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How to take a screenshot on a mac

how to take a screenshot on a mac

Learn the keyboard shortcuts used to take screenshots on your Mac. You can take a screenshot of the full screen, partial screen. When taking a screenshot Mac and PC users have different options. Learn how to take a screenshot on a Mac and screenshot on PC computers. Screen: Press Shift+Command+3 and of the entire screen will automatically save to your desktop. Selection: Press Shift+Command+4, click and drag curser.

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how to take a screenshot on a mac

How to Take a Screenshot on Mac

How to Take Screenshots on Mac

Do you need to take a screenshot of the Mac screen? Snapping screenshots on the Mac is very easy, achieved through the usage of keyboard shortcuts. Basically this means that you will press a combination of keystrokes on the Mac keyboard to capture the screenshot.

Mac OS has powerful screenshot tools that go beyond the simple print screen methods that some computer users are accustomed to from the Windows world. Read on to learn at least seven different methods to take a screenshot on how to take a screenshot on a mac Mac computer. We&#;ll also have a short screenshot FAQ section about adjusting screenshot file types, screenshot saved file location, and capturing screen recordings too.

How to Take a Screen Shot on Mac: 7 Ways to Snap Screenshots

You can use any of the following keyboard shortcuts to capture and take screenshots directly in Mac OS, you can snap screenshots of the desktop, Finder, or any running and open applications. Whatever is on the screen of the Mac will be captured as an image file. If you have audio turned up on the Mac, you will hear an audible snapshot sound effect when the screenshot has bene successfully taken. The keyboard shortcuts to take screenshots on Mac are the same with all versions of Mac OS, including MacOS Catalina, MacOS Mojave, High Sierra, macOS Sierra, OS X El Capitan, Yosemite, Mac OS X Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Lion, Snow Leopard, and basically any other version of Mac OS or Mac OS X that you&#;ll possibly come across.

  • Command + Shift + 3 takes a screenshot of the entire Mac screen. This is the most commonly used screen shot method for most Mac users
  • How to take Screenshot on Mac

  • Command + Shift + 4 brings up a selection box so you can draw a region of the screen to take a screenshot of
  • Command + Shift + 4, then hit Spacebar, then click on a window to take a screenshot of a the selected window only
  • Command + Shift + 5 for MacOS Mojave or later: enters a Screen Shot tool in MacOS to take various types of screen captures and recordings as desired
  • Command + Control + Shift + 3 take a screenshot of the entire screen and saves it directly to the clipboard for using with Paste rather than to a file &#; this is basically the Mac equivalent to Print Screen for the Windows world
  • Command + Control + Shift + 4 brings up the selection box to draw a region of the screen to take a screenshot of, and then saves that screenshot to the clipboard for pasting elsewhere
  • Command + Control + Shift + 4, then hit the Spacebar, then click a window takes the screenshot of the selected window and and saves that to the clipboard for pasting

The screenshot methods where you use the Control key in addition to the other key sequences requires the use of the paste function, which means you can paste the screenshot captured into any existing document, or into a new file from Preview or any other app. Using Paste is typically achieved with Command + V or the &#;Edit&#; menu > Paste, these approaches will use the copy and paste functions on the Mac.

For Mac users who have switched to the Mac from the Windows world, the Command + Control + Shift + 3 approach can be thought of as the Mac equivalent to Print Screen in that it copies the screen capture directly to the clipboard of the computer.

Where do screenshots save on a Mac?

By default the screenshot file will save on the desktop of the Mac.

The Mac screenshot location can be changed by using a defaults command as covered here.

If you use one of the screenshot keyboard shortcuts that copies the screenshot to the clipboard, the screenshot will save to the clipboard to be pasted elsewhere. The screenshot will remain in the Mac clipboard until it is overwritten by something else copied to the clipboard.

How can I change image format of screenshots on Mac?

By default the screenshot image file type on Mac will be PNG.

If you want to learn how to change the screenshot image file type on a Mac you can do so with these instructions. You can choose from various image file types for the screenshot including JPEG, TIFF, PNG, PDF, or GIF.

Can you change the name of screenshot files generated?

Yes, follow these instructions to change the screen shot file name as needed.

Can I take screenshots from the command line?

Yes, it is possible to initiate screenshots from the command line on a Mac. Read more about the screencapture command line tool here.

Can you record videos of the Mac screen?

Yes you can record a video of the Mac screen using the built-in Screen Recorder function as discussed here.

What do screenshots on a Mac look like?

Whatever is on the screen of the Mac will be captured in the screenshot. Thus screenshots look like whatever was on the display when the screenshot was initiated. That can be Mac desktop, open apps, windows, games, or anything else on the screen.

Here are some example screenshots from Macs, taken with the keyboard shortcuts to capture screenshots discussed above.

A sample screenshot of a Mac desktop:

Mac desktop screenshot example

An example screenshot of an application open on a Mac:

Example screenshot of Mac desktop

An example screenshot showing a game running on Mac:

Civilization on Mac

An example of a screenshot showing an application running a virtual machine on a Mac:

Windows 10 running on Mac OS X

As you can see, whatever is on the screen will be captured in the screenshot.

What about taking screenshots of iPhone or iPad?

You can also take screenshots of any iPhone or iPad, though how it is achieved differs per iOS device. You can learn how to take a screenshot on iPhone X, XS Max, XS, XR and other iPhone models without a Home button which is similar to taking screenshots of iPad Pro, though that is different from taking a screenshot on iPhone models with a Home button like the 8 Plus, 8, 7 Plus, 7, SE, etc and iPad models with a Home button.

iOS users can also record the screen as video with these instructions if desired too.


How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac

There’s no Print Screen button on your Mac keyboard, which makes it seem harder to take a screenshot than it is using Windows. But in fact, there are several ways to take screenshots on a Mac, with are cucumber skins good for you without using your keyboard.


