How to deal with Retina screenshots in a non-Retina world

Talk about Pixelmator Pro, share tips & tricks, tutorials, and other resources.
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2021-05-27 13:42:29

I'm about a week into using my new M1 iMac, and it's great, and the Retina screen is great, but... I failed to anticipate the fun and excitement of dealing with screenshots on the Retina display.

I take screenshots all the time (usually not full-screen, just little snippets) and paste them into emails, Teams chat, all sorts of things. Now that my screenshots are coming off the Retina screen, they end up way too big on the target system.

Often they will make a trip through Preview (for annotations) or Pixelmator (for other tweaks) first. Neither tool gives any quick and easy way (that I've found) to deal with this. Would it make sense to have some sort of shortcut within Pixelmator Pro to do an ML Super Resolution 50% downscale? Is there any clean way to deal with this, or am I destined to just be trying to remember to do a 50% image scale every time I paste a screenshot?

I've seen on the web some Automator-based solutions, but they all seem to work with saving files. The very vast majority of my screenshots are to clipboard, so that would not really be a simplification for me.

Is there any sane way to deal with this?
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2021-05-27 14:05:32

Hey Neil. Export for Web does this — when you add an export format, choose 0,5x scaling and you're good to go. You can also save a Quick Export preset, easily accessible from the Share menu here:

Image
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2021-05-27 14:36:12

That's a good feature, which I'm sure I will use. I just noticed the useful shortcuts in the export menu last night, and it's great (I keep discovering cool features in this app and appreciate them, despite my moaning and groaning about the stuff that isn't there).

But most of my screenshot workflow involves the clipboard, and not going through file saves. So my ideal solution would be to scale it 50% while pasting it in from clipboard. Like, for instance, as an option from the "New" dialog when selecting the clipboard contents. Or maybe, some funky option to do the 50% scaling when from Pixelmator *to* the clipboard. Or maybe just a 1-button shortcut to do a 50% resize of the current image; I'd gladly give that a slot on my toolbar (can something like this be done through Automator perhaps?)

All of these options are ugly. I can't envision a clean solution to this problem, short of Apple building in some better Retina-aware functionality into the screenshot function. I'm kind of flailing to figure out *something* I can do to keep from going crazy with this.
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2021-05-28 07:53:04

Ah, then it's a bit trickier but also doable. AppleScript, in particular, should work great for this. Once you take a screenshot, try running the script below in Script Editor:
tell application "Pixelmator Pro"
	activate
	make document from clipboard
	set imageWidth to width of the front document
	set imageHeight to height of the front document
	set newWidth to (imageWidth) / 2
	set newHeight to (imageHeight) / 2
	tell front document
		resize image width newWidth height newHeight
	end tell
end tell
This script creates a new Pixelmator Pro document from Clipboard and scales the screenshot down by 50%. Let me know if it works!
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2021-05-28 11:41:04

After all these years Applescript still baffles me. I'll give it a try after the weekend, thanks!