HOWTO: Disable OS X Window Drop Shadow for Screenshots

One of the awesome features of OS X is the built-in screenshot mode. It allows you to easily select areas of the screen to capture (press Cmd+Shift+4 to activate screenshot mode), or select an entire window to capture (while in screenshot mode, press the spacebar to switch to window-capture mode).

I frequently post screenshots on this blog and I hated that the window screenshots included the drop shadow added by OS X around the window. This meant the width of the resulting screenshot was actually 50px bigger all the way around.

Luckily, there is a way to disable the drop shadow when taking screenshots. Simply open the terminal (Applications -> Utilities -> and run the following command:

defaults write disable-shadow -bool true

Now logout (or reboot) and when you login again your screenshots won't include the drop shadow! For more helpful shortcuts and commands for screenshots in OS X, check out Taking Screenshots in Mac OS X.

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  • Jacob