Due to the limitation of macOS system, capturing scrolling screenshots often requires the use of third-party apps. This article primarily focuses on the operation steps of using Longshot to capture scrolling screenshots.

Download and Installation

To download and install Longshot, follow these steps:

  1. Open the App Store application on your Mac.
  2. Type “Longshot” in the search bar.
  3. Click on “Get” to initiate the download and installation process.
  4. Once the installation is complete, click on “Open” to launch Longshot.

Screenshot of Search, Download, and Installation

Enabling Screen Recording Permissions

After installation, open Longshot. Before starting the screenshot process, you need to grant screen recording permissions to Longshot. Follow the steps below:

  1. Click on Enable Screen Capture. This will open the System Preferences/Security & Privacy/Screen & System Audio Recording settings page in macOS.
  2. Locate the entry for Longshot and click on the button on the right side of the entry.
  3. Grant Longshot the permission to record the screen and system audio.

Screenshot of Authorization Page

Scrolling Capture Operation

Start Capture

Find the icon of Longshot in the system status bar and click on it. In the dropdown menu, click on Start Capture. If you prefer keyboard shortcuts, you can also use Command + Shift + X to start capture. If you find this shortcut too cumbersome, you can customize it in the preferences settings of Longshot.

Screenshot of Dropdown Menu in Status Bar

Selecting the Scrolling Area

Hold and drag the cursor to select the area you want to capture in a scrolling screenshot. The selected area can include partially non-scrollable regions and content with non-solid background. However, it is recommended to select a larger area to minimize the chances of image stitching failure during the scrolling capture process.

Example of Selecting the Scrolling Area / Non-scrollable Regions / Content with Non-uniform Background

Clicking the Scroll Capture

After selecting the desired area, click on the Scroll Capture button in the toolbar to enter the scrolling capture mode. Choose the scrolling direction for the capture, which includes Vertical/Horizontal/360-degree options. Yes, Longshot not only supports the common vertical scrolling capture for long screenshots but also allows horizontal and panoramic scrolling to stitch together longer images. By default, the Vertical option is selected, and usually, there is no need to adjust it.

Screenshot of the Toolbar

Capturing Scrolling Content

After selecting the scrolling area and direction, move the cursor inside the scrolling area and use the mouse or touchpad to scroll. A preview window will appear next to the scrolling area, showing a real-time thumbnail of the stitched scrolling screenshot.

During the scrolling process, please note the following:

  1. Avoid scrolling too quickly, as it may cause anomalies in the stitched image.
  2. There are no restrictions on the scrolling direction. For example, when capturing a vertical scrolling screenshot, you can start by scrolling from top to bottom to capture the content below. If you want to capture the content above the initial scrolling position during the scrolling process, there is no need to undo the scrolling operation. Simply scroll from bottom to top, and the content above will be stitched.
  3. After finishing the scrolling, you can adjust the selected area again. For instance, in a vertical scrolling capture, if you want to include the area above or below the initially selected area, you can directly drag the upper or lower edge of the scrolling area to stitch the desired content into the long screenshot.

I believe points 2 and 3 effectively address the issue of initially incomplete selection of the scrolling area, freeing you from the mental burden of scrolling capture. Without these features, one would often need to calculate the position and direction of scrolling before capturing, and sometimes multiple attempts would be required to achieve the desired long screenshot.

Scrolling Preview Screenshot

Completing the Scrolling Capture

After finishing the scrolling, click the Save or Copy button on the toolbar to complete the scrolling capture operation.


Quick Access to Scrolling Capture

The above explanation of the scrolling capture operation describes the general process. However, Longshot also provides a quick access option for scrolling capture, which can be very convenient when you already know that you want to perform a scrolling capture. In the dropdown menu of the status bar, click on Scrolling Capture to directly enter the scrolling capture mode. Alternatively, you can define a global shortcut key for this operation in the Preferences/Hotkeys section of Longshot.

Click-to-Window Selection for Scrolling Capture

In addition to the scrolling capture method described above, which involves dragging a selection box, you can also directly select a window to capture the scrolling region. Yes, you read that correctly—you can capture the entire window and stitch together a long image that extends the content within the window. For example, you can scroll-capture the chat content in a Telegram chat window.

Description of Scrolling Capture Adaptability

Currently, when it comes to scrolling capture with Longshot, there are a few adaptability considerations to keep in mind and avoid:

  1. Solid color backgrounds can cause stitching failures due to the lack of distinctive features. Therefore, it is recommended to select a larger scrolling area to minimize the chances of stitching failures.
  2. Avoid scrolling too rapidly during the capture process. Fast scrolling speeds may overwhelm the system’s processing capabilities and result in lost images, leading to stitching failures.

Further Reading

  1. Comparison of Scrolling Capture Screenshot between Longshot, Xnip, and iShot
  2. How to take a scrolling capture