MacOS has a tool to interactively take a screenshot using cmd+shift+4 (to capture a section of the screen), and a tool to record a section of the screen using cmd+shift+5. Using the screencapture tool, you can trigger the cmd+shift+4 tool from the terminal using the screencapture CLI tool like this:

screencapture -i $FILENAME

However, when I try to open the interactive video like this:

screencapture -i -v $FILENAME

I get the following message:

screencapture: video not valid with -i

Is it possible to open that cmd+shift+5 tool from the terminal? Is there a tool other than screencapture that handles this?

1 Answer 1


If you just want to open that cmd+shift+5 tool, you can use option -iU.

However, this isn't a perfect solution:

  • The file output location from the CLI is ignored. File will be stored wherever the UI is set to save it to. Note that this option is sticky, but the output file is based on the current time, so it's not easy to locate it from your CLI call. (sidenote: the --help documentation seems to have put this on the -u option when it really applies to the -U option)
  • No ctrl+c cancel; must use menu bar icon instead.
  • -V (video length) option is not respected

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