How to take a screenshot on a Mac

Thomas Lucero
1 year ago

Screenshots are a great way to capture and share important moments of your digital life. Whether it’s for highlighting an issue in customer support, showing off your latest creation with friends, or simply preserving memories, screenshots offer a convenient way to quickly capture what’s on your screen. We will tell you about several ways to take a screenshot on macOS-based devices.

Table of contents

Mac screenshot shortcuts

Taking a screenshot on a Mac device is extremely easy and can be done with just a few keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Use the Command + Shift + 3 shortcut to take a full-screen screenshot of your entire desktop.

The Command + Shift + 4 key combination lets you select an area of your screen to capture. 

  1. If you need more control over your screenshots, press Command + Shift + 5 to bring up a menu with additional options, such as taking videos or capturing specific windows or parts of the screen. 

By using these simple shortcuts, you can quickly capture images and videos from your Mac devices for any purpose. 

Moreover, if you’d like to save your screenshots by default in another folder aside from the Desktop, it’s very easy to do. Open your Terminal and type in the command “defaults write location” followed by the file path of where you would like screenshots to be automatically saved. For example, if you’d like them to be saved into a folder on your Desktop named “Screenshots”, just type in “defaults write location ~/Desktop/Screenshots” and press Enter. Any future screenshots taken with Command + Shift + 3 or 4 will be saved automatically in that specific folder.

With just a few clicks, you can take full-screen and partial screenshots with ease and save them in your custom folder if necessary. Try these shortcuts today and see how easy it is to capture screenshots on your Mac device.

Best screenshot app for your Mac

There are a number of screenshot apps available for Mac that can make the process of taking screenshots easier and more efficient. Some of the best ones include Snagit, Monosnap, CleanShot X, and Skitch. Let’s consider them in more detail:

  • Snagit is a powerful and easy-to-use app that lets you capture images and record your screen with just one click. Its features also include an advanced image editor, customizable hotkeys, auto-scrolling capture functionality, and more; 
  • Monosnap is another highly-rated screenshot tool that offers robust annotation functions, as well as a cloud storage service to save your screenshots in one place. It’s lightweight and intuitive interface makes it easy to use for anyone, regardless of experience level;
  • CleanShot X is a well-rounded screenshot app designed for Mac devices. It offers an impressive range of features, including image annotation, video recording, and an intuitive interface that make it ideal for both beginners and experts;
  • Finally, Skitch is a simple and powerful tool from Evernote. It allows you to edit images quickly and easily with its basic image editor or use more advanced tools, such as the text editor and blur tool for further customization. It also has built-in sharing capabilities so you can easily share your screenshots directly from the app.

No matter what type of screenshots you need to take or how experienced you are with taking them, there’s sure to be a Mac screenshot app that’s right for you. Due to basic tools and more advanced options, these screenshot apps can help make capturing and editing screenshots simple and convenient.

Screenshot on Mac with the screenshot menu

Taking a screenshot on a Mac device is really easy and can be done as follows: 

  1. Open the Screenshot menu which can be found in the top-right corner of your Mac’s screen. 
  2. Once you have opened this menu, you will find several options: Capture Entire Screen, Capture Selected Windows, and Capture Selected Portion. 
  3. Depending on what kind of screenshot you want to take, select one of these three options. For example, if you want to take a screenshot of your entire screen, including all of its windows and tabs, click the “Capture Entire Screen” option. You’ll see a white border encircling your mouse cursor as soon as you make the selection. Just position it where you want to begin taking the screenshot and click. 
  4. Once you have taken the screenshot, it will be saved as a PNG file in your Mac’s desktop. You can then open this file with Preview or any other image editing software to make changes and modifications or save it in another format. 

Now you know how to take a screenshot on Mac with the Screenshot menu.

If you want to capture only a specific window or portion of your screen (such as part of a webpage), select either “Capture Selected Windows” or “Capture Selected Portion” respectively. After doing so, just drag the selection box around the area which you want to capture and click. The screenshot will be saved in the same way as described above. 

If you want to save even more time, use keyboard shortcuts instead of opening up the Screenshot menu. For example, pressing Command+Shift+3 simultaneously will take a full-screen screenshot while Command+Shift+4 followed by selecting an area on your screen will capture only part of it. This feature can be really useful when you need to capture screenshots quickly and efficiently. 

Don’t forget to save your files for future use so that all of your screenshots will be neatly organized and ready to be brought up whenever necessary. 

Printing a selected area of the screen on Mac is very straightforward and can be done in just a few steps. 

  1. First, select the area of the screen you’d like to capture and press Command + Shift + 4. This will bring up a crosshair cursor that you can use to select your desired area.
  2. Once you have selected the area, release the keys and it will take a screenshot of that selection automatically. It will save this screenshot as an image file on your Desktop folder. 
  3. Alternatively, if you only need to copy rather than print, you can use Command + Control + Shift + 4 instead. This key combination will copy the selection directly into your clipboard so you can paste it anywhere else easily. 
  4. Once you have saved the screenshot or copied the selection, you can open it with a photo-editing program, such as Preview, and print it from there. You can also use third-party photo editing programs to adjust the image quality before printing. 

