How to Print Screen on a Mac Air

As a Mac Air user, have you ever needed to capture your screen for a presentation, tutorial, or other purposes? If so, getting familiar with how to print screen on a Mac Air is crucial because without that knowledge, you may miss out on a lot of opportunities.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the 12 steps of print screening on a Mac Air and provide you with several tips and tricks to optimize your experience. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, this guide will help you capture your screen in the most efficient way.


Step 1: Locate the screen you want to capture.

The first step to print screen on a Mac Air is to find the screen that you want to capture. You can capture your entire screen or just a portion. To capture your entire screen, press Command + Shift + 3 simultaneously. To capture a portion of your screen, press Command + Shift + 4 and drag your cursor around the area you want to capture.

Step 2: Check the captured image’s location

After you’ve captured your screen, your image will automatically save to your desktop with the name “Screen Shot [date] at [time].png”.

Step 3: Opening the image

If you want to open your captured image immediately, hover your cursor over the image and double-click it. It will open in Preview.

Step 4: Customize the screenshot on Preview

Preview enables users to edit their screenshot before saving it. Here are a few customization features:

  1. To crop, select a portion of the image and hit Command + K.
  2. To highlight text, click ‘Annotate’ and select ‘Highlight Text’.
  3. To put a circle around an element in the image, click ‘Annotate’ and select ‘Circle’.
  4. If you want to add notes or arrows to the image, click ‘Annotate’ and select ‘Text’ or ‘Arrow’.

Step 5: Save your image.

If you’re done customizing and ready to save your image, hit Command + S and choose a location to save it.

Step 6: Memorize the keyboard commands for future use

Recall that capturing your entire screen requires Command + Shift + 3 and capturing a section of your screen requires Command + Shift + 4. Learning these keyboard commands will come in handy for future use.

Step 7: Use the Grab app (optional)

The Grab app is another way to capture your screen on a Mac Air. Go to Applications, then Utilities, and select Grab. In the menu bar, select Capture > Screen. You will be able to choose whether you want to capture your entire screen, selected window, or a portion of the screen.

Step 8: Use third-party software (optional)

While using in-built tools is sufficient for most Mac Air users, there are numerous third-party software options that may be more suitable for your needs. A few popular ones are Snagit, Jing, and CloudApp.

Step 9: Use keyboard shortcuts to take a screenshot on iPhone or iPad

If you want to capture your iPhone or iPad screen, you can use keyboard shortcuts. Simply press the power button and Volume Up button together to capture the screen in your camera roll.

Step 10: Use the Screenshot app on iPhone or iPad

You can also use the Screenshot app on your iPhone or iPad to take a screenshot. This app is in-built, and you can find it in your App Library. After taking a screenshot, you’ll be able to edit it and share it seamlessly.

Step 11: Automatically sync your images to iCloud

If you use iCloud on both your Mac Air and iPhone/iPad, you can automatically sync your screenshot images to iCloud. In iCloud settings, choose Photos, and mark the “iCloud Photos” checkbox. This ensures that all the captured images are synced between your devices.

Step 12: Troubleshoot if your screenshot tool isn’t working

If any of the in-built options or third-party software isn’t working, try the following troubleshooting tips:

  1. Check the restart your Mac Air and try again.
  2. Check for disc space and make sure there is sufficient space to save the captured images.
  3. Try resetting SMC by shutting down your Mac Air and holding down the power button for 10 seconds.


Now that we’ve gone through the 12 steps of print screening on a Mac Air, let’s dive deeper into a few elements.

Firstly, if you’re a frequent user of print screening, investing in high-quality third-party software like Snagit may be beneficial. Snagit offers numerous features like GIF creation, effects, and screen recording at a nominal price.

Secondly, if you’re often working on large projects that require numerous screenshots, customizing the save location may be useful. For example, you can create a separate folder for your project screenshots to avoid cluttering your desktop or downloads folder.

Lastly, if you don’t have a lot of disc space on your Mac Air, consider using external hard drives or cloud storage options. This will ensure that you have sufficient disc space to store all your important files, including screenshots.