In this guide, we’ll show you how to take screenshots of your entire Mac screen, particular app windows, or your selection areas of your screen.


Before we start

After learning how to take a screenshot on your Mac, you might find that your internal storage quickly becomes clogged with all the additional screenshots you start saving.  


Have no fear, you can always use MacKeeper to clean up your Mac storage with just a few clicks. The Safe Cleanup feature runs a deep scan to remove junk files that you don’t need and is an easy way to free up more space for screenshots.

How to take a screenshot on a Mac using keyboard shortcuts

The quickest way to take a screenshot on a Mac is by using one of the keyboard shortcuts below. Luckily, they’re all pretty easy to remember. But if you don’t want to memorize any shortcuts, we’ll show you how to use a Screenshot app later on.

Take a screenshot of your entire Mac screen

Press Shift + Command + 3 to take a screenshot of your entire Mac screen.


A screenshot preview appears in the bottom-right corner, which you can click to make instant changes to your screenshots. Otherwise, wait for the preview to disappear and the screenshot will save to the Desktop as a PNG file.

Take a screenshot of a selected area of your screen

Press Shift + Command + 4 if you only need to capture a part of your screen. Your cursor will turn into a crosshair. Click and drag to select the area you want to screenshot and let go of the mouse to capture it.

capture part of a screen

If you change your mind after dragging your selection, press the Esc button on your keyboard to reset it and start again.

Take a screenshot of a particular app window

Press Shift + Command + 4 and then hit the Space bar to take a screenshot of particular windows on your Mac. Your cursor should switch from a crosshair to a camera icon. Hover your cursor over different windows to highlight them, then click to take a screenshot.

take a screenshot of particular windows

This option captures an isolated screenshot of a particular app window, including a drop shadow and a transparent background so you can place the screenshot over anything you like.


Alongside app windows, you can also use this shortcut to take a screenshot of the menu bar, the Dock, the Desktop, and even any drop-down menus you’ve got open.

How to take a screenshot on a Mac without using a keyboard

If your Mac keyboard isn’t working, or if you don’t have the energy to memorize a bunch of new shortcuts, you can still take screenshots on your Mac without touching a keyboard.


To do this, simply open the Screenshot app.


You can find the Screenshot app by going to Applications > Utilities in Finder, opening the Other folder in Launchpad, or by searching for it with Spotlight.

launchpad other folder

If your keyboard works, you can also open the Screenshot app by pressing Shift + Command + 5.


After opening the Screenshot app, click the icons at the bottom of the screen to choose whether you want to:

  • Capture Entire Screen
  • Capture Selected Window
  • Capture Selected Portion
screenshot app Big Sur

Then use your cursor to click or click-and-drag on the part of the screen you want to capture.


At the bottom of the Screenshot app, you’ll also find options to start a video recording of your Mac screen or a portion of it.  


You can also open the Options menu to set various Screenshot settings, like choosing the save location, setting a timer, or deciding whether you want your mouse pointer to appear in screenshots.

Using Preview to take screenshots

If you don’t like using how to take a screenshot on a mac Screenshot app, you can also use Preview to take a screenshot on your Mac.  


To do so, open the Preview app as you normally would using Finder, Launchpad, or Spotlight. Then go to File > Take Screenshot from the menu bar.


Choose from the three screenshot options below, then click or click-and-drag to capture your screenshot:

  • From Selection
  • From Window
  • From Entire Screen
menu bar take screenshot option


How do you change the default screenshot save location on a Mac?

Mac screenshots save to the Desktop by default, which can lead to it getting pretty cluttered if you need to take a lot of screenshots at once.  


Here’s how to change the default save location for your screenshots to avoid filling up your Desktop:

  1. Press Shift + Command + 5 to open the Screenshot app
  2. Open the Options menu
  3. Under the Save to section, choose a destination or click Other Location to choose a different folder
screenshot app

How do you save copy Mac screenshots to the clipboard?

Rather than saving all your screenshots to the Desktop, or another destination, you can also choose to copy screenshots directly to the Mac clipboard, allowing you to paste them into a document or web form you’re working on.


This is particularly useful if you don’t want to save the screenshot, you only want to use it quickly right now.


To copy a screenshot to the clipboard on your Mac, press Control while capturing the screenshot. Then press Command + V in any other app to paste the screenshot.

How do you take a snapshot of the Touch Bar on MacBooks?

If you want to take a screenshot of the Touch Bar on your MacBook, all you need to do is press Shift + Command + 6. This screenshot will capture whatever buttons appear on your Touch Bar at the time you captured it.


Now you know all the best ways to take screenshots on your Mac. Most of the shortcuts are easy to remember — especially seeing as they’re so similar — but if that’s not your style you can always open the Screenshot app instead.


Read more:

Written By

Ruslana Lishchuk

With over 5 years of supporting Mac users, Ruslana lives and breathes everything Mac. Tech expert, Apple lover, and well, a cutie. Say hi on LinkedIn!

With over 5 years of supporting Mac users, Ruslana lives and breathes everything Mac. Tech expert, Apple lover, and well, a cutie. Say hi on LinkedIn!


If you use your Apple computer for transactions, deliveries or financial matters, taking screenshots is an important skill to learn. Whether it’s to keep evidence of forms and data if you have a dodgy internet connection, or if it’s just to cover your back, knowing how to take screenshots on your Mac is useful both in the workplace and in day-to-day life.

How to Screenshot on a Mac: Capture Your Screen on a MacBook or Apple Desktop

Unlike Windows PCs, Apple MacBooks and desktops don’t have a dedicated print screen button, but it’s actually pretty easy to take screenshots on a Mac once you know how. Interested in capturing your screen or windows on your MacBook or Apple desktop computer?

