Screen shots and the missing desktop item

I take a lot of screen shots. Daily. Sometimes dozens a day, depending on what I’m writing about.

I use SnapzPro for this work. I save the image to the desktop and later move it into a folder.

I can be sailing along, have 12 or 15 screen shots, and suddenly they stop appearing on the desktop. Turns out this is a known OS X bug. The file is there, you just can’t see it.

I’ve used spotlight to search for it and open it in preview. Then I do save as and replace it. That pops it into place on the desktop. It also works to do the same shot again and click Replace when the Mac tells you the item is already on the desktop. Again, this pops up the image icon on the desktop. You can also select Go > Desktop when in the Finder or select Desktop in a Finder window. When the Desktop folder opens, click the item to make it appear.

No matter which method you use, it’s a pain and several extra clicks to get what you need to show up on the desktop.

4 thoughts on “Screen shots and the missing desktop item

  1. I have SnapzPro too, it’s so useful for very clean screenshots. Have you tried having it save to your Pictures folder? The whole Desktop being a place and a folder at the same time is a bit of a hack, and I’m not terribly surprised that it gets into trouble.

    BTW, I really like your page design. It’s inspiring me to make mine look nicer (or at least something not so 90s).

  2. Missing screenshots. You’re absolutely right: a known Apple/Finder bug for a long, long time. If I remember right, this was even an occasional problem in Tiger. Why Apple doesn’t address this major flaw that affects so many users is beyond me.

    Anyway… here’s another answer to the problem: relaunch the Finder application. The problem is a Finder thing, so relaunching the Finder resets it and makes the missing screen shot visible.

    Here’s how:
    Press and hold down the Option key, then go to the Finder (blue face icon) in the Dock, and press and hold down the Mouse button. At the bottom of the pop up menu of the Finder you’ll see Relaunch. Relaunching makes the icons on the Desktop (which is part of the Finder program) disappear for 2 or 3 seconds (this is normal) and then reappear… along with the missing screen shot!

    What I do when taking many screen captures in a row is just take the shots (I don’t even look if they made it to the desktop or not) and then at the end of taking all the shots, relaunch the Finder just one time. All the missing shots will be there on the desktop.

    But I like the idea of directing screen captures to the Pictures folder, thus bypassing the Finder problem. Of course, this only works if you’re using the expensive SnapzPro software. Normal screen captures go directly to the Desktop, so in this case, you can’t use the Pictures folder idea.

    Bottom line: I wish Apple would stop playing around with all their phone toys and concentrate on fixing some major problems with their computer’s operating system: Leopard. It’s cute to knock Vista problems in the TV spots, but not entirely honest when your own operating system has problems too!

  3. Thanks for the great tip about relaunching the Finder. When I do screen shots, I generally take a big bunch all at once, too, so I really like this idea as a workaround for the failings of the OS.

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