Useful Tips

How to take screenshots on a Mac

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Mac OS X provides several special keyboard shortcuts for saving a screenshot or part of it. They are easy to remember:

Save snapshot Total screen to desktop
Save snapshot parts screen to desktop
. Save snapshot current window on the desktop
Capture a screenshot of the entire screen to the clipboard (similar to the Print Screen button in Windows)
Capture a screenshot of a part of the screen to the clipboard
. Save screenshot of current window to clipboard

The spacebar to capture a window snapshot must be pressed after releasing the remaining keys. The mouse cursor changes from a cross to a camera, and you can select the desired window. A picture of the window is captured along with its shadow. Moreover, the shadow is translucent, so that the picture can then be placed on any background without additional processing. Like this:

Full screen shot

  1. Click Shift-command-5 on the keyboard to see on-screen image controls:
  2. Click the “Full Screen Capture” button ¬ in the controls section. A camera icon will appear instead of the cursor.
  3. Click anywhere on any screen to take a screenshot of the corresponding screen, or click the “Snapshot” button in the control section to take a screenshot of each screen.
  4. A thumbnail of the screenshot appears in the corner of the screen for a short while. After that, a screenshot can be found on the desktop.

In all versions of macOS:

  1. Press keys Shift-command-3to take a screenshot of each screen.
  2. Locate the screenshot on the desktop.


Window snapshot

  1. Press keys Shift-command-5to display on-screen image controls.
  2. Click the “Snapshot of the selected window” button in the control section. A camera icon will appear instead of the cursor.
  3. Click a window to take a picture of it.
    To ensure that the picture does not contain window shadows, hold down the Option (⌥) key while creating it.
  4. A thumbnail of the screenshot appears in the corner of the screen for a short while. You can interact with this thumbnail to edit, move, or perform other actions with a screenshot. Or wait for the screenshot to appear on the desktop.

In all versions of macOS:

  1. Press keys Shift-command-4.
  2. Press the spacebar. The cursor changes to the camera icon.
  3. Click a window to take a picture of it.
    To ensure that the picture does not contain window shadows, press and hold the Option (⌥) key.
  4. Locate the screenshot on the desktop.


Screenshot of a selected area of ​​the screen

  1. Press keys Shift-command-5to display on-screen image controls.
  2. Click the “Snapshot of the selected area” button in the control section.
  3. Select an area of ​​the screen to capture by dragging it. To move the selected area, drag it by placing the cursor inside the area.
  4. Click the Snapshot control.
  5. A thumbnail of the screenshot appears in the corner of the screen for a short while. You can interact with this thumbnail to edit, move, or perform other actions with a screenshot. Or wait for the screenshot to appear on the desktop.

In all versions of macOS:

  1. Press keys Shift-command-4.
  2. Select an area of ​​the screen to capture by dragging it. To move the entire selected area, press and hold the space bar while dragging.
  3. Release the mouse button or trackpad and find the screenshot on the desktop.


Second way: screenshot program

If you do not want to bother with keyboard shortcuts or prefer to work with the mouse, Apple has created a special program for you. It is called the "Screenshot" (Grab.app in the English version), and is located in the "Programs / Programs" (Applications / Utilities) folder.

Run the program, and select the desired action in the Snapshot menu.

Menu snapshot

  1. Click a menu to expand its contents.
  2. Take a picture of the menu by following the instructions for capturing a picture of the entire screen, window (the menu is treated as a window), or the area of ​​the screen containing the menu.

In all versions of macOS:

  1. Click a menu to expand its contents.
  2. Press keys Shift-command-4.
    • Select a menu area to drag and drop, and then release the mouse button or trackpad to take a picture of that area.
    • Or press the spacebar to change the pointer to the camera icon, and then click the menu to take a picture.
  3. Locate the screenshot on the desktop.


How to take a full screen shot on Mac

In order to take a screenshot of the entire Mac screen, just press the Command + Shift + 3 keys on your keyboard (given that some ask where Shift is on the Macbook, the answer is the up arrow above Fn).

Immediately after this action, you will hear the sound of the “camera shutter” (if the sound is turned on), and the picture containing everything that was on the screen will be saved on the desktop in .png format with the name “Screenshot + date + time”.

Note: only the active virtual desktop gets into the screenshot, in case you have several of them.

How to take a screenshot of a screen area in OS X

A screenshot of a part of the screen is done in a similar way: press Command + Shift + 4, after which the mouse pointer will change to the image of a “cross” with coordinates.

Using the mouse or touchpad (holding the button), select the area of ​​the screen for which you want to take a screenshot, while next to the "cross" will be shown the size of the selected area in width and height in pixels. If you hold down the Option (Alt) key while selecting, the “anchor” point will be placed in the center of the selected area (I don’t know how to describe it more precisely: try it).

After you release the mouse button or stop selecting the screen area using the touchpad, the selected screen area will be saved as an image with a name similar to that obtained in the previous version.

A specific window snapshot on Mac OS X

Another option when creating screenshots on a Mac is to take a snapshot of a specific window without having to manually select that window. To do this, press the same keys as in the previous method: Command + Shift + 4, and after releasing them, press the Spacebar.

As a result, the mouse pointer changes to the image of the camera. Move it to the window whose screenshot you want to take (the window will be highlighted in color) and click. A snapshot of this window will be saved.

Take screenshot to clipboard

In addition to saving the screenshot to the desktop, you can take a screenshot without saving the files at the same time, but to the clipboard for subsequent pasting into a graphic editor or document. You can do this for the entire Mac screen, its area, or for a separate window.

