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For a while now; I have been looking for a way to record the screen on macOS, but only of a single window (e.g. any other windows blocking it will not be recorded).

There should be a way to do this, since the screencapture command on Terminal is able to take screenshots of specific windows (see this answer from AskDifferent). I attempted to use that command to quickly take screenshots, which could be turned into a video; but the framerate is less than 1 fps (I need at least 30, if not 60 fps). Apparently this can be done on Windows using ffmpeg, but I can't figure out how to do it on macOS.

Does anyone know of either a terminal command, Swift code, or even a full application that is capable of doing this?

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OBS Studio is capable of selecting windows as sources, and adding those to scenes.

Fair warning if you have a lower-power mac: when I tried it on a 2020 intel macbook air, it had noticeable CPU/GPU use even when on a separate desktop and not recording, and that it was several times as bad once I composed a scene with two windows in it.

I was able to greatly improve this by reducing the framerate (Settings > Video > select integer FPS, set number), which may help depending on what you're out to record.

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  • Thanks for the suggestion. I don't actually need to record windows anymore, but it might come in handy in the future (or for other people). – htmlcat Aug 2 at 21:30
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You Mac should have come with an App named Grab. This app will make a copy of the desktop. a selection, or a window. The app should be in your utilities folder under Applications.

You can also type shift-command-4 and your cursor turns into crosshairs and you can select a region to copy. Select the window you want and let up on the mouse button.

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  • Thanks for the suggestion; but unfortunately Grab isn't able to record only a single window, even though it can take screenshots of single windows. Maybe Apple will add this feature to Grab sometime in the future. – htmlcat Oct 4 '19 at 19:38

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