How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac Computer

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Welcome to our article today which will guide you on how to take a screenshot on a Mac computer. Screenshots are very useful when you want to share a visual representation of something that you have on your computer screen. It can be anything from a great picture to a work project, and it helps you save time and energy instead of having to explain it.

Screenshots on a Mac can be taken with ease and speed, and in this guide, we will show you exactly how to do it in just a few simple steps. So do not worry about your level of computer knowledge, as we will provide detailed explanations and ease your mind with tips and tricks on how to get the best screenshot possible.


How to take a screenshot on a Mac computer?

Step 1: Choosing Your Screenshot

To take a screenshot, you first need to have an idea of what you want to capture; whether it is a single window, the entire screen, or a highlighted section of your screen.

Step 2: Capturing the Entire Screen

To capture the entire screen, you need to press command + shift + 3 simultaneously. This will take an instant screenshot of your entire computer screen, and the image will be saved on your desktop in PNG format.

Step 3: Capturing a Single Window

If you want to take a screenshot of a single window, all you need to do is click the window to highlight it and then press command + shift + 4. A camera icon will appear, and you only need to click it to take the screenshot.

Step 4: Capturing a Highlighted Area

First, press command + shift + 4, then a cursor with a crosshair appears on the screen. Drag the cursor to where you want to start the screenshot and let it go to finish it. The image will be automatically saved on your desktop.

Step 5: Using Preview to Take a Screenshot

Launch the Preview app, press file, and select ‘Take a screenshot’. Choose the desired type of screenshot – rectangular, window or full screen – and capture the image.

Step 6: Using the Touch Bar to take a Screenshot

On some Mac computers, you can take screenshots using the Touch Bar. Tap the screenshot icon button on the Touch Bar, and choose the type of screenshot you want to take.

Step 7: Taking Screenshot in JPG Format

If you want to save your screenshots as a JPG image, press command and add control to any of the previous commands from steps 2 to 6.

Step 8: Timers for Screenshot

If you need a few seconds to prepare the screen, you can take a screenshot using a timer. Press command + shift + 5 and choose the desired timer before proceeding with steps 2 to 6.

Step 9: Taking Screenshots on a Touchpad

To take a screenshot on a Touchpad press a button with two squares located next to the delete button and select any of the 3 screenshot options.

Step 10: Taking Screenshots through keyboard shortcuts

Some other keyboard shortcuts which can be used for taking screenshots include control + shift + command + 3 to capture the entire screen, and control + shift + command + 4 to capture a selected portion of the screen.

Step 11: Third-party Applications for Screenshots

There are many third-party applications that can be used to take and edit screenshots. Examples include Snagit, Lightshot and Skitch.

Step 12: Previewing Screenshots

Double-click on the screenshot you want to open to preview and customize it in the Preview app.


How To Edit A Screenshot On A Mac Computer?

Tips and Tricks for Editing Screenshots

Editing is an essential part of taking a screenshot, and Mac provides you with lots of features to do that. Here are some tips and tricks that can make editing your screenshots hassle free.

Tips 1: Hide the Desktop Icons

To get a clear screenshot, you can hide the icons on your desktop temporarily. To achieve this, launch terminal and type defaults write CreateDesktop -bool false, then press enter, and your icons will be invisible.

Tips 2: Previewing Screenshot by Thumbnail

By using Command + Tab, you can click the thumb of your screenshot and navigate the preview rather than opening them manually.

Tips 3: Saving Images in Different Formats

While editing your screenshots, you have a choice of saving your images in different formats like PNG, JPG, TIFF, and others. Saving in the right format is essential for excellent quality images.

Tips 4: Using Markup To Edit ScreenShots

By using the markup tool, you can edit your screenshots. This tool creates text boxes, arrows, highlighting pens, and other types of markers that can help to highlight the screenshot in a more effective way.

Tips 5: Using Preview for Editing

Preview is an image editing app that comes installed in your Mac. It comes with a lot of features that can assist you in editing your screenshots, from color settings to image resizing.

Tips 6: Cropping Images

To make your images look even better, cropping is a useful editing trick. It requires selecting an area that needs to be cut, then press Command + K.

Tips 7: Consistency is Key

Taking screenshots may depend on the task you are doing and in improving the quality of your work, consistency is key to creating well-taken screenshots. Choose a method and stick to it.

Tips 8: Keeping Your Desktop Clean

Having unorganized desktop folders can create a difficult time when you need to take a screenshot of only a selected portion of the screen area. Keep it clean, or alternatively, ensure the subtitles of the folders are short and neat.

Tips 9: Learning Must-have Keyboard Shortcuts

The keyboard shortcuts are an important feature when taking screenshots. You can save a lot of time by knowing the essential keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots.

Tips 10: Using Snipping Tools to Capture Motion Screenshots

Snipping tools have been developed to capture and edit screenshots of motion screens, videos, podcasts, and webinars. Tools such as CloudApp, Lightshot, Snagit, and Skitch have made it possible for Mac users to take the best screenshots even from a video.

In conclusion, taking screenshots on a Mac computer is not a difficult task, as this guide has shown. By following these easy to understand steps, you can easily take screenshots in various formats, edit them with a variety of fantastic features, and ensure that you always have a visual representation of anything you need on your screen. With this, you are ready to explore and document your endeavours.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Taking a Screenshot on a Mac Computer


1. Easy and Quick: Taking a screenshot on a Mac computer is easy and quick. With just a few keyboard commands, you can capture the screen without any hassle.

