How to Take Screenshot on Mac

Take Screenshot on Mac is very easy, especially when you know all the techniques! If you want to take a screenshot with your MacBook or iMac, the operating system gives you tools that meet your needs. You can even create different types of screenshots on Mac via a few keyboard shortcuts . We explain in detail these key combinations.

How to Take Screenshot on Mac

On Mac, Apple has planned to achieve everything with simple keystrokes. Note that in the examples below, the numbers 3 and 4 are the keys in the top row of the keyboard and not the keys on the numeric keypad. To stop the process, simply press the “Esc” key.

Take Screenshot on Mac

By default the screenshot will be in .png format , and will be on the desktop . It is possible to change these settings with a utility like Onyx for Mac . After launching Onyx, in the “Settings” button it is possible to choose the type of files (jpeg, pdf etc …) and it is possible to customize the place where the files will be placed in the Path: / ”

Take Screenshot on Mac : Capture the entire screen

1- Hold down Command Shift and press .

2- The picture of your screen will be saved on your desktop in .png format . You can recognize her by her name: “Screenshot (year) – (month) – (day) – at (time) .png”

It’s that simple !

If you use two screens, two separate images will be recorded simultaneously.

Take Screenshot on Mac : Capture part of the screen

1- Hold down Command Shift and press .

2- Select the part of the screen you want to shoot with the pointer (your mouse).

3- The picture of your screen will be saved on your desktop in .png format . You can recognize her by her name: “Screenshot (year) – (month) – (day) – (time) .png”

Pro Tip # 1: Once the pointer appears, you can release the keys on your keyboard.

You can move the selection you made if you hold down the spacebar .

Pro Tip # 2: Press the spacebar at any time to abandon the screenshot without taking a picture.

Measure the size of a screenshot

As you can see in the picture below, next to the pointer there are two numbers. These are the pixels.

When you make Shift Command (before making a selection), these numbers indicate the coordinates of your mouse on the screen.

Once you have clicked and made a selection, these numbers indicate the number of horizontal and vertical pixels in the image.

Take Screenshot on Mac : Capture a window (with its shadow)

1- Hold down Command Shift and press .

2- When the cursor appears, press the spacebar .

3- Position the cursor above the window (which is then highlighted in blue) and left-click.

4- You will find the picture of your window on your desktop, always in .png format .

Capture a window (without its shadow)

1- Hold down Command Shift and press .

2- When the cursor appears, press the Alt key and then the space bar .

3- Position the cursor above the window (which is then highlighted in blue) and left-click.

4- You will find the picture of your window on your desktop, always in .png format .

Capture a drop-down menu (and other items on your screen)

To take a picture of a drop-down menu, apply the same techniques as for capturing a window.

1- Hold down Command Shift and press .

2- When the cursor appears, press the spacebar .

3- Position the cursor at the top of the drop-down menu (which is then highlighted in blue) and left-click.

4- You will find the photo of your menu on your desktop, always in .png format .

Note that the title of the drop-down menu will not be included in the capture. If you need it, you will need to make an “eye” selection with your cursor.

This technique allows you to take other parts of your screen in photo: application bar …

For more features: the Capture app

If you need more features when you take a screenshot, try the Capture app in the Utilities folder of your apps.

Launch the application and click Capture in the top menu to access screen capture options.

In particular, you will find a 10-second self-timer.

How to print a screenshot?

To print a screenshot, simply open it by double clicking on it, then press Control .

Change the location of your screenshots

By default, screenshots are saved on your desktop. If you want to automatically save them in a folder, for example in a folder named Captures, you must use the Terminal application .

1- Go to your applications → Utilities → Terminal.

  1. Type in “defaults write rental ~ / Desktop / s” (without the quotes) and press Enter . Change the order according to the name of the folder you created.

For example, if you want to save your screenshots in a folder named Tutorials the command to enter in the Terminal will be “defaults write location ~ / Desktop / Tutorials”.

3- Type “killall SystemUIServer” (again, without quotation marks), press Enter ,  and then close the command.

Screenshot and copy / paste

If you do not want to save a screenshot as such, but want to “paste” in an application (Paint, Photoshop …), do the following:

1- Hold down Command Shift and press .

2- Press Ctrl (and stay on it) while making the selection of your screen.

3- Your screenshot is ready to be pasted in an application!

In case of bug

Your screenshot is empty? It is likely that the application, software, or site you are using has blocked this feature. This is, for example, the case of the Apple DVD player. You can try to work around this limitation by downloading an application specifically dedicated to the screenshot, but there is no guarantee of results.

How to Take a screenshot on Mac : Quick Commands

When you want to show your screen to other people, it is convenient to capture all or part of the screen (screenshot or screenshot in English). Apple has thought of everything since all the tools to make the capture are natively present on the system.

Take a screenshot on Mac : the entire screen

To capture the entire screen, press simultaneously on these 3 keys:

cmd + shift + 3

(Command + Shift + 3).

Take a screenshot on Mac : part of the screen

To capture a selection of the screen, press the keys simultaneously

cmd + Shift + 4

, then at the appearance of the appropriate cursor, select the desired zone and release the click.

Take a screenshot on Mac : Capture a window

To capture a window of your choice, simultaneously press the keys

cmd + Shift + 4

then press the space bar , then place the camera cursor in the desired window and click.

Take a screenshot on Mac : With Preview

It is also possible to make screenshots with the latest version of the Preview software that came with each Mac. In Preview, just go to the menu “File / Make a screenshot”. You will then have the choice between making a capture of the whole screen, a selection of the screen or a precise window.

