How to Take a Screenshot on Your Mac: The Ultimate Guide

How to Take a Screenshot on Your Mac: The Ultimate Guide | KEUTEK


You're working hard, and you're almost done analyzing data for your job. But you realize that you can't export the file as you prefer, so you choose to take a screenshot instead.

If you have a Mac, you should consider how to capture the image you desire. Then, you can keep a record of your work and save the images for later.

Read on for some tips and tricks to take screenshots on macOS.

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Take a Full Screenshot

The easiest method to take a screenshot on your Mac is to capture the entire screen. You'll need to press the Shift, Command, and the number 3 key to produce an image.

Depending on your settings, you may see a preview of the screenshot. If so, you can click on it to view the image and make sure it looks good, and you'll know if you want to take a new screenshot.

Capturing the whole screen is nice because you can then crop the image to remove what you want. It's also quicker than some of the other options for taking screenshots on your computer.

Fortunately, this and the other methods work whether or not you're charging your computer.

Take a Partial Screenshot

Perhaps you want to take a screenshot but not of your entire screen. You can control what part of your screen you include in the screenshot, but it will take an extra step.

At the same time, press Shift, Command, and the number 4 key. You'll bring up a crosshair that you can move around just like your mouse pointer, so you'll move it to where you want the screenshot to start.

Click on your mouse button or trackpad, and drag the cursor to the opposite corner of the selection area. Then, release the cursor to produce the final image.

As with the other method, you may see a preview that you can click on. Confirm that you captured what you want, and retake the screenshot or edit it as necessary.

Capture a Window

A more specific way to screenshot a portion of the screen is to screenshot a specific window, such as Safari. First, you'll need to make sure the window you want to screenshot is in front of the other windows you have open.

Simultaneously press Shift, Command, and the number 5 key, and this will bring up a selection window. You can edit the size of the window, or you can click on the space bar to bring up a camera icon and screenshot the entire window.

Click on Capture near the bottom of the screen to take the screenshot. Before that, you'll have the option to adjust your settings, so you can choose where those screenshots are saved and if you want to add a timer.

When you see the camera icon, you can also press the escape key if you want to cancel the screenshot.

As with other methods, you might see a preview in the corner of your screen. You can click on it to bring up the full image and edit the screenshot or trash it if you want to take a new one.

Can You Take a Screenshot of Any Window?

Unfortunately, you might not be able to use this method to screenshot any app on your Mac. According to Apple, you can't take screenshots of the Apple TV window, for example.

Other apps might also restrict the ways you take screenshots. However, you can take a screenshot of the entire image on your Mac, and you can open the screenshot to edit it.

Then, you'll be able to crop out other windows outside of the window you want to capture.

When You Can't Decide

Using Shift, Command, and 5 is a great choice if you want to adjust some screenshot settings. You can choose to screenshot the entire screen, a window, or a portion you select.

When it comes to selecting a portion of the screen, you can be more precise than by dragging the cursor yourself. You'll get to see the selection area before you finalize it and take the shot.

The menu also includes options for screen recordings, so you can take a video. As with the standard photo option, you can choose to record your entire screen or a part of it.

You'll also want to use this method to bring up your screenshot settings. If you don't see a preview of your screenshots like you would on an iPhone, you'll click on Options, then Show Floating Thumbnail.

Screenshot the Touch Bar

If your Mac has a touch bar, you can also take a screenshot of that. You'll want to press the Shift, Command, and 6 keys at the same time.

The touch bar offers a ton of uses, and you can change what shows up. Because of that, you might want to remember what the bar is showing at a specific point.

Pressing the correct keys together will take an image of your current touch bar. It will save to your desktop or wherever you've set your screenshots to go.

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Copy the Image to Clipboard

If you want to take a screenshot to send to someone, you don't have to save it to your computer. Instead, you can add the control key to the steps you use to capture a full screen or partial screen image.

To copy the full screen to your keyboard, you'll press the Shift, Command, Control, and 3 keys at once. You can swap out the 3 key with the 4 key to select the area to screenshot.

After that, you'll be able to paste the screenshot wherever you want. That way, you don't have to search for your screenshot if you want to add it to an email or another message.

Where to Find Your Screenshots

If you don't want to copy a screenshot to your clipboard, you should know where to find it. The default storage location is your desktop, so you shouldn't have to look too hard.

That setting is also useful if you include your desktop files in iCloud. You'll be able to access your screenshots on your phone if you need to text someone the images.

If you want to change the default location, you'll want to select Shift, Command, and 5. Pull up the Options menu, and review the different places, such as Desktop, Documents, Clipboard, Messages, Mail, and Preview.

You can choose the location you prefer so that you don't have to move screenshots around all of the time.

Other Locations

Computers with macOS Mojave or newer versions can also save to other locations. You can use this option to store your screenshots if you don't want to clutter your desktop or another file location.

To set this up, you'll use the steps for changing the default location. Click on Other Locations... to bring up your file system, and you can look for the folder you want.

For example, you might create a specific folder that you title Screenshots.

How to Annotate Screenshots

One of the benefits of the Show Floating Thumbnail setting is that it makes it easy to open and edit your images. You can click on the screenshot preview on your screen.

Then, you'll bring up the full image and a menu of options. You can add text, lines, and shapes, and you can choose from different colors to make your annotations stand out.

Editing the screenshot this way is useful for pointing out specific things. For example, you might highlight data points if you need to email the screenshot to a client or boss.

How to Change the Image Format

Your Mac will automatically save all screenshots as PNG files. However, PNG files can be a bit large, so they can quickly use up space that you might want to save for other files.

But if you don't want to delete all of your screenshots, you can change their default format. Open Launchpad, then Other, then Terminal to bring up a box of code. Add the following to the box:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg

Restart your computer to officially change the default format to JPG, which is smaller than PNG. Then, you can take more screenshots while saving space on your device.

Third-Party Screenshot Options

Apple offers a variety of built-in screenshot methods and settings. However, if you want more flexibility, you can look into a third-party screenshot app.

Some apps are free, while others cost a bit of money. These other screenshot apps can help you adjust the size of your screenshots more easily.

You'll also find the app Snappy works on your Mac and your iPhone. That way, you can sync all of your screenshots and store them together.

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Fast charges all Apple and Android devices. Charges up to 50% from 0% in 20 minutes. Increases battery lifespan by producing less heat than standard chargers. Automatic shutoff protects your device from overcharging.

Shop Now

How Will You Take a Screenshot on Your Mac?

When you use a Mac, you get access to multiple keyboard shortcuts to take a good screenshot. You can capture the full screen or a portion of it.

Plus, you'll get to choose where to save your screenshots and if you want to edit them. All of that can come in handy when you're working and need to send or save an image.

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