Confession, I FORCED my wife to be a “switcher”. Yes, I forced her to start using OS X, because Christmas 2012 I purchased a new laptop for her at her request (she didn’t specify a brand… and um… yeah… I’m not buying a PC). This may come to a shock for some people as:
TL;DR She’s stubborn.
I’m now the 24/hr Apple helpdesk and the target of “why does Apple do this” questions, so I thought to make the best of the situation and start documenting items for future switchers or admins of switchers.
First up, Screen Shots
Screen Shots is a interesting item, because Mac users really despise most Windows users solution to screen shots which is “embed a picture into a word document”. Note to all Windows users, this is WRONG (send the picture, not a word document with a picture). To better understand why this perdicament exists, lets disect the difference between the two platforms between the “Screen Shot Capturing” user’s perspective vs. the end recipient:
Taking a screen shot is easy and that is the key element of windows user’s behavior, the method of getting a screen shot is very simple for Windows users as it involves a keyboard button.
The issue is that “Print Screen” button captures the picture to the clipboard, and that is where most Windows users begin to the horrible idea of embedding this picture into a document which compresses the image and degrade quality.
Mac users have the the excellent output of saving their screen shots automatically to the Desktop. You just need to make sure you can contort your left hand to hold one of the keyboard combinations to take that picture. Even Apple describes the ability to capture screen shots as:
“just use the ol’ Command-Shift-4 w/ a spacebar”, that is what makes things difficult for a switcher.
There are a couple of solutions for a Switcher, it just depends on what they want to perform:
Grab; You can place the Grab Application (in the Utilities folder) in the dock and let the ‘switcher’ know that anytime (s)he needs to take a screenshot, just start this application as there are plenty of options in the Capture dropdown menu option.
Preview; if your ‘switcher’ want to modify the files such as placing text or arrows on the screen shot, Preview may be a good choice as you can use the File => Take Screen Shot menu option and use Previews Annotate options under the Tools menu dropdown.
Automator; This requires a little work for yourself, but it solve two things that I didn’t like about the other two options:
A simple Automator script would allow your switcher to use the Services option in every application to grab their screenshots. Yes, this may take away some of their options, but did they have any options when using the “Print Screen” button?
Here are the steps:
This will capture the current application that is running in interactive mode with the ‘window capture’ mode as default vs. the crosshairs. It will save the resulting file to the user’s desktop with the current date/time stamp just in case they are taking multiple pictures.
Save the workflow which will prompt for a name, choose something simple like “Screen Capture Window” and it will now be available for every application that your switcher uses under the “Application Name” => “Services” => “Screen Capture Window” (something easy for them to remember and repeat as needed).