Take a screenshot on Mac : With Capture

Finally, another possibility, use the Capture software which is in

Applications / Utilities / CaptureThe interesting side of Capture is that it allows you to make a screen shot.
Capture produces images in .tiff format, heavier than PNG or jpeg, but sometimes useful for keeping a quality after retouching or editing. You can then export it in the format of your choice, simply with Preview.

Just drag and drop this software into the Dock, (left side), to always have it at your fingertips. The right side of the Dock is reserved for your folders or files, while the left side is intended for Applications.

How to take a screenshot on MacOS X?

  • To capture your entire screen in Mac OS X , press the Apple (Cmd) + SHIFT + 3 keys on your keyboard at the same time.
  • To capture a portion of the screen, press Apple (Cmd) + SHIFT + 4
  • In order to capture the active window of your Mac, press Apple (Cmd) + SHIFT + 4 + space

How to Take a screenshot on your Mac : Alternative

Apple devices do not have a dedicated button for screenshots. Windows users can often save the entire screen with one touch. As an Apple user, you must always use a combination of keys to take screenshots. Depending on the area you want to capture under Mac OS or OSX, there are several different keyboard shortcuts on Mac for a screenshot:

Full Screen: To create a screenshot of the entire monitor, press [Shift ] + [Cmd ] + [3] at the same time .

Specific capture : To save a self-selected rectangular frame, press [Shift ] + [Cmd ] + [4] . This shortcut makes appear a cross pointer allowing to select the part which you wish to copy. Move the cursor to where you want to start the frame, press the mouse button, drag the frame to the desired size, and release the button. The screenshot is thus made. If you want to stop the test, press the Esc key.

A window : If you also want to save a full window as a screenshot, first press [Shift  ] + [Cmd  ] + [4] . Your cursor is now a small cross pointer. Pressing the space bar turns the cursor into a camera icon. Click on the window in which you want to take a snapshot and the screenshot will be done. You can also stop the process with the Esc key.

A menu : a menu can also be saved separately as a screenshot on a Mac. To do this, first open the menu and then press [Shift  ] + [Cmd  ] + [4] . With the mouse in the form of a cross pointer, click on the menu and take the screenshot, however the menu title is not saved. You can only do this if you use the spacebar to change the mouse pointer to a camera icon before pressing the mouse button. If you now click on the menu, the title is also part of the screenshot. You can also cancel the process via the Esc key.

The Touch Bar : The MacBook Pro are equipped with an additional navigation bar since 2016, an OLED touch screen called Touch Bar. You can also take a screenshot directly via this tool. For this you need to use MacOS Sierra 10.12.1 or higher. The shortcut key for this specific form of screen shot is [Shift  ] + [Cmd  ] + [6] . (You can also embed and customize a key to create screenshots on the MacBook with the Touch Bar.)

Press the (⌘), Shift / Shift (⇧) and [3] buttons simultaneously to open the screen capture mode.

With the application “Capture” or in its English version “Grab”, you also have a convenient self-timer function

The control key (also known as the apple key) has changed in appearance several times in different years and in Macintosh systems. It sometimes appears with the famous apple, sometimes with the pictogram ⌘ or under the designation “cmd”. It is usually next to the spacebar. The control key is used on Apple systems to make combinations and keyboard shortcuts.

Regardless of which zone is selected and which keys are used, the screen shot will automatically be saved as PNG on your desktop . The files are named by the operating system: they all start with the word “screenshot”, followed by the date and time of the creation.

If you do not want to create files directly from your screenshots on Mac, but rather copy them directly to the clipboard (as is the case with Windows for example), then you also have a combination at your fingertips: pressing the [Ctrl] key, the Mac first stores the image on the clipboard. From there, you can insert it more quickly into word processing or image editing programs. This procedure works with all keyboard shortcuts for screenshots on Mac.

Additional tool: “capture” on Mac

If you do not want to use keyboard shortcuts to take screenshots on your Mac, you can also use the “Capture” or “Grab  ” tool . The software is already installed in Mac operating systems and can be found either in the application folder (under “Utilities”) or in a Spotlight search.

The tool is simple and useful and can be manipulated using the menu bar. You can choose the area you want to select for a screenshot. In principle, you have the same options and possibilities as with keyboard shortcuts: full screen, window or custom space.

With the screen capture software, you can also save a complete window

The software also allows you to activate a self-timer. This allows you to make changes to the screen before the screen shot is taken, and thus make a deferred capture . This is especially useful if you have to press and hold the mouse button to display what you want to show.

In any case, the screenshot will first appear in a new window. Then you decide if you want to save it and how to name the file.

With the application “Capture” or in its English version “Grab”, you also have a convenient self-timer function

You can also use the preview tool to take screenshots. In this useful program to open images and PDF files, you will find in the menu the function “File / Save screenshot”. Here you can use the three options here. You can also edit the screenshot directly in the preview, or save it in a different format.

Problems with creating screenshots on Mac

In some cases, the screenshot may not work on Mac. This is related to the programs you are trying to capture. Apple itself states, for example, that screenshots can not be taken from movies played on DVD player software For reasons of copy protection, Apple forbids the creation of screenshots when the program is playing, even if you do not want to include the video area in the screenshot or if you have the rights on the DVD.

In order to still make a screenshot (of course if you do not violate copyright), you can choose the following two options:

  1. Other Players : If you use another program to play movies and videos, Mac does not stop you from taking pictures.
  2. Other screen capture programs: The limitation only applies if you want to take screenshots directly using MacOS or OSX tools. There are also third-party vendors that offer free software to take screenshots on Mac.


How to Take Screenshot on Mac
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