How to Capture a Screenshot on a Mac

There are many different methods you can use to take a screenshot on your Mac. Some of those will take a full-screen screenshot and others will take a screenshot of a specified portion of your screen. Follow along with the outlined steps to see how to capture a screenshot on a Mac.

Full-screen Screenshot

If you want to take a screenshot of your entire screen, simply press the command + shift + number 3 keys on your keyboard simultaneously. If your speakers are set to an audible level, you will hear a default camera clicking sound as the screen image is captured.

Capture a Screenshot on a MacFull-screen Screenshot Example

The screenshot will be saved on your desktop as a .png file labeled with the date and time of the image capture.

Capture and Save file on mac Screenshot Image File Saved on Desktop

A quick summary of how to take a full-screen screenshot on your Mac:

  1. Press the command + shift + 3 keys altogether.
  2. Find the saved .png file of your screenshot on your desktop.

Partial-screen Screenshot

As an alternative to the full-screen screenshot, you are also able to take screenshots of just a portion of your screen. To do this, press the command + shift + number 4 keys at the same time and release. Your cursor will change from the usual arrow to a crosshair symbol. Move this crosshair symbol to one corner of the portion of the screen you would like to capture. Left click using your current method of selection (with either the trackpad or an external mouse) and drag the crosshair to highlight the portion of the screen you would like to select. Release the button and, again, you will hear the camera sound and your selection will be saved as a .png file on your desktop marked with the date and time taken.

Capture a partial screenshot on a mac The Partial-screen Screenshot Selection Process

When you are in the process of highlighting your selection, you can change the direction of the selection tools by holding the space bar, option or shift keys. If you accidentally select the key sequence to take a partial-screen screenshot, you can simply hit the escape key before releasing the button, or if no selection has been made, simply tap the screen once and the crosshair symbol will disappear.

A quick summary of how to take a partial-screen screenshot on your Mac:

  1. Press the command + shift + 4 keys simultaneously. You will see a crosshair symbol replace the arrow cursor.
  2. Move the crosshair pointer to a corner of the selection of the screen you’d like to capture.
  3. Press the button on your trackpad or mouse to begin making the selection, then drag the highlighted area over the portion of the screen you would like to include in the image.
  4. Release the button to take the screenshot.
  5. Find the saved .png file of your screenshot on your desktop.

Additional:

  • Use the space bar, shift and option keys to alter the direction of your selection.
  • If you’d like to cancel the partial-screen screenshot, hit the escape button if you’ve already begun making your selection, or simply tap the trackpad once if you haven’t.

Other Screenshot Alternatives on a Mac

In addition to full-screen and partial-screen screenshots, there are other styles of screenshots that you can take on your Mac. Here are a few quick step-by-steps on how to capture screenshot on a Mac if you are looking for a specific screenshot.

Specific Window Screenshot

  1. Press the command + shift + 4 keys altogether. Again, this will change the arrow cursor to a crosshair symbol.
  2. Press the space bar and the crosshair symbol will change again to a camera symbol.
  3. Move the camera symbol over the desired window. This will highlight the window.
  4. Click your trackpad or mouse once to take the screenshot.
  5. You will hear the familiar camera sound and the screenshot will be saved as a .png file on your desktop.

Taking a Screenshot of a Specific Window Taking a Screenshot of a Specific Window

Specific Window Screenshot ExampleSpecific Window Screenshot Example

Specific Menu Screenshot

  1. Click the desired menu to show the available selections.
  2. Press the command + shift + 4 keys altogether, changing the original arrow cursor to a crosshair symbol.
  3. Press the button of your mouse or trackpad and drag to highlight the menu as your selection.
  4. Let go of the mouse or trackpad button.
  5. The camera tone will be heard and the screenshot of the menu will be saved as a .png file on your desktop.

Selecting a Specific Menu for a Screenshot Selecting a Specific Menu for a Screenshot

So if you were struggling to capture a screenshot on a mac, these simple steps will ease your work. Let us know if you know some more cool shortcuts to capture a screenshot.

Categories: