I can’t recall a single keyboard I used to type on a Windows machine that didn’t have a dedicated button for taking a screen picture. Since you’re reading this article, I assume you’ve already realized that it’s a bit different on a Mac, but there’s a reason for that, as you can take a picture of your screen in several different ways. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Keyboard Shortcuts for Taking Screenshots on Mac
- Capture Entire Screen: Press Shift + Command (⌘) + 3 simultaneously to capture a screenshot of the entire screen. The screenshot will be saved automatically as a PNG file on your desktop.
- Capture a Selected Area: Press Shift + Command (⌘) + 4, and your cursor will turn into a crosshair. Click and drag to select the area you want to capture. Release the mouse button to take the screenshot. The image will be saved on your desktop as a PNG file.
- Capture a Specific Window: Press Shift + Command (⌘) + 4 + Spacebar. The cursor will turn into a camera icon. Hover over the desired window and click to capture the screenshot. The image will be saved on your desktop as a PNG file.
Important: Newly created screenshots are saved to the desktop with a timestamped name.
Using the Screenshot Utility (macOS Mojave and Later)
The Screenshot utility, introduced in macOS Mojave, combines the above keyboard shortcuts and additional features into a single, user-friendly interface.
- Open the Screenshot Utility: Press Shift + Command (⌘) + 5 to launch the utility. A toolbar with various screenshot options will appear at the bottom of the screen.
- Choose Your Capture Mode: Select one of the three modes: Capture the Entire Screen, Capture a Selected Window, or Capture a Selected Portion.
- Optional Settings: Click on the Options button to access additional settings, such as saving location, timer, and whether to show the mouse cursor in the screenshot.
- Take the Screenshot: Click on the Capture button or use the corresponding keyboard shortcut to take the screenshot. The image will be saved in the specified location.
Using Grab (macOS High Sierra and Earlier)
Grab is an application for screenshots in macOS High Sierra and earlier versions.
- Open Grab: Navigate to Applications > Utilities > Grab to launch the app.
- Choose Your Capture Mode: Click on the Capture menu and select one of the four modes: Selection, Window, Screen, or Timed Screen.
- Take the Screenshot: Follow the on-screen instructions to capture the screenshot. The image will open in a new window, where you can save it as a TIFF file.
Using Preview to Take Screenshots
Preview, the default image viewer on Mac, also offers a simple way to take screenshots.
- Open Preview: Navigate to Applications > Preview to launch the app.
- Choose Your Capture Mode: Click on the File menu and hover over “Take Screenshot.” Select one of the three options: From Selection, From Window, or From Entire Screen.
- Take the Screenshot: Follow the on-screen instructions to capture the screenshot. The image will open in Preview, where you can save it in your desired format.
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