Option-dragging while defining the bounds of a screenshot

I’ve been taking screenshots on Macs for more than thirty years. I thought I was pretty much a power user. I’ve known forever that you can do not just the whole screen (⇧⌘3) but a specific target area (⇧⌘4), and of course the space trick for capturing a window (including menus!). And all that’s well-documented by Apple.

And yet, when trying to screenshot things with a pixel-perfect even border around them, I’ve been using trial-and-error in order to get the start point right. Like a caveman.

In taking a screenshot just now, I accidentally hit the option key while dragging out my target area, and discovered that it lets you change the bounds in all four dimensions, not just the bottom & right!


You can also hold down shift to constraint changes to one of the cardinal directions (horizontal or vertical). Which of course combines neatly with holding down option.

These are very standard drag modifiers in graphics applications, which I’ve known about and used for decades. Yet I had no idea they work with macOS’s built-in screenshotting system.

How on earth did I not know this existed?! Was it only recently added?

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