In this article, we’ll cover how to screenshot on a Mac.

How to Take Screenshots on an Apple Mac

There might not be a dedicated button on your Mac’s keyboard for screenshots, but that doesn’t mean it’s particularly hard to do. In fact, taking screenshots on a Mac is simple, and it’s also possible to take pictures of the whole desktop, selected windows, or even a user-chosen area. Here’s how to do it:

How to Take a Screenshot of the Whole Desktop on a Mac

  1. If you want to take a picture of your whole desktop, first make sure your desktop is displaying exactly what you want to capture, and then doing the following.
  2. Hold down the Command key, along with Shift and the number 3 key (listed as Shift-Command (&#;)-3) on the official support page.
  3. If you’ve done it correctly, you’ll hear the noise of a shutter – and that means a screengrab has been taken.
  4. Apple’s operating system saves screenshots to the desktop by default, and it also timestamps them. If everything’s worked properly, you’ll find your screencaps on the desktop in a .png format.
  5. If you’d rather save your screenshot to the Clipboard instead of your desktop, add Control to the key combinations above. So, press Control, Shift, Command and the number 3 at the same time. 

How to Take a Screenshot of a Menu on a Mac

  1. This time round, hold down the Command key and Shift, and this time press the number 4 key.
  2. If you’ve done it correctly, you’ll see your mouse icon turn into a crosshair pointer.
  3. After you’ve got the crosshair pointer, it’s time to select the area you want to capture. To do that, you just need to click and drag over the area you want, although holding the Shift, Option or Space bar will change the way the selection tool works.
  4. Once you’ve selected the area you want, let go of your mouse or trackpad, and you’ll hear the same shutter noise as before.
  5. You’ll then be able to find your selection saved to the desktop, once again in .png format.

How to Take a Screenshot of a Window on a Mac

  1. To take a screenshot of a window, you first need to hold down CommandShift4.
  2. Once that’s done your cursor should switch to the crosshair, allied savings bank contact number if you were about to select an area of screen to capture. Instead, press the Space bar, and the crosshair will turn into a camera icon.
  3. You can then point the cursor over any window, and clicking on it will result in the contents of the window being saved.
  4. As with all other screenshots, your Mac will save the resulting images to your desktop in jaguar f pace 2020 .png format – and it will even timestamp them for you.

How to Take a Screenshot of a Selected Area on a Mac

  1. Click on a menu title to see its list of contents.
  2. Press Shift + Command + 4 and the pointer will change to a crosshair.
  3. Drag to select the menu, or the area which you want to capture.
  4. Release your mouse or trackpad button and the area inside the selected box will be taken as a screenshot. To cancel, press the Escape (esc) key before you release the button.
  5. Find the screenshot as a .png file on your desktop.

Screenshots and Mac

Taking screenshots on a Mac is easy. Regardless of your screenshot needs, Mac has a built-in hotkey for it. With a few simple key combinations, you’ll have a quality screenshot for your documents or records.

Share your thoughts and experiences on MacBooks and desktops below.


3 Ways To Take A Screenshot On Mac Instantly

If you&#;re tearing your hair out trying to work out how to take a screenshot on a Mac, here we show you the easiest ways to capture a screenshot on a Mac in

If you&#;ve just switched to Mac from Windows, you&#;ll notice that there&#;s no Prt Scn (Print Screen) key which makes it so easy to take screenshots on PC.

Unless you want to install Windows on your Mac, you&#;ll have to get used to living without the handy Print Screen key.

The good news however is that you can still take screenshots quickly and easily on a Mac and in fact, the screenshot tool in macOS is way better than in Windows.

The following screenshot methods work on all models of Mac including MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMacs and M1 Macs. They also work on the latest versions of macOS including Monterey, Big Sur and Catalina.

They also allow you to crop a screenshot and paste a screenshot into another application or program on your Mac.

Note that some applications will not allow you to take a screenshot or screen recording on Mac due to copyright protection or Digital Rights Management (DRM) controls.

For example you can&#;t take a screenshot of Netflix or record Netflix on your Mac for copyright reasons.

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How To Screenshot on a Mac

With this in mind, here are the best ways to take a screenshot on a Mac in just a few how to take a screenshot on a mac. Use macOS Screenshot

how to take a screenshot on mac

The free screenshot tool in macOS not only allows you to take screenshots, but also make screen recordings. With this in mind, here&#;s how to take a screenshot or screen recording on a Mac.

1. Press the ⌘ + Shift + 5 keys at the same time to bring up the screenshot menu on your Mac and you will see the following screenshot tool menu.

how to take screenshot on mac

From left to right, the menu gives you 5 capture options:

  • Entire Screen
  • Selected Windows
  • Selected Portion
  • Record Entire Screen
  • Record Selected Section

If you&#;ve got a Touch Bar Mac, you can also use the Touch Bar to select which option to use.

The dominion power charlottesville phone number menu allows you to specify some of the settings of the screenshot or screen recording including where to save the screenshot on your Mac.

If you&#;re taking a screen recording, you can also set whether to use a timed delay or show the mouse cursor.

There&#;s also a Show Floating Thumbnail option which when you&#;ve taken a screen shot or finished a screen recording, places a small controller on your desktop to allow you to mark up and share it easily.

When you&#;ve selected what type of screenshot or screen capture you need, simply click on Capture to save or record the entire screen.

If you just want to snip a specific window, then move the mouse cursor over it and click on the Window.

If you&#;re taking a screen recording click on Record and when you&#;re finished, click on the stop button in the menu bar.

If you selected the Show Floating Thumbnail option in the Options earlier, it will appear when your screenshot is taken or screen recording complete.

Swipe right to save the screenshot or recording and make it disappear. It also allows you to drag a thumbnail of the screenshot or screen recording into a document, email, note or in Finder.

