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Clean up Shadows in Leopard Screenshots.

leopardshadowcleanup

Continuing with our screen capture theme: If you’ve used this window grab technique over time, you may have noticed a significant change in Leopard. Apple now includes the window’s shadow in your resulting screen capture (in previous versions of Mac OS X, only the window itself was captured).

Including the shadow isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but that change causes disruption for some designers (and tip writers) who regularly use these screen captures in documentation.

What’s more, in Leopard those shadows are big! The shadow alone adds up to 70 pixels to the height and width of your window. And worse, the shadow size varies depending whether your window is in the foreground or background.

Photoshop Actions: Clean Leopard Shadows.

leopardshadow-actionsWe’ve built a couple Photoshop actions to clean up Leopard screen grabs. The first set strips out the large shadow in Leopard windows and replaces it with a smaller Tiger-style shadow using Photoshop Layer Styles. The second action is for screen grabs of Leopard menu items.

Download this ZIP file which contains our Photoshop Actions file.

Clean-Leopard-Shadows.zip

Once you’ve uncompressed it, you can load the Actions into your copy of Photoshop by choosing “Load Actions” from the fly-out menu in the Actions Palette.

leopardshadow-actionpalette

Script 1: Clean Leopard Shadows – Windows

This first script removes the extra 70 pixels of shadow added by Leopard, replaces it with a simple Photoshop Layer Style that emulates the old Tiger-shadow, and trims your grab down to reflect the smaller shadow. From there you can remove or edit that layer style as you wish.

Before:

leopardshadow-before

After:

leopardshadow-after

Script 2: Clean Leopard Shadows – Menus

This second script cleans screen grabs of Leopard menus, which are much harder to deal with. In addition to including the drop shadows around your menu, Leopard also adds a subtle-but-frustrating transparency to the menu itself. This script removes the shadow, makes the menus themselves fully opaque, and adds back a traditional Tiger-style shadow (which you can edit or turn off).

Before:

leopardshadowmenu-before

After:

leopardshadowmenu-after

Other Leopard Screen Grab Resources:

We are not the only ones who have been effected by the screen grab changes in Leopard. Here are some links to a few other related blog posts about Leopard screen grabs.

Ryan Ireland: Screen Grabs in Leopard

Ryan Ireland: CleanGrab – Screengrabs in Leopard

Tech Scorn: Leopard Screencaps w/o Shadow

MacWorld: Use new screen region capture options in 10.5

Source: We use these scripts almost every week when preparing screenshots for our weekly tips newsletter.