mac Screenshot Without Shadow
- • Image 02
The Apple Docs don’t really cover this well
If you read the Apple Docs about Screenshots they (currently, as of March ’23) don’t mention how to avoid adding the shadow to windows. I think this could be because when using the Light Appearance Mode the resulting image tends to blend in with its surroundings.
If embedding in a Word Processor like Pages or MS Word, using a light background the image (See Image 1) would need a dark border to make it stand out. The same applies if uploading to a web document with a light theme.
Bearing this in mind and you still want to remove the shadow, read on…
Taking the window Screenshot without shadow manually
• Step 1
Hold down ⌘ + Shift + 4 all together (
Command-Shift-4.) This brings up the grab a portion of the screen mode.
• Step 2
Press on Spacebar this will activate capture window mode (indicated by a icon.)
• Step 3
Press the Option key to activate the remove shadow mode. This is the option that is not well documented.
• Step 4
Move your mouse over the window you want to get a Screenshot of and ‘click’ – this will save the image to your drive without a shadow (See Image 2.)
Remove the shadow permanently
You can run a couple of commands in your
Terminal App of choice. This will permanently remove the shadow without having to remember to use Option as part of the process. To do so, fire up your
Terminal and add the following.
defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true
Then add the code below to activate and ‘save’ the command to the System (basically adding a preference to the
The process is reversible
The preference set above can be undone. What we did was set
true – we can reverse this by setting it to
false. To do so, add the following.
defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool false
Then save the preference again by adding;
All window Screenshots will now have the shadow again.
Like many others I take a lot of Screenshots, having the ability to remove the shadow, especially permanently is a great advantage. This allows me more granular control over the saved images without having to manually remove the shadows in an image editor App.
Hope this was helpful and “happy snapping.”
// End of Article
- Mac Pages App (apps.apple.com)
- Take screenshots or screen recordings (support.apple.com)
- Use a light or dark appearance (support.apple.com)