If you click on the thumbnail, it will also allow you to edit the screenshot or crop the recording.

2. Use Keyboard Shortcuts

snipping tool mac - keyboard shortcuts

macOS also has keyboard shortcuts that allow you to capture a part of your screen instantly. You can use the following keyboard shortcuts to instantly capture a screen or Window on your Mac:

Shift-Command Captures the entire screen

Shift-Command Captures a section of the screen using crosshair pointer which you can drag and resize with the Touchpad or mouse. You can also use this to take a shot of a drop down menu for example.

Shift-Command-4 + Spacebar: Captures a window, menu bar or dock. Just use the Trackpad to select which one you want to save.

Shift-Command Captures the Touch Bar on Touch Bar Macs.

If you want you can also configure your own keyboard screenshot shortcuts by going to the Apple Menu and selecting System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts.


How to take a screenshot on your Mac — Apple Support

3. Preview

Preview allows you to view PDF documents and images on your Mac for free but it also takes screenshots. If you want to take a screenshot on a Mac without a keyboard you can with macOS Preview.

Preview lets you grab any part of the screen that you want to snip. The advantage of using Preview to take screenshots on a Mac is that it immediately opens them in Preview for editing.

You can then edit, annotate or resize images and documents in Preview instantly.

To take a screenshot in how to take a screenshot on a mac few ways using Preview.

screenshot preview mac

  • Go to File > Take Screenshot > From Selection to select a part of the screen you want to capture.
  • Go to File > Take Screenshot > From Window to take a screenshot of a specific window.
  • Go to File > Take Screenshot > From Entire Screen to take a screenshot of the entire screen.

When you&#;ve captured the image, you can then edit it by clicking on the Show Markup Toolbar in the Markup toolbar. If you can&#;t see the Markup Toolbar then you can make it appear by going to View > Show Markup Toolbar.

show markup toolbar preview

When you&#;re done click on File > Save to how to take a screenshot on a mac it anywhere on your Mac.

These are all free ways to take a screenshot on a Mac which are part of macOS.

You&#;ll also find that there are specialist screen capture tools out there that offer more features and control especially when it comes to screen recordings but they&#;re not free.

Where Are Screenshots Saved On A Mac?

By default, screenshots and screen captures made using the macOS Screenshot tool or with keyboard shortcuts are saved on your Mac desktop unless you define otherwise using Options in the macOS screenshot tool.

Whichever method you use, screenshots are saved as PNG files and screen recordings as MOV files. The filenames are labelled with “Screenshot” or “Screen Recording” with the date and time they were taken.

If you use Preview to take screenshots on a Mac, you can choose where to save them by going to File > Save.



How to Take a Screenshot on Your Mac Quickly and Efficiently

Apple echoes the tagline “there’s an app for that,” but you’ll also find plenty of native features built into macOS. After all, Apple’s ecosystem is known for how everything “just works.” It’s no surprise then that you don’t have to worry much about how to take a screenshot on your Mac.

Mac’s ability to take screenshots hasn’t seen significant updates, mainly because Apple arguably got it right the first time around. Overall, taking a screenshot—and editing it natively—is a breeze on Mac, regardless of the task.

In this article, you’ll learn how to take a screenshot on your Mac. Then we’ll explore many solutions that can complement the native macOS screenshotting functionality. You’ll also learn how to customize the screenshot tool.

Let’s begin!

Check out the video version

The Many Uses of Taking Screenshots On Your Mac

Back before the functionality was available, and smartphones were still in their infancy, the only way to take a screenshot was to use a dedicated lens extension for your film camera. The ability to take screengrabs has been around since the 60s.

With the advent of the internet and its continued growth, sharing screenshots has increased significantly. Here are a few uses for them:

  • We can use them to show error messages. For instance, you can share them with tech support, who will look to replicate the error.
  • They’re paramount for content marketing purposes, especially for tutorials and “how-to” posts.
  • In some cases, they can be used as visible proof or for archiving purposes.
  • Depending on the context, there can also be a social gaming aspect to creating screenshots. For example, the Nintendo Switch has a screen capture feature built into the console, and the Steam gaming platform has dedicated screenshot functionality for desktop users.

Regardless of the reason for your wanting to take a screenshot on your Mac, you’ll need an efficient and seamless way to do it. Later, we’ll show you some of the options. First, though, let’s discuss some of the limits when taking a screenshot.

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Restrictions on Taking Screenshots on Your Mac

While the ability to take a screenshot is relatively simple, macOS (and the apps it hosts) has become more intelligent over time, faced with the myriad problems posed by the sharing and distribution of digital content. In other words, because we can view movies and other media on our computers, the OS can’t be held responsible for copyright infringement.

As such, when you go to take a screenshot of an app such as Apple TV or DVD Player, the OS will obfuscate the relevant window under the hood:

The DVD Player app, how to take a screenshot on a mac by the macOS Screenshot app.

While there may be (illegal) workarounds for capturing copyrighted videos and other media on macOS, they obviously won’t focus on this article. However, for most other screen capture tasks, there are several stellar tools available.

4 Top-Notch Apps for Taking Screenshots on Your Mac

As we noted, there are lots of apps on the market to take screenshots on your Mac. However, here we’re going to feature four. We think these offer a gamut of features, although the stock macOS screenshot app is a good tool. Let’s take a look at that one first.


We, of course, have to talk about the built-in macOS before other tools. While you may think it’s been around forever, it’s only been a part of macOS since Mojave ().

Before this, you’d use Grab for screenshots until it was sunsetted with In reality, the new app’s functionality overlaps that of the old, and most users won’t notice the difference. It’s essentially a name change, with some organic enhancements for everyday desktop use.