2. No Need for External Software: Unlike with Windows, Mac computers have built-in screenshot tools, so there’s no need to download or purchase additional software.

3. Multiple Options Available: With a Mac computer, you have several options for taking a screenshot – capture the entire screen, a selected portion, or an active window.

4. Convenient for Collaboration: Taking a screenshot on a Mac computer is convenient for collaboration, such as when sharing an image or piece of information with colleagues or friends.

5. Can be Saved in Various Formats: Screenshots taken on a Mac can be saved in different formats, including JPEG, PNG, and TIFF.

6. Useful for Troubleshooting: Screenshots can also be helpful for troubleshooting, such as when you need to show an error message or technical problem to a tech support agent.

7. Saves Time: Using screenshots can save you time, as you can quickly capture and share information instead of typing everything out.

8. Can be Used for Marketing: Screenshots can also be used for marketing purposes, such as showcasing a feature or product on a website or social media post.

9. Helps with Learning: Screenshots can help with learning, as they can be used to illustrate concepts or steps in a tutorial or presentation.

10. Great for Archiving: Screenshots can also be used for archiving important information, such as a receipt or confirmation page, for future reference.


1. Limited Editing Capabilities: While the built-in screenshot tools on a Mac are useful, they have limited editing capabilities. If you need to edit the screenshot, you will need to use external software.

2. May Take Up Storage Space: If you take a lot of screenshots, they can quickly take up storage space on your computer, so it’s important to regularly delete unnecessary screenshots.

3. Quality May Vary: The quality of the screenshot may vary depending on the resolution of the screen and the size of the image.

4. Can be Misused: Screenshots can be misused, such as when someone takes a screenshot of private information without permission or consent.

5. Can be Time-Consuming: While taking a screenshot is quick and easy, the process of editing or annotating the screenshot can be time-consuming.

6. Not Ideal for Video: Screenshots are not ideal for capturing video or animations, as they only capture a single static image.

7. Limited Sharing Options: While there are several options for capturing a screenshot on a Mac, the sharing options are limited, as you can only share the image via email, AirDrop, or other built-in apps.

8. Not Ideal for High-Quality Images: If you need to capture high-quality images, such as for print or professional use, you may need to use external software or a higher-end camera.

9. Can be Distracting: Constantly taking screenshots or using them as a reference can be distracting and impact productivity.

10. Can be Inaccurate: Screenshots may not always accurately represent the content on the screen, such as when the image is distorted or the colors are incorrect.


1. What is a screenshot?

A screenshot is an image capture of your computer screen, usually taken to share or save information for later reference.

2. How do I take a screenshot on a Mac computer?

To take a screenshot on a Mac computer, press Command + Shift + 3. The screenshot will be saved to your desktop.

3. Can I capture only a portion of my screen?

Yes, you can capture a portion of your screen by pressing Command + Shift + 4. 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?

To take a screenshot of a specific window, press Command + Shift + 4, then press the spacebar. The cursor will turn into a camera, allowing you to select the window you want to capture.

5. Where are my screenshots saved?

Your screenshots are saved to your desktop by default. You can also find them in the “Screenshots” folder under “Pictures.”

6. Can I change where my screenshots are saved?

Yes, you can change the default save location of your screenshots by using the Terminal app and entering a command to change the file path.

7. How do I rename a screenshot?

To rename a screenshot, right-click on the image and select “Rename.” Type in the new name and press Enter.

8. Can I edit my screenshots?

Yes, you can edit your screenshots using the Preview app on your Mac. Open the screenshot in Preview, then click on the “Edit” button to make changes.

9. How do I take a screenshot of a menu?

To take a screenshot of a menu, press Command + Shift + 4, then press the Control key. The cursor will turn into a camera, allowing you to select the menu you want to capture.

10. Can I take a screenshot of my Touch Bar?

Yes, you can take a screenshot of your Touch Bar by pressing Command + Shift + 6. The screenshot will be saved to your desktop by default.

11. How can I view my screenshots in fullscreen mode?

You can view your screenshots in fullscreen mode by opening them in the Preview app and then clicking on the “Full Screen” button in the top right corner of the screen.

12. Can I take a screenshot with a timer?

Yes, you can take a screenshot with a timer by using the Grab app on your Mac. Open Grab, select “Timed Screen” from the Capture menu, and then choose the delay time.

13. Why is my screenshot not working?

There could be several reasons why your screenshot is not working, such as not having enough storage space, conflicting keyboard shortcuts, or a malfunctioning app. Try restarting your computer or using a different keyboard shortcut to see if that solves the problem.

How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac Computer

Mac computers are widely used among people in all walks of life. Whether it’s for work, school, or personal use, taking screenshots is an essential part of using a computer. Knowing how to take a screenshot on a Mac computer is a valuable skill that can save you a lot of time and frustration. In this article, we will discuss the different ways to take a screenshot on a Mac computer.

Conclusion and Closing

In conclusion, taking a screenshot on a Mac computer is a simple process that can be done in various ways. The most commonly used methods are the keyboard shortcuts, such as Command + Shift + 3 for a full-screen screenshot or Command + Shift + 4 for a partial screenshot. Additionally, the Preview app can be used to take a screenshot and make edits before saving it. Knowing how to take a screenshot on a Mac computer is a useful skill that can help you in various situations.

It is important to note that there are many different ways to take a screenshot, depending on your needs. Experiment with the different methods to find the one that works best for you. We hope this article has helped you in learning how to take a screenshot on a Mac computer. Thank you for reading and good luck with your future screenshot-taking endeavors!

Until next time, happy computing!