If you want to take a screenshot on your Mac, you can choose between native and third-party tools. Whether you want to cut out the entire screen or just capture part of it, macOS has all the options for you.
Let's see how to get the most out of the screenshot options on your Mac while trying some useful tricks in the process.
How to take screenshots on Mac using keyboard shortcuts
You can choose from a variety of different keyboard shortcuts to film your Mac on the screen. We're going to go through your options one by one, as the best one will depend on what exactly you want to screenshot.
Note that these screenshot shortcuts will work on any Mac model. Here's how to take a screenshot on a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or iMac.
If the following shortcuts don't work, make sure they are checked under System Settings> Keyboard> Shortcuts> Screenshots.)
Take a screenshot of the entire screen on your Mac
To do this, you have to press Command + Shift + 3.
When you do this, you will see an image in the lower right corner of your screen. You can click the picture to edit it, or do nothing and have it automatically saved to your desktop. The screenshot is saved as a PNG file.
Screen clip Part of a Mac window
You have to push Command + Shift + 4 When you want to take a screenshot of a specific part of your Mac screen. This link turns the cursor into a crosshair. You can then click and drag it over the part of the screen you want to capture.
Press and hold the button while selecting shift Button if you want to limit your settings to the X or Y axis. Hold to resize your selection proportionally from the center possibility Key. To move the selection, press and hold the key place instead.
Changed your mind about the screenshot? No problem. Hit that Escape Button to cancel the action.
When you are happy with the selection, release the mouse. The screenshot will then be displayed as a PNG file on the desktop. As above, if you want to copy the captured image to the clipboard instead of saving it, you'll need to tweak the shortcut a bit. Change the shortcut to Ctrl + Command + Shift + 4 to copy what you capture.
Capture an application window
Would you like to take a screenshot of the active window? First hit Command + Shift + 4. Then hit placeand you will see the crosshair transform into a camera.
The active window is highlighted. If you click on the camera, you will get a screenshot of the app window. You can also move the camera's focus to another window before clicking.
If you want to take a scheduled screenshot, you'll need to open your Mac's built-in screenshot utility. We will discuss this in the next section.
Here's how to take a screenshot on Mac using the built-in app
You can clip on your Mac using the tool that comes pre-installed on all of the latest Mac systems. To access it, open the Screenshot App from your Utilities Folder.
You can also access the app via the shortcut Command + Shift + 5.
If your Mac is running macOS High Sierra or earlier, look for the Grab app in the Utilities folder instead of Screenshot.
With Screenshot, Apple has simplified the entire screen capture process. The app is useful if you prefer a point-and-click approach to keyboard shortcuts.
The Screenshot toolbar has three buttons that make screen recording on macOS quick and easy: Capture the entire screen, Capture selected window, and Capture the selected part. (The app also has some screen capture buttons.)
For a timed selection, click on Options Toolbar button. You can find the timer options in the menu that appears.
After taking a screenshot using any of the above options, a small preview of the thumbnails will appear in the lower right corner of the screen. Click it to display a full-size preview window with tools to edit, annotate, and delete the screenshot. Here you can add text, sketches, shapes and even your signature.
The full size preview window also includes an option to open the screenshot with other Mac apps like Notes, Email, and Reminders.
If you want to turn off the thumbnail, clear the check box Show floating thumbnail Article in the Options Menu from the screenshot toolbar.
Configuring Screen Grab Settings on a Mac
If you're having trouble finding all of your Mac screenshots, you may want to change the default screenshot format or change where screenshots are saved on your Mac. In such cases, you'll need to run a command through the Terminal app.
To do this, open the terminal In the Utilities folder, enter the following commands.
We added a second command to each command, which is needed to cement the changes. It reads as follows:
How to change the default screenshot format
You can save screenshots in other formats like JPG, BMP and PDF. To do this, you need to replace (File type) in the following command with the corresponding three-character format name:
By default, com.apple.screencapture type (file type) && killall SystemUIServer is written
How to change where screenshots are saved
Under macOS Mojave and you can change the default destination folder directly in the screenshot app. To do this, click on the Options Click the button on the screenshot toolbar and select a folder of your choice under Save as Section of the resulting menu.
On macOS High Sierra and earlier, you'll need to rely on this terminal command:
By default com.apple.screencapture write location (path) && killall SystemUIServer
Replace (Path) with a new Finder location that goes something like this:
/ Users / (username) / Pictures / Screenshots
You can either enter the file path in Terminal or drag and drop the appropriate folder into Terminal to paste the file path.
Alternatively, you can copy the file path and then paste it into Terminal. You will find the Copy as file path Command in the control click menu of the target folder. However, the command will only appear if you hold down the key possibility Key when clicking while holding down the Ctrl key.
How to change the default filename for screenshots
If you want to replace the default prefix (Screenshot) In screenshot names with another keyword, try this command:
The default name is com.apple.screencapture (filename) && killall SystemUIServer
Be sure to replace (Filename) in the command with the new prefix before execution.
If you'd rather not mess around with the Terminal, install a utility that lets you adjust macOS settings without using Terminal commands.
How to take a screenshot on Mac with preview
You can also take screenshots using the Preview app on your Mac.
The advantage of using the preview for screenshots is that you can specify a different file format and save the location each time you take a new capture. Of course, you can also preview the screenshot immediately before saving it.
You can find the screenshot tools in the preview under File> Take Screenshot. Unfortunately, there is no timed screenshot option available here.
Here's how to take a screenshot on Mac using third-party apps
Do you want advanced features not included in your Mac's built-in screen capture tools? Try one of the three third-party options below.
This app is located on your Mac's menu bar and can be accessed using a keyboard shortcut. Monosnap lets you edit screenshots and add arrows, boxes, and text. You can also blur elements, highlight specific areas, and upload screenshots to the cloud.
Download: Monosnap (free)
This app allows you to capture and edit or annotate various screen elements without opening another app. Skitch also supports timed screenshots.
Download: Skitch (free)
Get snappy when your work involves collaborating frequently on screenshots or "snapshots". Not only can you edit and annotate screenshots as usual, you can also share them with ease. The sharing options include password protection and a self-destruct timer.
Download: Snappy (free)
You can also take screenshots on other Apple devices
Now you know how to quickly and efficiently take a screenshot on your Mac. MacOS gives you the tools to help you capture anything you need, whether you need to take screenshots on a MacBook Pro, iMac, or any other macOS device.
How to take screenshots on an iPhone
We are going to show you how to take a screenshot on your iPhone using different methods, no matter what model you have.
About the author
(15 articles published)
Shaant is a staff writer at MUO. A graduate in computer applications, his passion for writing explains technical concepts in plain English. When he's not researching or writing, he's enjoying a good book, running, or hanging out with friends.
From Shaant Minhas
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