How To Take a Screenshot on Mac

Chris Campbell20 Mar 2022

Taking a screenshot is a quick way to share anything you're viewing on your screen. If you're having computer issues, you can take a photo of the error and email it to tech support. If it's a personal message, you can snap a photo of it and share it with your family and friends. Screenshot tools on Mac have always been simple to use, albeit a little basic. If you knew the correct keyboard shortcuts, you could capture almost anything. Since the introduction of Mojave, macOS has included a built-in screenshot tool, similar to that found in Windows, which lets you take screen captures with the press of a button.

Screenshot Shortcuts in Mac

The answer to the subject matter of how to screenshot on Mac isn't immediately evident for many new Apple users, notably those who are migrating from Windows and are used to that Prt Scrn (Print Screen) key. Although taking a screenshot on a Mac is as simple as tapping a couple of buttons, the reality is that Mac screengrab hasn't always seemed straightforward. For quite some time, screenshotting a screen was only available using QuickTime Player. Although macOS Mojave has changed most of this, how to capture a screenshot on Mac continues to be a popular search question, as not everyone runs the most recent version of macOS.

On Apple products, there is no unique button for the print screen, but there is a specialized menu. Some even think it's far superior.  Apple transformed their Mac screenshot utility with the launch of macOS Mojave by offering a single command which launches a screen capture menu. Taking screenshots will become second nature after you've mastered this command.  Nonetheless, Apple's native snapshot tool only provides five choices for capturing Mac's screen.

On macOS Mojave and later, you could either enter the screenshot menu and pick your method of capturing the screen, or you can utilize specialized keyboard shortcuts for each task, like capturing a window or a chosen region. Before Mojave, macOS versions lacked the screen capturing menu, but did provide instructions to capture a portion of the screen or the entire screen.

To capture a screenshot on a Mac, you can use the following key combinations:

Command + Shift + 3 

This captures a snapshot of the entire screen. If you have several displays, it will take two screenshots, one of each. These would be saved to your desktop by default.

Command + Shift + 4

If you want to capture a snapshot of a specific area rather than the entire screen, this is the best option:

  • When you press Command + Shift + 4, you'll see crosshairs with certain numbers appearing on your screen.
  • Drag these crosshairs across the part of the screen you want to screenshot with your mouse or trackpad, forming a rectangle around what you want to grab.
  • When you're finished, let go of the mouse or trackpad button.
  • If you want the screen capture to be a specific size, you may use the pixel measurement next to the crosshairs. If you want to screenshot a square, you could drag it until it measures 500 x 500.

Command + Shift + 5

This is a new option in Mojave, so if you've upgraded your operating system after 2018, you'll have this choice.

When you press Command + Shift + 5, a pop-up window with many options will display on your screen. Capture Entire Screen, Capture Selected Window, and Capture Selected Portion are among them. There are several alternatives for making a screen recorder of what's going on on your screen: Record the entire screen as well as a portion of it. The Capture Selected Portion option can be configured to a specific dimension. As a result, you may always produce screenshots of the same size.

There's also an Options menu. This menu allows you to specify where you want your screenshot saved, how much time you want between selecting "Capture" and the screenshot is captured, and other options.

Command + Shift + 6

The Touch Bar is not available on all Mac computers, but if you have one, you may capture a screenshot of it. If you want to show someone anything on your Touch Bar, you could screenshot it by hitting Shift + Command + 6. This will record anything on your Touch Bar right away.

How To Print Screen on Mac

Just press and hold the Shift, Command, and 3 buttons simultaneously to snap a screenshot of the whole screen. This is much the same as the print screen option on a Windows laptop. If you see a thumbnail in the corner of your screen, you could click it to alter the snapshot or wait for it to save to your desktop. 

How To Crop a Screenshot on Mac

If you want to capture a screenshot of an application while it's running but omit the menu bar or dock, you would want to know how to crop a screenshot on Mac.

Use Built-In Screenshot Cropping Tool

The new, built-in screenshot trimming tool on the Mac is possibly the finest option for cropping a screenshot. You'll see a floating thumbnail in the bottom-right corner of your screen as soon as you take a screenshot on macOS. It's a preview of your snapshot that, when clicked, displays the cropping tool. If you do not tap on the thumbnail within a few seconds, it will vanish and you will no longer be able to utilize the tool. Regrettably, the period before it vanishes cannot be extended.

To crop with this tool, do the following: After taking your screenshot, click the Crop icon (top-right). Choose the region of your screenshot that you wish to save. When you're done, click Done.

Use Preview

When you double-click a picture on macOS, the Preview application automatically launches. You may use this tool to crop your screenshots rapidly.

To crop a screenshot in Preview:

  • Choose the Show Markup Toolbar icon.
  • Pick the area you want to retain by clicking and dragging.
  • Select Tools from the menu bar.
  • Choose Crop from the drop-down menu.

Use Photos Application

On macOS, the Photos program is the default tool for organizing your photographs. It may also be used as a simple picture editing application on a Mac, allowing you to crop screenshots rapidly. You must, however, save your snapshot to your Mac before proceeding.

To edit screenshots in the Photos app, follow these steps:

  • Launch Photos and then choose File > Import.
  • Choose the screenshot you wish to modify.
  • Select Import.
  • Double-click the imported picture, then select Edit.
  • Choose the Crop button at the top.

Do you want to capture what's on your Mac's screen? You can effortlessly accomplish this by grabbing a snapshot. The best part is that taking a snapshot on a Mac merely requires keyboard combinations.

Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

Thanks for reading! I'm Chris, an avid tech fanatic that enjoys keeping up with the latest laptop models. Hopefully my tips & tricks can help you out!

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