You won’t even know you’re using an app if you work with the keyboard shortcuts in most circumstances. It’s the kind of seamless approach you get as standard with native Apple software. Even opening the itself (more of which later) is a cinch.

The dedicated display.

If you do open the app without using the quick shortcuts, you’ll find screen recording functionality too. This ramps up the value of the app, and—along with other bundled apps such as iMovie—it gives you a solid base for taking your first steps into explainer videos. For a business that wants to document its products’ features and functionality, it’s nearly perfect.

On a day-to-day basis, most Mac users will take screenshots with the native app. Given that, it’s better to discuss why you would want an alternative to the

A few sentences ago, we said was only “nearly perfect.” There’s no audio recording, for starters, and you’ll find scant options for working with the captures you take. As you’ll see, compared to other tools, there’s a disconnect between the screen capture technology and the annotation features.

The Markup tools on macOS.

Granted, Apple wants you to use Preview and Markup for annotating screenshots primarily. Although you’ll find a solid set of tools there, it lacks some sought-after features such as obfuscation. For more advanced markup and annotation tools, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

2. Skitch

Speaking of which, we’re going to make an educated guess with regards to Skitch. The app designed for use with Evernote has become a go-to screenshot solution for many Mac users. However, we’d bet that you’re only using Skitch for annotations rather than screen captures.

The Skitch app.

It isn’t because the capture functionality is terrible. It’s dependable and straightforward to use, and we’d use this as our default capture tool if we could. However, it doesn’t offer much more than the native It is understandable, given that Skitch is mainly for getting screen captures into Evernote.

With Skitch, what impresses us are the annotation tools, and they work well in combination with the macOS native tool. Before you get too excited, though, know that the tools on offer aren’t of the depth of a graphic design tool. That said, you get the fundamentals as part of the package, and they work well. There are text boxes, shapes, pen tools, cropping tools, and obfuscation.

The Skitch toolbar.

We’d say that the obfuscation option alone makes it worth it to have Skitch installed. It’s sometimes tricky to create neat boxes that sit nicely with the original image, but the pixelated effect is pleasing, and it doesn’t feel obtrusive.

The Skitch obfuscation tool.

Because of this, the annotation features are going to be your primary reason for using Skitch on your Mac. That said, heavy Evernote users will find value in Skitch too. And for straightforward screenshot tasks, it’s a rugged solution to beat.

3. Snagit

Snagit is a premium screen capture tool with many features and functionality that rivals top graphic how to take a screenshot on a mac tools. It’s a cross-platform software that works with images and videos, and outputs to several different formats. What’s more, you can create videos from images, or record using your webcam to produce full-featured explainer content.

Snagit will snuggle into the workflow of technical writers or those writing up documentation. We like how versatile the tools are and how you can edit the screenshots you make. For example, you can use the Grab Text tool to extract a copy from your screen capture and use it elsewhere:

Snagit’s Grab Tool.

You’re also able to replace the text in a screenshot due to Snagit’s recognition technology:

Snagit’s Replace Text tool.

There’s plenty more in the Snagit toolbox that lets you manipulate screen captures, too, such as the ability to annotate stepped workflows on your captures and work with elements to move them around the image.

In our opinion, Snagit is a power user’s tool. Given that the price is about $60 as a one-time fee, it’s a steal and almost essential for specific writing projects.

4. CleanShot X

CleanShot X is a super tool for capturing the screen on a Mac, and it comes with lots of helpful functionality.

The CleanShot X home page.

Its developers bill it as a replacement for the native, and it’s easy to see why. It comes with the ability to take full-screen grabs (and partial ones too). It also lets you capture specific windows, both how to take a screenshot on a mac and without the background.

CleanShot’s transparent background feature.

It’s already better than Apple’s native tool, but it goes further. You can also perform scrolling captures, which means that grabbing the whole page on even lengthy websites is possible:

CleanShot X’s Scrolling Capture feature.

There’s one aspect of CleanShot X—one that’s in its name—that we particularly like: you’re able to hide whatever “clutter” is on your desktop, so that captures look neat and tidy. By clicking a button, CleanShot X can hide these for you temporarily:

CleanShot X’s Hide Icons tool.

As a replacement tool, CleanShot X hits the mark—especially for bloggers. For example, you can pin screenshots so that they’re always visible. It is helpful when you’re creating tutorials or blog posts illustrating steps.

A CleanShot X ‘Pin’ to the screen.

You’re also able to configure the app’s comprehensive preferences to tailor your screenshots for specific use cases. For example, you could set a custom wallpaper for different projects and match the blog’s branding. What’s more, for some blogs that use smaller image sizes, you’re able to scale Retina images down to a standard resolution.

At $29 for a single “seat” and $49 for two, there’s no reason to skip over ClearShot X if you’re a blogger or online writer. It’s a native macOS app that can be a complete replacement for Apple’s solution, and we haven’t even mentioned the annotation or cloud-based features of the tool.

How to Take a Screenshot on Your Mac (4 Methods)

Now we’ve looked at some front-running solutions for taking a screenshot on your Mac. Let’s break down how to capture the screen.

Throughout the following few sections, we’ll offer four different methods for capturing the screen, and we’ll note when some apps do things differently from the standard approach.

1. Take a Full-Screen Capture

The most basic application of taking a screenshot is to capture the entire screen. Usually, this includes the toolbar, Dock if visible, and any files or folders on your desktop. It is a literal capture of the entire screen as you view it.

It’s initially a low-effort approach to creating a screenshot. You’ll simply press the required keyboard shortcut and save the capture. However, from there, you’ll likely need to do some editing to make the image suitable for your content. At a basic level, this will involve cropping. However, it could also need annotation and obfuscating too.

Full-screen captures are good where you need to show the entire context of the screen. Website showcases are one example, where the whole page is the focus. Of course, if you have a lot to capture, you’re going to take as many screenshots as possible.

However, full screenshots can be helpful where you have to balance specific dimensions and what the screenshot displays. For example, take the Kinsta home page:

The Kinsta home page.

If you can’t go wider than 1,px for screenshots (for example), a good approach is to capture the entire screen and use the marquee or crop tools to “mark out” the correct dimensions.

Using the marquee tool to crop a full-screen image.

You can then make sure the area you’re capturing will fit within your “frame” while ensuring the alignment is perfect.

To take a full-screen capture, you’ll select the option from your app’s menu. For example, in the native, it’s a selection box:

The fullscreen capture option in

However, in CleanShot X, it’s part of the toolbar’s dropdown menu:

CleanShot X’s Fullscreen Capture option.

While Snagit also lets you access full-screen capture from the toolbar, there are also other options to consider:

Snagit’s full-screen capture options.

The native keyboard shortcut for taking a full-screen capture is Command + Shift + 3. You can set it up in whatever app you’re using as the default option. However, note that the also lets you access the option by opening the app itself with Command + Shift + 5.

Copying a Screenshot to the How to take a screenshot on a mac, each screenshot will save as a new image on your Desktop. However, by holding Control in addition to the regular keyboard shortcut, you’ll be able to copy the capture to the clipboard too. It means you can paste the image into another app, such as a graphic design program or similar.

However, some apps have different ways to copy to the clipboard. For example, Snagit has a toggle switch, while CleanShot X asks you to set the functionality within the Preferences screen:

CleanShot X’s Preferences screen.

Meanwhile, Skitch treats copying images to clipboard like text: through an option in the File menu.

2. Capture a Specific Portion of the Screen

Most of the time, you won’t want to capture the whole screen, but only a smaller portion of it. Fortunately, most apps let you drag rectangles around whatever elements you’d like to capture. When you take a screenshot on your Mac, this rectangle will disregard everything outside of the boundary you’ve set:

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Capturing an area of the screen.

It has a wealth of uses—enough that area captures of various types will probably constitute the majority of your screenshots. It’s ideal to provide a clear focus on your image’s essential aspects, remove elements from the screenshot, and much more.

For this method, you’ll usually drag out the boundary using a built-in marquee tool, then refine it before taking the capture. Command + Shift + 4 is the default keyboard shortcut for activating the selection crosshairs, though the also lets you define the screen area.

There will be lots of times you’ll want to capture specifics, such as a dropdown menu. Area capture is suitable for this, but you may find that the final image gets scaled up and looks unnatural. However, there is another part of the area capture process that could help you.

3. Capture a Specific Window on Your Screen

Capturing application windows on How do you calculate down payment for a house is fantastic for showing “focused context” in your screenshots. This approach can offer focus by clearing out everything superfluous.

What’s more, macOS also captures the window shadowing by default, which gives your screenshots a professional sheen:

Capturing a window in macOS.

The most obvious use case here is to capture one window that fits your topic. Given that this is essentially an area capture with precise dimensions, the process to take these screenshots is almost the same.

To start, activate the area capture tool as usual in your chosen app. For the, you’ll use the Command + Shift + 5 shortcut and select the Capture Selected Window option:

Using the Capture Selected Window option in

However, in other apps, there may be a specific option within the Preferences or toolbar:

CleanShot X’s Capture Window tool.

However, in Snagit, you’ll need to select the Mission Control option to capture windows:

Choosing the Mission Control option in Snagit.

While taking a screenshot of a window is a handy solution, there’s a little more you can do to make the process even more focused and specific.

Capture a Specific Mac Menu or the Touch Bar

While you’ve been trying out window captures using your app of choice, you may have noticed that dropdown menus don’t form part of the screenshot for some windows. It is are marcona almonds good for you area that is lacking with all screenshot apps.

However, you’re usually able to hover over a menu while selecting a specific window to capture it:

Capturing a drop-down menu.

In Snagit, there’s a dedicated option for capturing menus:

Using Snagit to capture a menu.

The one drawback here is that you’re only able to capture the menu itself, rather than everything around it that might offer context:

Snagit’s image editor showing a menu capture.

Although it’s potentially phasing out, the shortcut Command + Shift + 6 can also capture screenshots through the Touch Bar.

The Mac’s Touch Bar.

However, new Macs based on Apple Silicon chips don’t appear to have the Touch Bar, so whether this shortcut will remain in future macOS versions remains to be seen.

Using the Spacebar

Finally, a quick tip if you want to capture specific windows and menus while using keyboard shortcuts: Command + Shift + 4 is usually the shortcut for setting Active Area. Once the mode is activated, you can press the Spacebar to enter window selection mode and click the mouse or Touchpad to capture the screenshot.

While this is the default for the, other apps such as CleanShot X will often map the same key for screenshotting.

Finally, if you’d like to challenge your skill, you can also move the selected boundary around on the screen by holding Command + Shift + 4 + Spacebar. It lets you reposition the capture area to get the perfect screenshot. To take a capture, lift off the Spacebar.

4. Create a “Timed” Screenshot

So far, we’ve only discussed instant captures. We set the boundary for the screenshot and captured the screen immediately. In some cases, though, you may want to delay the capture for a few seconds.

It makes sense if you want to take a screenshot on your Mac of a specific event, such as a menu notification. You may also want to set a timer if you need to “set up” the capture’s specifics—for example, while opening a menu or when applying other shortcuts. gives you a choice of either five or ten seconds’ delay on a capture:’s timer options.

While CleanShot X gives you a 2–15 seconds timer, Snagit is the most flexible here—you’re able to set a custom time based on your exact needs:

Snagit’s timer options.