Tips and Tricks

Tip 1: Save your screenshots as JPG files

If you’re concerned about disc space, saving your screenshots as JPG files instead of PNG files can save up to 80% of storage space.

Tip 2: Use keyboard shortcuts efficiently

Memorizing keyboard shortcuts can save you time and make print screening more efficient.

Tip 3: Get creative with the screenshot editor

The screenshot editor offers numerous editing options that can make your screenshots stand out. For example, experimenting with text and arrow features can help you emphasize important elements in your screenshot.

Tip 4: Use the screenshot timer

The screenshot timer can be accessed by pressing Command + Shift + 5. This feature allows users to set a timer as long as five seconds for screen capture.

Tip 5: Keep your desktop clean

Clean desktops can help keep your Mac Air organized and reduce the risk of losing important screenshots.

Tip 6: Collaborate efficiently using cloud storage

If you’re working with a team or need to share screenshots with others, using cloud storage options like Dropbox, Google Drive or iCloud can help streamline the process.

Tip 7: Review your screenshot before editing

If you’re capturing your screen for a presentation or tutorial, it’s important to ensure that the elements you want to capture are visible and in focus. Reviewing your screenshot before editing will help you identify any unclear elements.

Tip 8: Use screenshots for tutorials

Screenshots can be an efficient way to create visual tutorials. You can use them to highlight specific steps or elements.

Tip 9: Name your screenshots appropriately

Naming your screenshots with appropriate titles can help you easily identify them later. For example, if you’re working on a project, you can name your screenshots according to the steps, elements, or pages that they represent.

Tip 10: Explore advanced editing options (optional)

If you’re a pro and want to up your game, exploring more advanced editing options like Adobe Creative Suite will come in handy. These tools offer features like video editing, 3D modeling, and vector graphics.

In conclusion, print screening on a Mac Air is a simple yet powerful tool that can make your life easier. By following the 12 steps we’ve outlined and utilizing the tips and tricks, you can efficiently capture and edit your screenshot.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Printing Screen on a Mac Air


1. Quick and easy: One of the primary benefits of printing screen on a Mac Air is the ability to do it very quickly and easily. With just a few clicks, you can take a snapshot of your screen and save it for later use.

2. In-built feature: Mac Air comes with a pre-installed screen capture tool that enables users to take screenshots with ease. You don’t have to install a third-party application, as is the case with Windows computers.

3. Precise screenshots: The Mac Air’s screen capture tool allows you to take precise screenshots of specific areas of the screen that you want to capture. This is incredibly useful for designers, developers, and those who need to take screenshots of particular sections of the screen.

4. Useful for troubleshooting: Whenever you encounter an error message or issue on your Mac, taking a screenshot of the error is an excellent way to capture the information and share it with others for troubleshooting purposes.

5. Great for sharing information: By taking a screenshot of the screen, you can share visual information with others, making it easier for them to understand the problem you’re trying to solve or the information you’re trying to convey.

6. Record activity on the screen: Screenshots can also be used to record what is going on the screen, making it easier to keep track of the activities performed on your Mac Air.

7. Can be edited: Another advantage of taking screenshots on a Mac Air is that they can easily be edited using the built-in Preview app. This allows users to add annotations, highlights, and text to the screenshot.

8. Useful in presentations: Screenshot can be used effectively in presentations to highlight a point or to provide visual information to the audience.

9. Great for archiving information: Screenshots are also useful for archiving information. They can be used to save information that is no longer available or has been taken down from a website.

10. Environment friendly: By taking screenshots, you can avoid having to print physical copies of documents, which is environmentally friendly.


1. Large file sizes: Screenshots can result in large file sizes, which can take up a lot of storage space on your Mac Air.

2. Limited sharing options: While screenshots are great for sharing visual information, they are limited in terms of sharing options. You can only share screenshots as an image file, which may not always be suitable for the recipient.

3. Inaccurate representation: Screenshots may not always provide a completely accurate representation of what is on the screen. This is particularly true if you’re taking screenshots of videos or animations.

