How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac

This wikiHow will show you various ways in which to take a screenshot on a Mac.

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Screenshot the Entire Screen

  1. Make sure your screen displays exactly what you want to show in your screenshot image. Ensure all the relevant windows are visible.
    Take a Screenshot on a Mac Step 1.jpg
  2. Press Command + Shift + 3. If your sound is on, your computer should make a brief camera shutter noise.[1]
    Take a Screenshot on a Mac Step 2.jpg
  3. Find your screenshot on your desktop. It will be saved as “screenshot” labeled with the date and time.
    Take a Screenshot on a Mac Step 3.jpg
    • Earlier versions of OS X will save it as “Picture #”—for example, if it’s the 5th screenshot on your desktop it will be labeled “Picture 5”.

[Edit]Screenshot a Portion of Your Screen

  1. Press Command + Shift + 4. Your cursor will turn into a small cross-hair reticle.[2]
    Take a Screenshot on a Mac Step 4.jpg
  2. Click and drag your cursor to highlight the area you’d like to take a picture of. A grayed rectangle should appear where you drag your cursor. If you need to adjust your windows at all, press Escape to return to a regular cursor without taking a picture.[3]
    Take a Screenshot on a Mac Step 5.jpg
  3. Let go of the mouse. You should hear a brief camera shutter noise if your computer’s sound is turned on. That signals that your screenshot has been taken.[4]
    Take a Screenshot on a Mac Step 6.jpg
  4. Find your screenshot on your desktop. It will be saved as a .png file named “screenshot” labeled with the date and time.
    Take a Screenshot on a Mac Step 7.jpg
    • Earlier versions of OS X will save it as “Picture #”—for example, if it’s the 5th screenshot on your desktop it will be labeled as “Picture 5”.
  5. Use the screenshot. Once you have taken your screenshots, they are now ready to be used as needed. You can attach them to an email, upload them to the Web, or even drag them straight into an application such as a word processor.
    Take a Screenshot on a Mac Step 8.jpg

[Edit]Screenshot an Open Window

  1. Press Command+Shift+4 then hit the Space bar. The cross-hair will turn into a small camera. You can press Spacebar again to switch back to the reticle.
    Take a Screenshot on a Mac Step 9.jpg
  2. Move your cursor over the window you want to capture. The camera will highlight different windows blue as it moves over them. You can use keyboard commands such as Command+Tab to shift through your windows while still in this mode.
    Take a Screenshot on a Mac Step 10.jpg
  3. Click on the window. The picture of the window you selected will be saved to the desktop by default just like the other screenshot methods.
    Take a Screenshot on a Mac Step 11.jpg

[Edit]Save a Screenshot to the Clipboard

  1. Press Command + Control + Shift + 3. This method works exactly like the one above, except the screenshot does not immediately create a file. Instead, the image is saved to the clipboard, the same temporary storage area where your computer remembers the text that you have copied.
    Take a Screenshot on a Mac Step 12.jpg
    • You can also take a portion screenshot with this method using Command + Control + Shift + 4 and dragging your reticle over the appropriate part of your screen, exactly as the portion screenshot method.
  2. Use Command + V or Edit > Paste to paste your image. Your screenshot image can be pasted straight into any compatible application, such as a Word document, an image editing program, and many email services.
    Take a Screenshot on a Mac Step 13.jpg

[Edit]Use the Grab Utility Tool

  1. Go to Applications > Utilities > Grab. This opens the Grab application. You will see the menus shown in the upper left of your screen, but no windows will open.
    Take a Screenshot on a Mac Step 14.jpg
  2. Click the Capture menu and choose between the four different options.
    Take a Screenshot on a Mac Step 15.jpg
    • To take a picture of your entire screen, click on Screen (or just use the keyboard command Apple Key + Z). A window will pop up telling you where to click and letting you know that the window will not appear in the shot.
    • To take a picture of a portion of your screen, click on Selection. A window will pop up instructing you to drag your mouse over the portion of your screen you’d like to capture.
    • To take a picture of a specific window, select Window. Then, click on the window you’d like to take a picture of.
  3. When the new window opens, choose Save. You can also choose Save As to give it a different name and/or move it to a more appropriate location, but note that it can only be saved as a .tiff file. Note that the file is not automatically saved.
    Take a Screenshot on a Mac Step 16.jpg

[Edit]Tips

  • It is possible to alter the shortcut used for taking screenshots by going into System Preferences, then to the Keyboard area, and clicking on the Screenshot section of Shortcuts. By clicking on the type of screenshot you want to change the shortcut for, you can press a combination of keys to create a new shortcut.
  • Advanced users with knowledge of the Mac OS X Lion Terminal application can also use the “screen-capture” command to take a screenshot from the command line.
  • Files from the screen-capture tool are saved to the desktop as PNG files by default. This is not the best method and fills your desktop if not managed. The easiest way to solve this is to make a screenshot folder, which is outlined in Altering the Default Location of the Saved Files.
  • An alternative to saving a Grab file as a TIFF formatted file is to copy it and open Preview. Then in Preview, do File – New from Clipboard, and the image will open, which can then be exported as a jpg or png file to a folder of your choice. And if you do Select All and copy the image, you may directly import it via Paste or Paste Picture with the Shift Key depressed into Microsoft Excel for example.
  • An alternative but more long-winded method of taking screenshots is available via Mac OS X Lion’s Preview application. The screenshot options appear on the “File” menu and match those available via the keyboard shortcuts.

[Edit]Warnings

  • Posting screenshots that include copyrighted information could have legal implications, so be careful that you have the right to capture any of the information visible on your screen.
  • When taking screenshots to pass on to other people, or to publish on the Internet, ensure no personal or confidential information is captured within the image.

[Edit]Related wikiHows

[Edit]References

[Edit]Quick Summary

  1. [v161172_b03]. 18 October 2019.
  2. [v161172_b03]. 18 October 2019.
  3. [v161172_b03]. 18 October 2019.
  4. [v161172_b03]. 18 October 2019.

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