Skitch is the least flexible; it only offers a five-second timer as part of a dedicated Timed Crosshair Snapshot option. Of course, we’ve already discussed how lean Skitch compares to others (and why this is), but it does mean that difficult time captures will require a more full-featured screenshot app.

How to Record the Screen on Your Mac

In addition to capturing still images, many screenshot apps can also record your screen and save the result as a video file. While Skitch doesn’t offer this functionality, the rest of the tools in our list do, and they each provide a different way to access video recording.

The process of capturing a video is similar to defining an area of the screen: you’ll drag a marquee how to take a screenshot on a mac to define the boundaries, then begin recording. It’s even simpler than image capture, and it’s an excellent option for quick explainer videos sent through email or chat.

You’ll find the’s recording functionality within the app itself (Command + Shift + 5). It’s pretty basic and comes with few options. However, both Snagit and CleanShot X have many options that let you create optimized screen recordings.

Snagit’s video recording options.

Both of these tools let you capture screen recordings down to a specific window, unlike the It keeps the file size down and retains viewer focus.

How to Increase Efficiency When Taking Screenshots and Recordings on Your Mac

By default, screenshots save to your Desktop. Typically, this is fine, and it’s arguably the perfect place for them. However, in most apps, you’re able to specify where screenshots save.

For example, CleanShot X and Snagit let you define a location within the Preferences screen., on the other hand, has a few preset locations, with the option to specify a custom location:’s image save locations.

What’s more, each app has the option to show the cursor in your screenshots and recordings. It’s usually within the Preferences screen, and each app will have its way to let you toggle this on and off:

Snagit’s Show Cursor option.

Once you’ve taken your screenshot, most of these apps will let rockland bakery phone number move it elsewhere too:

Dragging an image to the Notes app.

Finally, it may be that you want to choose a different default screenshot app. It’s understandable if something suits your needs better than the native tool. However, there isn’t a direct way to do this, unlike with apps such as Mail.

Snagit’s open settings.

The solution is to map your keyboard shortcuts to the same ones used by That way, your chosen app will take precedence over the native one. CleanShot X will ask you whether you want to remap keys on the first launch, and Snagit also includes an option to open screenshots and videos in its own editor.

How to Change the File Format of Your Screenshots

There’s one more efficiency tip we want to share—one that’s usually found within the Preferences of third-party apps: changing your screenshot’s file type.

The default file format of screenshots is Portable Network Graphics (PNG) files. It makes sense because PNG files are more suitable for graphics images than photographs.

We noted earlier how third-party apps would offer you a few options for choosing the file format. However, if you’re using the and want to change the file format, there are no such settings. Instead, you’ll have to open the Terminal and entering the following:

Note that you’ll need to replace the <file format> placeholder with one of the following:

Once you press Enter, your screenshot’s file format will change. Note that you won’t get a notification; taking a test screenshot will show you if the change has worked.

How to Take a Screenshot on Your Mac: A Summary

While taking a screenshot on your Mac is a breeze, remembering the necessary shortcuts might not be. Fortunately, we’re here to help! Here’s a quick list of the most common shortcuts and a brief description of what they do:

Command + Shift + 3Takes a full-screen capture.
Command + Shift + 4Let’s define a capture area before taking a screenshot.
SpacebarIt lets you reposition the boundary when redefining an area. A single press enables you to select an open application window to capture.
Command + Shift + 5It opens the native for more advanced screen captures.
Command + Shift + 6Takes a screenshot of the Touch Bar on relevant Macs.
EscapeCancels the screenshot process in selected modes.
ControlCombines with any of the above screenshot shortcuts to copy your capture to the clipboard.

Note that third-party apps may have their custom shortcuts. As such, the functionality here may change depending on the app you’re using. However, most apps are good at mapping key bindings to the defaults.

A Quick Primer On Annotating Your Screenshots

To wrap up this article on how to take a screenshot on your Mac, let’s discuss annotations. Even if your screenshotting skills are sharp, poor annotation can ruin your image and confuse the end-user.

To that end, here’s our advice on making the best annotations possible:

  • The best annotation is none at all. In other words, try to take a screenshot that accurately shows the point you’re trying to make without words.
  • Stick to simple boxes for the majority of your annotations. Arrows, text, and other elements can take focus away from what you’re trying to showcase, and they can make your screenshots look unprofessional.
  • Steer clear of the default color schemes and sizes. It’s easy to tell if someone has used Skitch or Preview because they both use distinct colors for annotations.
  • Use colors that contrast with your screenshots, but keep it consistent throughout all of the annotations you make. A yellow or orange color often works well, and you’ll notice that Kinsta uses our familiar purple for annotations on the blog.

You’ll sometimes grab sensitive information along with your screenshots, especially if you’re using an account-based app or are working with system files. In these cases, it’s a good idea to obfuscate the information using a suitable tool.

CleanShot X’s blurring or obfuscation tool.

Skitch, Snagit, and CleanShot X all have this obfuscation option—a much better option than pen scribbles or ugly boxes.

Finally, you might even want to create a consistent framing for your images using a dedicated browser mockup tool. It makes it look as though your screenshots are in a browser or other app window.

The Screely tool.

There are a few free tools that can help with this, such as Screely and Shotmockr. However, if you have the time and the need, you can also create your mockups within your favorite graphics program using a dedicated template.

Want to find out about the Windows screenshot shortcut? Check out our guide: How to Take a Screenshot on Windows (7, 8, 10), and Save and Edit Them

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For something that appears to be simple, taking a screenshot on your Mac can get complex quickly. It’s because visuals are so crucial for any documentation and tutorial blog posts. What’s more, a well-taken, well-annotated screenshot can offer as much instruction as several paragraphs of text.

In this post, we’ve explored many ways to take a screenshot on your Mac. While full-screen captures are the “brute force” approach to screenshots, defining an area or window of focus will result in greater efficiency, especially if you opt for a third-party app such as Snagit or CleanShot X.