4. Limited editing options: While the built-in Preview app allows you to make basic edits to screenshots, it doesn’t offer advanced editing options for more complex edits such as removing backgrounds or resizing objects.

5. Prone to misuse: Screenshots can be misused for unethical purposes, such as sharing confidential information. It’s important to be mindful of what you’re capturing when taking screenshots and who you’re sharing them with.

6. Can be distracting: Taking screenshots regularly can be distracting, particularly if you’re capturing information for non-work purposes.

7. Not suitable for capturing dynamic content: Screen captures are suitable for capturing static images. They may not be suitable for capturing dynamic content such as video, audio, and interactive content.

8. Limited history: Screenshots are snapshots of a specific point in time. They do not offer context on what happened before or after the screenshot was taken.

9. Can be time-consuming: Although taking a screenshot is quick and easy, editing and annotating it can be time-consuming, particularly if you have multiple screenshots to work with.

10. Learning curve: While taking a screenshot is relatively easy, there is a learning curve involved in learning to annotate and edit them effectively.


1. What is Print Screen on a Mac Air?

Print Screen is a function on a computer that captures an image of whatever is displayed on the screen. On a Mac Air, it is called Screen Capture.

2. How do I use Screen Capture on a Mac Air?

Press the command, shift, and number 3 keys, and the image will be saved automatically to your desktop.

3. Can I capture just a portion of the screen?

Yes, press the command, shift, and number 4 keys, and the cursor will turn into a crosshair, allowing you to select the portion of the screen you want to capture.

4. How do I take a screenshot of a specific window?

Press the command, shift, and number 4 keys, and then press the spacebar. The cursor will turn into a camera icon, allowing you to click on the window you want to capture.

5. How do I view the screenshot after I take it?

The image will automatically be saved to your desktop, and you can open it like any other file.

6. Can I change where the screenshot is saved?

Yes, open the Terminal app and type “defaults write location [filepath]”, replacing [filepath] with the path to the folder where you want the screenshots to be saved.

7. How do I disable the sound effect that plays when I take a screenshot?

Open the Terminal app and type “defaults write disable-sound true”. The sound effect will no longer play when you take a screenshot.

8. Can I take a screenshot of a menu on my Mac Air?

Yes, press the command, shift, and number 4 keys, and then press the spacebar. Hold down the option key while clicking on the menu to capture it.

9. Can I take a screenshot with a timer on my Mac Air?

Yes, open the Screenshot app (located in the Utilities folder), select the Timer option, and choose how many seconds you want to wait before the screenshot is taken.

10. How do I take a screenshot of a Touch Bar on my Mac Air?

Press the command, shift, and number 6 keys, and the image will be saved automatically to your desktop.

11. Can I edit the screenshot after I take it?

Yes, there are a variety of image editing apps available for Mac Air, such as Preview or Photoshop, that allow you to edit and enhance your screenshots.

12. How do I take a screenshot of a webpage on my Mac Air?

Open the webpage you want to capture, press the command, shift, and number 4 keys, and then press the spacebar. Hold down the control key while clicking on the webpage to capture it.

13. Can I capture video on my Mac Air?

Yes, the QuickTime Player app allows you to capture video of your screen. Open the app, select File, then New Screen Recording, and follow the prompts to begin recording.

How to Print Screen on a Mac Air

Printing your screen on a Mac Air may seem like a difficult task at first, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can be done quickly and easily. In this article, we’ll go over the steps for taking a screenshot on a Mac Air and saving it for later use.


In conclusion, taking a screenshot on a Mac Air is a simple process that can be completed in just a few steps. By utilizing the keyboard shortcuts or the Grab tool, you can quickly capture any image on your screen. Whether you need it for work or personal use, there are plenty of options for saving and sharing your screenshots with others. So don’t be afraid to experiment and find the method that works best for you. Happy screenshotting!

Thank you for reading this article on how to print screen on a Mac Air. We hope you found it informative and helpful. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Until next time, take care!