How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac

Macs offer more than one way of taking a simple screenshot. In fact, there are several ways to take a shot. Maybe you want to remember the options in a specific menu, or you want to save some images from your research to remember later. Taking a screenshot is a great and fast way to keep track of what you need.

6 Methods to Take a Sceenshot on a Mac


For the first way of taking a screenshot, make sure you have up on your screen exactly what you want in the shot. Then press Command + Shift + 3. This will activate your screenshot and if your sound is on, you’ll hear a camera click. The cool thing is that it autosaves your screenshot to the desktop with the labeled date and time of capture.


If you only want to take a screenshot of a portion of your screen, that’s certainly an option as well. Simply press Command + Shift + 4 and you should get a cross-hair for your mouse pointer, which you can drag and drop around the specific images you want to capture in screenshot. This also auto saves to your Mac, but usually as a .png file with the time and date stamp.


You can also take a screenshot of a specific window if you’d like to do it that way. Follow the same steps as in the last method by pressing Command + Shift + 4 and then hitting the spacebar to switch between windows and to find which window you’re wanting to take the screenshot of. Use Shift + Tab to toggle between windows if you want, and then when you hover your mouse over the window you want to capture, and a camera appears, then click it and take the screenshot. Just like in the other methods, you’ll get a copy of the screenshot on your desktop with time/date stamps.


If you’ve never used the clipboard feature, it’s a cool feature that allows you to store up items you want to keep for a specific purpose and then access them all at once. Think of it like when you copy and paste—after you’ve copied the text you want, your device stores this temporary information in the same place where your clipboard is. In order to save a screenshot to your clipboard, you can hit Command + Control + Shift + 3. This will automatically save it to your clipboard. Basically, if you want items saved to your clipboard, you always add in “control” to the list of buttons.


Finally, you can also take a screenshot on your Mac by going to Applications> Utilities> Grab. Grab is simply an application that helps you do just that—grab things and hold them in queue. After clicking “capture” you will need to choose an option. You can opt for the full screenshot if you want (Screen), or just select a specific window (Selection). These options can come in handy if you’re just wanting to screenshot a specific menu or window, as opposed to your entire screen. Whatever you decide, a new screen should prompt you to save your screenshot. If you want to save it to a different place than it defaults to, you can select the “Save As” option and save it to where you want it.  


The last option is only for those with Mac Touch Bars. Hit Shift + Command + 6 in order to turn the screenshot into a .png file on your desktop.

Though there are several options on how to take a screenshot for a Mac device, they’re all pretty easy—you just have to memorize the sequence of buttons, which is easy to get used to with use. Your screenshots that you’ve saved to the device or to your clipboard will help you track the items you need to track. Even though there are some programs/software (such as a DVD player, etc) that do not allow you to take screenshots, most do allow screenshots. With a bit of time and practice, taking effective screenshots will come naturally to you.

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