3 ways to take a screenshot without the shadow on Mac

1. Using selection

Shift + Control + 4 + Space, now you can drag the cursor and select the specific are that you want to take the screenshot.

2. Using command screencapture in the terminal

On OS X we can open the terminal and use the command screencapture to take screenshots the command has several options and there are 2 in specific that make it work:

  • -o in window capture mode, do not capture the shadow of the window
  • -w only allow window selection mode
screencapture -ow ~/Desktop/free-shadow.png

After this, you only need to click on the windows to take the screenshot.

Is possible see all the option using the command screencapture -h or use man screencapture to read the manual:

usage: screencapture [-icMPmwsWxSCUtoa] [files]
  -c         force screen capture to go to the clipboard
  -b         capture Touch Bar - non-interactive modes only
  -C         capture the cursor as well as the screen. only in non-interactive modes
  -d         display errors to the user graphically
  -i         capture screen interactively, by selection or window
               control key - causes screen shot to go to clipboard
               space key   - toggle between mouse selection and
                             window selection modes
               escape key  - cancels interactive screen shot
  -m         only capture the main monitor, undefined if -i is set
  -M         screen capture output will go to a new Mail message
  -o         in window capture mode, do not capture the shadow of the window
  -P         screen capture output will open in Preview
  -I         screen capture output will in a new Messages message
  -s         only allow mouse selection mode
  -S         in window capture mode, capture the screen not the window
  -t<format> image format to create, default is png (other options include pdf, jpg, tiff and other formats)
  -T<seconds> Take the picture after a delay of <seconds>, default is 5
  -w         only allow window selection mode
  -W         start interaction in window selection mode
  -x         do not play sounds
  -a         do not include windows attached to selected windows
  -r         do not add dpi meta data to image
  -l<windowid> capture this windowsid
  -R<x,y,w,h> capture screen rect
  -B<bundleid> screen capture output will open in app with bundleidBS
  files   where to save the screen capture, 1 file per screen

3. Change default option to take screenshots

This command disables the shadows in screenshots by default after that you can use Shift + Command + 4 and the screenshot will be free of shadows:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool TRUE

For the changes to take effect is necessary restart or restart the UIServer with this command:

killall SystemUIServer

And if you want the shadows back, is possible using this command:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool FALSE; killall SystemUIServer

Remember you need to restart your computer or restart the UIServer, for the changes to take effect .