How to Screen Clip on Mac: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you new to using a Mac and wondering how to screen clip on your device? Screen clipping is a useful tool that allows you to capture specific parts of your screen and save them as an image. This feature is beneficial for various reasons, such as creating presentations, tutorials, or sharing information with others. But, how do you screen clip on Mac? Well, worry no more! In this article, we will guide you through simple steps to capture a screenshot of any part of your screen on a Mac.

Steps to Screen Clip on Mac

Step 1: Locate and Open the “Grab” Application

The Grab application is standard on a Mac and can be found in the Utility folder under the Applications folder. Open the “Finder,” and navigate to the “Applications” folder. From there, click on “Utilities” and then select “Grab.”

Step 2: Choose the Type of Screenshot

Once the Grab application is opened, select the type of screenshot you want to capture. You can choose between four types of screen captures: Selection, Window, Screen, and Timed Screen.

Step 3: Set the Grab Preferences

In the Grab application, navigate to the “Preferences” menu to customize the settings for your screenshot capture. You can choose the format for the screenshot, whether it’s PNG, TIFF, GIF, or JPEG. You can also choose where to save the screenshots or set an option to copy the image to the clipboard automatically.

Step 4: Select the Area to Capture

After setting the screenshot preferences, select the area that you want to capture by clicking and dragging your mouse over the desired area.

Step 5: Preview the Screenshot

Once you have selected the area to capture, click on “File” and then “Save” to preview the screenshot. If you’re not satisfied with the screenshot, you can always go back and repeat the process.

Step 6: Rename and Save the Screenshot

If you’re satisfied with the screenshot, rename it and save it in your desired location.

Step 7: Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Mac also provides keyboard shortcuts to capture screenshots. To capture the entire screen, press “Command + Shift + 3,” whereas to capture a specific part of the screen, press “Command + Shift + 4.”

Step 8: Capture Screenshots using Preview

Preview is another application that is available on Mac. To capture a screenshot, open Preview and click on “File.” From there, select “Take Screenshot” and choose the type of screenshot you want to capture.

Step 9: Use the Terminal App

If you’re more comfortable with using Terminal, you can use it to capture screenshots. In the Terminal, enter “screencapture -c” to capture the entire screen and copy it to your clipboard, whereas “screencapture -i” captures the selected area. Press “Enter” to capture the screenshot.

Step 10: Use Third-Party Applications

Various third-party applications, such as Snagit, Camtasia, and Lightshot, are also available that provide advanced editing and capturing options.

Step 11: Use the Screenshot App on iPhone

If you’re using an iPhone, you can also use the built-in screenshot app to capture screenshots, which can then be sent to your Mac.

Step 12: Utilize Cloud-Based Storage

To ensure accessibility, you can also store your screenshots on cloud-based storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud.


Screen clipping on Mac is a straightforward process that can be done using built-in applications or third-party software. The built-in applications such as Grab and Preview provide numerous options for capturing and editing a screenshot, whereas third-party apps offer advanced features.

The Grab application offers four screen capture types: Selection, Window, Screen, and Timed Screen, each with various options to choose from, such as image format, file location, and copy to clipboard. The Preview application provides similar options to choose from as Grab, and it also allows users to take a screenshot by accessing the “Take Screenshot” feature from the “File” menu.

Mac also offers keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots, which are useful when you want to capture a screenshot quickly. Pressing “Command + Shift + 3” captures the entire screen, while “Command + Shift + 4” captures a specific part of the screen.

Besides built-in applications, third-party applications such as Snagit, Camtasia, and Lightshot offer advanced features such as video recording, editing, and adding annotations to screenshots.

Moreover, by utilizing cloud-based storage services, users can easily access their screenshots from any device with an internet connection.

Tips and Tricks

Tip 1: Use Shortcuts to Save Time

Keyboard shortcuts are available to capture screenshots quickly rather than having to navigate through the menus.

Tip 2: Customize Screenshot Preferences

Customize screenshot preferences in Grab or Preview to save time. Save the image in the format you prefer, copy to the clipboard automatically, and save it to a location that suits you better.

Tip 3: Annotate Screenshots

The built-in and third-party software allows users to annotate screenshots by adding text, shapes, arrows, and more. This feature is useful for creating tutorials, presentations, or sharing information.

Tip 4: Use Third-Party Software for Advanced Features

Third-party software provides advanced features such as video recording, editing, and annotations to enhance the overall screenshot experience.

Tip 5: Store Screenshots on Cloud-Based Storage

Storing screenshots on cloud-based storage services provides easy access to them from any device. It also saves storage space on your Mac.

Tip 6: Use the Terminal App

Advanced users can use the Terminal app to capture screenshots. This is a useful feature when automating screenshot capture or taking screenshots on a remote computer.

Tip 7: Set a Timer

The Timed Screen option in Grab allows users to set a timer before the screenshot is captured. This feature gives users time to prepare their subject and set up the screen.

Tip 8: Combine Screenshot Types

Using multiple screenshots can be beneficial for creating a tutorial or presentation. Use different types of screenshots to give a more comprehensive overview for your audience.

Tip 9: Adjust Color and Contrast

Most built-in and third-party applications allow users to adjust the color and contrast of screenshots to enhance their quality. This feature is useful when capturing screenshots of videos or dark-colored images.

