How to Capture Screenshots to the Clipboard in OS X

Today's tip comes from Greg Neagle, Senior Systems Engineer at Walt Disney Animation Studios. While at MacTech, I caught up with him and asked for a nifty tip. He said, "I'd go with pasting a screenshot directly to the clipboard." Having never heard of this, I asked him to explain, so here is Greg's tip along with a bonus from me in case you didn't know it either:

If you use the keyboard commands for screenshots, the defaults are Command-Shift-3 for a full desktop screenshot, and Command-Shift-4 gives you the crosshairs to allow you to select the area you want to capture. If you add Control to those combinations, instead of getting a screenshot on your desktop, it just gets copied to the clipboard, and you can paste it wherever you need to use it: documentation, email, wherever you need to drop in a screenshot, this saves you having to copy it first, since it's already copied!

Screenshot crosshairs for selecting an area to captureScreenshot crosshairs for selecting an area to capture.

My bonus tip is this: If you use Command-Shift-4 and get the crosshairs, press the spacebar to grab a shot of the active window. Your cursor changes to a camera, and the window it's targeting will be highlighted (generally blue or purple, based on your System Preferences) so it's clear what you're about to capture. Just move your camera-cursor to highlight the window you want, then click your mouse or trackpad to snap the shot.

Screenshot, now with camera icon and purple highlight of the active window.Screenshot, now with camera icon and purple highlight of the active window.