Besides, taking some time to edit and annotate your screenshots will frequently boost their value and give focus to what you’re trying to convey.

Do you take screenshots on your Mac and, if so, will any of these apps help you? Let us know in the comments section below!

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How to Capture Screenshot on Mac in Five simple Ways

The Mac OS X has made it easy to take a screenshot of your computer desktop or an active window. You can use different ways to capture the specific screenshot according to your requirement. No matter you're using Mavericks, Mountain Lion, or other versions of the Mac operating system, here is a summary of all the methods that you can use to capture your screenshot on your iMac, Macbook, Macbook Pro, and Mac Air/mini.

How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac

  1. Take a Screenshot of your Entire Screen with Command-Shift-3
  2. Take a Screenshot of the Selected Area with Command-Control-Shift-3
  3. Screenshot a Portion of Your Screen with Command-Shift-4
  4. Screenshot a Specific Application Window with Command-ShiftSpace bar
  5. Take a Screenshot in Mac OS X use Grab Utility
  6. Fix screenshot not working on Mac

1. How to take a Screenshot of Your Entire Screen

It's always the first choice to capture a screenshot of the entire screen on your Mac. Screenshot on Mac for the entire screen allows you to capture everything displaying on the computer. What you need to pay attention to is that making sure the display of your screen is exactly what you want to take for your screenshot image. Then press the Command and Shift buttons at the same time, and tap the number 3 button. The screenshot will be automatically saved on your Mac desktop.

How to capture screenshot on Mac-entire screen

2. How to Take a Screenshot of the Selected Area

This option of the screenshot for the selected area doesn't immediately be saved as a file on your Mac. It's saved to the clipboard instead. You can do this by pressing Command--Control-Shit-3 at the same time. Then paste it into another program so that you can edit it for later use.

How to capture Screenshot on Mac for selected area

3. How to Capture Screenshot a Portion of Your Screen

You can screenshot any portion of the screen on your Mac with this method. First, make sure the screen which you're going to screenshot is above all other screens displayed on your computer. Then press Command-Shift After it, your cursor will turn into a small cross-hair reticle. You can click and drag it to highlight the area you want to take a picture of. When you released your mouse, the screenshot will be automatically saved on the desktop.

Note: If you want to adjust the window or give it up, you can press "ESC" to go back and capture the screen again.

Capture Screenshot on your Mac for a Portion of Your Screen

4. How to Screenshot a Specific Application Window

This screenshot can be the best one for capturing an entire open window of a specific application. Press Command-Shift-4 at the same time first. Then hit on the space bar button. The cursor will become a small camera. Move it to the screen that you want to capture, and then tap the space bar again. The entire window of your application has been captured and saved on the Mac.

Capture screenshot on Mac for a Specific Application Window

5. How to Capture Screenshot on Mac OS X use Grab Utility

When you use the Grab utility to capture screenshots, go to Applications > Utilities > Grab. To capture a screenshot, run Grab, and then choose the capture modes from the Capture menu. There are 4 modes for you to choose from: Selection, Window, Screen, and Timed Screen.

How to Take Screenshot on Mac OS X use Grab Utility

Selection: You can capture a specific region of the screen by dragging around it
Window: You can capture an open window of a specific application that you clicked with your mouse on the computer.
Screen: You can capture the whole screen of your Mac, including everything visible on the screen.
Timed Screen: This allows you to open menus and sub-menus, if necessary. After ten seconds the entire screen will be captured.

Video Guide on How To Take A Screenshot on Mac

Save the screenshots on my Mac but deleted them by accident and can't find it anymore? Use Recoverit Data Recovery to help yourself recover photos on Mac.


Take a screenshot on your Mac

You can capture the entire screen, a window, or just a portion of the screen.

How to take a screenshot on your Mac

  1. To take a screenshot, press and hold these three keys together: Shift, Command, and 3. 
  2. If you see a thumbnail in the corner of your screen, click it to edit the screenshot. Or wait for the screenshot to save to your desktop.

How to capture a portion of the screen

  1. Press and hold these three keys together: Shift, Command, and 4.
  2. Drag the crosshair  to select the area of the screen to capture. To move the selection, press and hold Space bar while dragging. To cancel taking the screenshot, press the Esc (Escape) key.
  3. To take the screenshot, release your mouse or trackpad button. 
  4. If you see a thumbnail in the corner of your screen, click it to edit the screenshot. Or wait for the screenshot to save to your desktop.

How to capture a window or menu

  1. Open the window or menu that you want to capture.
  2. Press and hold these keys together: Shift, Command, 4, and Space bar. The pointer changes to a camera icon . To cancel taking the screenshot, press the Esc (Escape) key.
  3. Click the window or menu to capture it. To exclude the window's shadow from the screenshot, press and hold the Option key while you click.
  4. If you see a thumbnail in the corner of your screen, click it to edit the screenshot. Or wait for the screenshot to save to your desktop.

Where to find screenshots

By default, screenshots save to your desktop with the name ”Screen Shot [date] at [time].png.”

In macOS Mojave or later, you can change the default location of saved screenshots from the Options menu in the Screenshot app. You can also drag the thumbnail to a folder or document.

Learn more

  • In macOS Mojave or later, you can also set a timer and choose where screenshots are saved with the Screenshot app. To open the app, press and hold these three keys together: Shift, Command, and 5. Learn more about the Screenshot app.
  • Some apps, such as the Apple TV app, might not let you take screenshots of their windows.
  • To copy a screenshot to the Clipboard, press and hold the Control key while you take the screenshot. You can then paste the screenshot somewhere else. Or use Universal Clipboard to paste it on another Apple device.

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how to take a screenshot on a mac

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