Tip 10: Practice with Screenshot Tools

Practice with screenshot tools to become comfortable with different techniques for capturing and editing screenshots. This will increase your efficiency level when using screen clipping tools.

In conclusion, screen clipping is a powerful tool that is beneficial for various purposes. Whether you’re creating tutorials, presentations, or sharing information, capturing a screenshot is essential. Follow the above simple steps to screen clip on your Mac and use the tips and tricks provided to enhance your overall experience.

Advantages and Disadvantages of how to screen clip on Mac


The ability to screen clip on Mac has a number of advantages over other methods of capturing information on your computer. Here are ten of the biggest advantages:

1. You can capture specific parts of your screen rather than capturing the whole screen.
2. You can save the screen clips in a variety of file formats, including PNG, TIFF, and PDF.
3. You can easily share screen clips with others through email or social media.
4. Screen clips take up less file space than capturing entire screenshots.
5. You can quickly access the screen clip tool using shortcut keys.
6. You can annotate and edit screen clips to highlight important information.
7. You can use the screen clip tool to grab images or text from websites or documents.
8. You can use screen clips to create tutorials or instructional guides.
9. You can use screen clips to capture error messages or other important system information for troubleshooting purposes.
10. You can use the screen clip tool to grab images or graphics for use in your own projects.


While there are many advantages to using the screen clip feature on Mac, there are also a few disadvantages to consider:

1. The screen clip tool can be overwhelming for new users. It may take some time to learn how to use it effectively.
2. Screen clips can sometimes be blurry or low quality depending on the resolution of your screen.
3. Screen clips cannot always capture video or audio playing on your screen.
4. Screen clips can sometimes capture unwanted information or distracting elements in the background of your screen.
5. Screen clips may not always accurately capture certain types of information, such as animations or interactive elements on a website.
6. Screen clips may not always work with certain programs or applications.
7. The screen clip tool may not be available on older models of Mac computers.
8. The screen clip tool may not be as powerful or customizable as other screen capture tools available on the market.
9. Using the screen clip tool for certain purposes, such as capturing copyrighted material, may be illegal.
10. Some users may find that the screen clip tool is not necessary and prefer to use other methods of capturing information on their computer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is a screen clip?

A screen clip is an image that captures a specific part of your computer screen.

2. Can I screen clip on my Mac?

Yes, you can screen clip on a Mac using key commands or the built-in screenshot tool.

3. What are the key commands to screen clip on a Mac?

To screen clip on a Mac, press the Command + Shift + 4 keys. Your cursor will change to a crosshair pointer, which you can use to select the specific area you want to screen clip.

4. How do I save a screen clip on my Mac?

After selecting the area you want to screen clip, the image will be saved to your desktop by default. You can also drag the image to a different location if needed.

5. Can I customize the file format of my screen clip?

Yes, you can customize the file format of your screen clip. To do so, press the Command + Shift + 5 keys. This will bring up the screenshot tool, where you can select the file format you prefer.

6. What are the different file formats I can use for a screen clip?

You can use PNG, JPEG, GIF, and PDF file formats for your screen clips on a Mac.

7. Can I edit my screen clip after taking it?

Yes, you can edit your screen clip using the Preview app on your Mac. This app allows you to crop, resize, and add annotations to your images.

8. How do I access the Preview app on my Mac?

You can access the Preview app by searching for it in Spotlight or by navigating to the Applications folder in Finder.

9. Can I use third-party tools to screen clip on my Mac?

Yes, there are many third-party tools available for screen clipping on a Mac. Some popular options include Snagit, Skitch, and Jing.

10. Are there any free screen clipping tools for Mac?

Yes, there are free screen clipping tools available for Mac, including the built-in screenshot tool and apps like Skitch and Jing.

11. Can I screen clip a video on my Mac?

No, you cannot screen clip a video on a Mac using the built-in screenshot tool. However, there are third-party tools available for screen recording and clipping video on a Mac.

12. What is the difference between screen clipping and screen recording?

Screen clipping captures a still image of your screen, while screen recording captures a video of your screen activity.

13. Are there any tips for taking a high-quality screen clip?

Yes, here are a few tips for taking a high-quality screen clip on a Mac:

  • Choose a well-lit area to minimize glare and shadows.
  • Use the zoom feature to get a closer shot of the area you want to clip.
  • Make sure your mouse cursor is not visible in the clip.

How to Screen Clip on Mac

As Mac users, we often need to capture a screenshot of our computer screen for various purposes – to show an error message to a tech support agent, to save an important message, or simply to share something interesting with our friends. And when it comes to capturing screenshots on Mac, there’s nothing quicker and easier than screen clipping. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to screen clip on Mac using two simple methods.

Conclusion and Closing

Screen clipping on Mac is a handy feature that allows you to capture a portion of your screen in just a few clicks. By using the two methods we’ve discussed – the default keyboard shortcut and the built-in tool – you can take screen clips of anything that’s displayed on your Mac’s screen.

Whether you’re a student, a professional, or just a curious Mac user, screen clipping is a skill that can come in handy at any time. We hope this article has helped you understand how to screen clip on Mac. So, go ahead, try it out, and share your amazing screen clips with the world!

Until next time, happy clipping!