Due to these few steps, you can quickly and easily take screenshots of any selected area on your Mac screen and print them out.

Capture a screenshot of the entire screen

Taking a screenshot of your entire screen on Mac is easy and requires no additional software. All you need to do is press the Command+Shift+3 keys simultaneously. This will save the entire screen as an image file that can be opened with any image-viewing application, such as Preview or Photos, on Mac. The image file will be saved on your desktop with the filename “Screen Shot” followed by a date and time stamp. You can also take screenshots of specific windows or areas of your screen by pressing the Command+Shift+4 keys at once. 

With this method, your mouse cursor turns into a crosshair that you can drag around the area you want to capture and then release the mouse button to take the screenshot. Just like with a full-screen screenshot, the image file will be saved on your desktop as a “Screen Shot” followed by a date and time stamp. Both of these methods are quick and easy ways to capture screenshots for use in presentations, documents, or for sharing with others. 

If you need to annotate your screenshot to highlight something specific or add some text, you can do this easily using the built-in Markup feature in macOS. To access it, open the screenshot file on your desktop in Preview and click on the “Markup” tool at the top of the window. This will allow you to draw basic shapes, such as circles and rectangles, and write text boxes and arrows directly onto the image so that you can add your annotations. 

How to screenshot a specific section or window on Mac

One of the best features of Mac is its ability to capture screenshots quickly and easily. You can take a screenshot of a specific area or window on your Mac device as follows:

  1. To begin, press Command + Shift + 4 on your keyboard. This will bring up the crosshair cursor that allows you to select an area for screenshotting. 
  2. Click and drag with your mouse or trackpad to capture whatever section you want from your screen and then release the mouse button to take the shot. Alternatively, you can type in exact coordinates for a more precise selection.
  3. If you want to take a screenshot of only a particular window, all you have to do is press Command + Shift + 4 and then hit the spacebar. The cursor will turn into a camera icon. Click on the window that you want to capture and it will take a shot of it.

Capturing screenshots on Mac is extremely easy and fast – just remember these two simple steps: Command + Shift + 4 for selecting an area or exact coordinates and Command +Shift+4 followed by Spacebar for capturing a window. Now you’re ready to start taking great screenshots with your Mac. 

How to take screenshots using the Touch Bar

Taking screenshots using the Touch Bar on a Mac is an incredibly easy process. It can be done as follows:

  1. To begin, make sure you have the most recent version of macOS installed on your computer and that you are logged in as an admin user. 
  2. Once this is done, open up the application or web page you would like to capture.
  3. Once it is open, press and hold the “Fn” key located at the left side of your Touch Bar (not counting any buttons on the physical keyboard) until a screenshot icon appears.
  4. When you see this icon, click it and release the “Fn” key. 
  5. Your Mac device will now take a picture of whatever is currently visible on your screen. A thumbnail preview of the screenshot will appear in the lower right corner of your screen. You can then click this preview to edit it and save it wherever you’d like. 

Taking screenshots using the Touch Bar on a Mac is an incredibly convenient way to capture images quickly and easily. Whether you’re making tutorials, giving feedback, or just trying to remember what you saw, taking screenshots with your Touch Bar makes the process simple and fast.

How to print screen on Mac with Preview

Printing a screen on Mac with Preview is an easy process:

  1. First, you need to open the Preview application. This can be done by clicking “Finder” in the dock and then navigating to Applications > Preview. 
  2. Once the application has been opened, press Command + Shift + 4 on your keyboard. A cursor will appear that you can use to select an area of your screen you would like to capture as an image. 
  3. Release the keys and the screenshot will be saved to your desktop as a .png file. You can then open this file in Preview and choose “File” > “Print” from the toolbar at the top of your screen. 
  4. Now you can adjust the print settings and click “Print”. Congratulations! You have successfully printed a screenshot using Preview on Mac. 

It is possible that the screenshot may not appear properly when printed. If this occurs, you can try adjusting the resolution or size of your image before printing it. To do so, open the .png file in Preview again and select either “Tools” > “Adjust Size…” or “Tools” > “Adjust Resolution…” from the toolbar. From here, you can enter values for width, height, resolution (for images only), or scale (for documents only). Once you are satisfied with the results, you can then print the screenshot as normal. 

Printing screenshots on Mac with Preview is a convenient and fast way to capture parts of your screen. It can be used for various purposes, such as creating reports or visual aid documents. 


Mac screenshots are incredibly versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes. Due to the built-in screenshot features, users can easily capture entire windows or sections of their screen in just a few clicks. This makes it easy to take screenshots for troubleshooting, sharing information with others, keeping records of information, and more. Macs also make it easy to customize your screenshots with options, such as annotations, cropping, and optimizations. Now that you know how to take a screenshot on a Mac device, it will make using it much easier.