Automatically Add Screenshots to iPhoto in OS X

2015-03-07 Tags: osx

I take a lot of screenshots. I use the handy Command + Shift + 4 shortcut on OS X to grab screenshots of notes, slides, my crappy software, and pretty much anything under the sun. Often times I will use these screenshots in a document, or share them via email or iMessages. In OS X, if your photos are not in iPhoto it can be kind of painful to get to them from other apps. Luckily, there is an easy way to automatically import all of your screenshots into iPhoto and make them accessible from within other apps. Since there is no good way to do this via the Preferences pane, this will require using iTerm, so get your hacker hat on and prepare to get your hands a little dirty. The way that this works is that we are going to change the default path where the screenshot utility saves its files.

  1. Open up iTerm
  2. Run the following command to change the default path. You can just as easily change this path to anywhere you like.

    defaults write com.apple.screencapture location '/Users/$USER/Pictures/iPhoto Library.photolibrary/Auto Import'
  3. Restart the UI Services

    killall SystemUIServer

Now if you take a screenshot, you will notice that it is automatically being imported into iPhoto. This works if iPhoto is open or closed. This quick little hack will save you a lot of time if you use screenshots a lot like me and want to have access to them from within other apps.