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Benson Shaw

Screen shots of dialog boxes

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Did everyone else know this? I just discovered how to prevent dialog box text changing to key command hints during screen shot of Vectorworks dialog box, Mac OS and maybe Windows, too.

Marquee style screen shot requires press command key, Shift key and 4 key (Shift Cmd 4), then drag a marquee. Problem is that command key makes the dialog box text toggle to shortcut.

Screen shot sequence to prevent text display of key command hints.

1. Option click/hold anywhere inside the dialog box.

Continue holding the mouse, but release the Option key.

2. Continue holding the mouse button & press Shift Cmd 4 to initiate the screen shot. Release the keys.

Note - The key commands display temporarily and the screenshot target cursor appears.

3. Release the mouse button.

Note - The key commands toggle off, the cursor target toggles to arrow.

4. Move cursor to start position of screen shot marquee.

Note - The cursor changes from arrow to target. (but the key commands remain hidden)

5. Press/hold mouse button to begin the marquee.

6. Drag to complete the marquee & release the mouse button.

7. Great success!



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Thanks, Kevin. I don't think Grab is quite up to the task in my OS10.6.8 (hoping for new CPU w/ current OS this fall). Or maybe I'm just not using Grab to its full potential.

In my experience, when Grab is the active app, windows in other apps have many grayed out features - so the screenshot is not accurate. Also, in Vectorworks, the OIP and other palettes are hidden when Grab is active, so cannot be captured.

Grab is sometimes available through the active app Services menu or through the gear widget. But this is not consistent in all apps and all situations. Grab is missing from my Vectorworks>Services menu and I find no way to add it via the Services prefs.


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Grab is a crude option and falls well short on usability. The TIFF images it produces invariably have to be changed to another format before they can be uploaded.

Grab is definitely not a good program effort by Apple

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Great sleuthing Benson! I use Keyboard Maestro and with it I created a macro to take screen shots. I press F6 and that simulates shift+command+4, and for some reason the command hints in Vectorworks dialog boxes don't not appear when screen shots are taken that way. Another option would be to change the keyboard shorts in system prefs and remove the command key in them.

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Shift-Command-4 or switching focus away from the application (clicking on finder then clicking back on Vectorworks then taking the screeshot) normally works for getting shots without the Apple hints, that's how we do it here for videos/articles.

Shift-Command-4 and then pressing Space also allows you to screenshot a single window without having to marquee around it, which also allows screenshots without the hints appearing.

However, this behavior seems to vary slightly from Mac to Mac, I have yet to figure out exactly why.

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It shouldn't be a problem much longer in any case. The palettes/dialogues in Vectorworks are being moved from Carbon to Cocoa as part of the overarching upgrade from 32bit to 64bit, once complete I am told they will be able to override this happening. So holding down CMD will still show the shortcuts in the future but once CMD and Shift are held together, the hints will vanish and resume showing the regular text, which I have seen demoed successfully here in testing.

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Hey Benson:

We use Jing (www.techsmith.com/jing.html). Works all day long and should do what you need.



VectorGeek Enterprises

"average is our middle name, even though we don't have a middle name."

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I use the same workaround as JimW suggests when creating work sheets for my students

Just switch away from Vectorworks being the active window by Cmd - Tab to Finder then do the screengrab

OK, you wont get the nice blue radio buttons but it works

Hopefully this will be fixed in the next version

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