How to take screenshots on Mac

How to take screenshots on Mac

If you see something great online, it’s only natural that you want to share it with others. You could of course send a link, but what if you only wanted to indicate a specific section or image? This is where screenshots on Mac come into play.

You can take high-quality screenshots on any Mac computer, then edit or share them as you like. They will automatically be named “Screen Shot“, Followed by the date and time they were acquired.

If you’ve purchased or upgraded your Mac since 2018, you even have access to the advanced screenshot menu, which will also allow you to record screen videos.

Best of all, taking screenshots on a Mac only requires a single keyboard shortcut. The shortcut you use, however, depends on how you want to take the photo.

Here are four ways to take screenshots on a Mac.

Take screenshots on a Mac

Each method for screenshot on a Mac uses the Shift, Command and Numeric keys. In short:

  • Shift + Command + 3 takes a screenshot of the entire screen.
  • Shift + Command + 4 allows you to highlight a specific part of the screen to capture.
  • Shift + Command + 5 opens the screenshot menu, which allows you to do both of the above, as well as record video and change screenshot options.
  • Shift + Command + 6 take a screenshot of the Touch Bar, if your Mac has one.

method for screenshot on a Mac

We’ll go through them all below, starting with the most applicable method: the screenshot menu.

Take a screenshot with Shift + Command + 5

The screenshot menu was introduced in MacOS Mojave, the big update of 2018 – if you’ve bought or upgraded your Mac since then, chances are you have it.

To open this menu, press Shift + Command + 5 . A small bar will appear at the bottom of the screen.

The three icons on the left will allow you to take a screenshot of the entire screen, a specific window or a highlighted section, respectively. The next two icons on the right will allow you to record a video of the whole screen or just a highlighted section.

The “Capture” button on the far right will take the screenshot or start recording the video.

screenshot apple mac

There is also a menu called “Options”. This menu allows you to choose where to save the screenshot or video, how long you want between pressing “Capture” and the screenshot or video being taken and more.

Of note in this menu is the “Show Floating Thumbnail” option, which is enabled by default. When enabled, after taking a screenshot, a small thumbnail will appear in the lower right corner of the screen. The screenshot will not be saved to your computer until this thumbnail disappears after a few seconds.

However, you can click on this thumbnail before it disappears to open the screenshot in a new window. In this window, you can draw or type on it, crop it, share it via your Apple ID account, or delete it.

Take screenshots of a section or window

If you want to take a quick screenshot without going through the screenshot menu, you can use this shortcut.

When you press Shift + Command + 4 , the mouse cursor will turn into a crosshair. You can then click and drag this crosshair across the screen to create a highlighted box – as soon as you let go of the mouse, your Mac will take a screenshot of everything in the box.

But that’s not all you can do with this shortcut.

If you press Shift + Command + 4, then press the spacebar , the viewfinder will turn into a camera icon. You can then click on any open window to take a screenshot of that window – when the screenshot is saved, it will have a gray border around it.

If you drag the crosshair to create a highlighted box, so keep holding down the space bar , the box will be locked so that it cannot change size. You can then drag the box anywhere on the screen. Release the spacebar to take the screenshot.

Likewise, if you drag to create a highlighted box and then hold down the Shift key , you can only adjust the height or width of the box. Move the mouse up or down to adjust the height and left or right to adjust the width. Release the mouse to take the screenshot.

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Take a screenshot of the entire screen

Pressing Shift + Command + 3 you will immediately take a screenshot of the entire screen. If you are using multiple monitors, screenshots of each monitor will be saved.

Note that unless you enable this in the screenshot menu, this won’t capture the mouse cursor. And if you have enabled the floating thumbnail option, capturing screenshots in quick succession will also capture the floating thumbnail in the corner.

Take a screenshot of the Touch Bar

Not all Mac computers have the Touch Bar, a long but thin touch screen built into the keyboard. But if your MacBook has one, you probably know how useful it can be.

If there is something on your Touch Bar that you would like to show others, you can take a screenshot of it by pressing Shift + Command + 6 . This will instantly capture everything on your Touch Bar.

If your Mac doesn’t have a Touch Bar, pressing this won’t do anything.

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