I do software QA. I may take hundreds of screenshots a day at times. What I'd like to be able to do is press one key combination that would

  1. Bring up a mouse cursor to select a rectangular screen region via click and drag.
  2. After I have selected the screen region, immediately paste the screenshot into the currently active document, at the current keyboard cursor location.

Currently I'm using Snagit, which requires one key combination to select and copy to clipboard, then a second to paste.

I am using macOS High Sierra.

  • macOS natively will allow you to capture to clipboard [Cmd/Ctrl/Shift/4], but not paste in in the same move; you'd still need to hit Cmd/v.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 13 '18 at 19:18

There doesn't seem to be a simple one-stop solution. I ended up using AppleScript and installing FastScripts (free for up to 10 keyboard shortcuts) for the keyboard shortcut.

The text of the script is

do shell script "screencapture -c -i -s"
tell application "Firefox" to activate
tell application "System Events"
    keystroke "v" using command down
end tell

This runs the screencapture utility. -c saves the screenshot to the clipboard. -i interactively selects a screen region to capture. -s forces mouse selection mode. See man screencapture for more details.

It then switches to Firefox (but one could substitute any application), and types Command-V to paste the screenshot.

I saved the script as /Library/Scripts/Screenshot to Firefox.scpt and set a keyboard shortcut using FastScripts.



According to Apple High Sierra Comes equipped with an application called Grab.

Grab is a Mac Snipping Tool alternative that makes it possible to take screenshots of your screen and save them as image files. Just like Snipping Tool for Windows, Grab has several screen-capture modes, and it also supports keyboard shortcuts. Best of all, there’s no need to look for Snipping Tool download for Mac links as Grab comes included with all recent versions of macOS. - Disk Drill Blog

To access Grab, you can either:

  • Open it from the Utilities folder under Applications.
  • Open it from the Utilities folder under Applications.
  • Type /Applications/Utilities/Grab.app in Finder.
  • Open Launchpad → Other → Grab.
  • Open Spotlight and type in Grab.


Once grab is open you have several keyboard shorcut options:

  • Grab → Capture → Selection: using this option, you can capture a specific region of your screen by dragging a selection box around.
  • Shift + Command + A: this shortcut provides an alternative way how to trigger the selection option.
  • Shift + Command + W: this shortcut provides an alternative way how to trigger the window-capture option.
  • Command + Z: this shortcut provides an alternative way how to trigger the screen-capture option.
  • Shift + Command + Z: this shortcut provides an alternative way how to trigger the timed screen-capture option.

Answer is courtesy Disk Drill Blog - Is There a Snipping Tool for Mac?.

  • 1
    Unfortunately, you will not be able to paste in the same move. I've never heard of Snipping type tools that would do this. This will solve the problem of region based snippets though. Dec 13 '18 at 20:22

On macOS Mojave, you can have a screenshot copy to the clipboard automatically. To do this, search for Screenshot in Spotlight search and it will open the Screenshot Utility.

  1. Click the dropdown next to the Options button and select 'Clipboard' from the menu.

  2. Tap the Cmd+Shift+4 keyboard shortcut to bring up the area selection screenshot tool, drag it out over the area you want to capture.

  3. When you release the mouse, the screenshot will be saved to your clipboard and you can paste it into any app that can accept images.

macOS Mojave screenshot utility options

IMPORTANT: The screenshot will not save as a separate file to your disk. The image in your clipboard is your only copy of it.

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