  1. To take a screenshot of the screen to the clipboard, press Command + Shift + Control (Ctrl) + 3.
  2. To remove an area of ​​the screen, use the Command + Shift + Control + 4 keys.
  3. For a screenshot of the window - after pressing the combination of step 2, press the Spacebar.

Thus, we simply add the Control key to the combinations that save the screenshot to the desktop.

Using the integrated Grab Utility

The Mac also has a built-in screenshot utility. You can find it in the "Programs" - "Utilities" section or using Spotlight search.

After starting the program, select “Snapshot” in its menu, and then one of the items

Depending on which snapshot of which OS X element you want to receive. After selection, you will see a notification that in order to get a screenshot you need to click anywhere outside this notification, and then (after clicking), the resulting screenshot will open in the utility window, which you can save in the right place.

In addition, the “Screenshot” program allows you (in the settings menu) to add an image of a mouse pointer to a screenshot (it is absent by default)

Using a screenshot thumbnail


After taking a screenshot on macOS Mojave, its thumbnail is briefly displayed in the lower right corner of the screen.

  • No action or swipe thumbnail to the right: the screenshot is automatically saved in the selected location, which is the default desktop.
  • Click the thumbnail while holding down the Control key to select additional actions, such as changing the default location, opening a picture in the program, or deleting a picture without saving.
  • Drag the thumbnail to move the picture to another location, such as a document, email, Finder, or trash.
  • Click a thumbnail to open a screenshot. After that, you can use the markup tools on the toolbar to crop, rotate, add annotations, and perform other editing operations. Use the publish button to share a screenshot.


Click a thumbnail to open it in edit mode. Hover over each button on the toolbar to find out its function.

If you do not want to display a thumbnail, click Options in the control section, then change the setting for Display Floating Thumbnail.

How to change the location of saving screenshots OS X

By default, all screenshots are saved to the desktop, as a result, if you need to take really many screenshots, it can be unpleasantly cluttered. However, the save location can be changed and instead of the desktop save them in any folder convenient for you.

  1. Decide on the folder where the screenshots will be saved (open its location in the Finder, it will come in handy for us).
  2. In the terminal, enter the command defaults write com.apple.screencapture location folder_path (see paragraph 3)
  3. Instead of specifying the folder path manually, you can by putting after the word location in the space bar, drag this folder to the terminal window and the path will be added automatically.
  4. Click
  5. Enter the command in the terminal killall SystemUIServer and press Enter.
  6. Close the terminal window, now the screenshots will be saved in the folder you specified.

I conclude this: I think this is comprehensive information on how to take a screenshot on a Mac using the system’s built-in tools. Of course, for the same purpose there are many third-party programs, but for most ordinary users, the options described above are most likely to suffice.

Screen on Mac OS

If you suddenly needed to do screenshot on mac, as usual, you will begin to search everyone’s favorite print screen key on the keyboard. She always helped Windows platform users take screenshots. But unfortunately, the creators of devices from Apple did not provide the keyboard with a similar button.

To make a screen on a macbook, you just need to decide on the purpose of its creation. There are several algorithms for this process.

One of them is as follows:

  • If you need to capture the entire screen without exception, use the keyboard shortcut Shift-Command (⌘) -3.
  • You can find the finished file in PNG format on the MacBook desktop.

In case you want capture only your selected area on the screen, there is another method:

  1. Hold Shift-Command-4. You will see that the mouse pointer has become a cross.
  2. Move the cross to the place where you want to start the selection and click the left mouse button.
  3. Start to smoothly drag the cursor in the opposite direction from the beginning of the selection of the site. As soon as you mark the fragment you need, release the left mouse button.
  4. Your image will again be on the desktop.

Sometimes it is necessary that in the frame there was only the window you opened. Shift-Command-4 keys will help with such a screenshot on the poppy. But that will not be enough. To have only the selected window on the screen, you need:

  1. Press the spacebar as soon as the courses become a cross after pressing Shift-Command-4.
  2. The cursor turns from a cross into a camera. Click on this new cursor on the window that you need to photograph.
  3. This picture will also be saved on the main page.

Thanks to functional innovations from Apple, there is no need to puzzle how to take a screenshot on mac. For comparison: to take a screenshot in Windows, you need to find the Prt Sc button on the keyboard and press it. After that, you have to start the graphical editor in order to display the snapshot. Pretty tedious procedure.

Alternative methods

In addition to the usual keyboard shortcut for creating screen images on the Mac OS, you can use the application built into the system, which is called "Screenshot" or Grab Utility.

To find it, open the “programs” folder, then “utilities”.

As soon as you start the program, select the “snapshot” section in the menu and decide on the screen format. This can be “selected area”, “window”, “screen” or “delayed screen”.

After you select the desired item, a message appears on the screen asking you to click on any button, which will lead to the completion of the operation.

Your screenshot will appear in the program window. Next, you need to select any place on the computer to save it.

The advantage of using this utility is that it allows you to draw the mouse cursor on the picture. When creating a screen using a keyboard shortcut, the cursor on the photos will be absent.

Note to MacBook Users

Even if you know how to take a screenshot on a macbook when the keyboard does not have a native printscreen, then you will definitely need to change the storage location of your screenshots sooner or later. After all, by default, everything screenshots are stored on the desktop devices.

To change their location, you must:

  1. Select or create a folder for storing screenshots.
  2. Open the “Terminal” utility in the “program” folder.
  3. In the terminal, type the command defaults write com. apple screencapture location path_to_new_folder.
  4. Press the Enter key.
  5. Enter team killall SystemUIServer and press Enter again.
  6. Close the terminal.

After completing these steps, the screenshots will be saved in the folder you specified.

Remember that the standard program for viewing images on a macbook is able to crop them, create texts and notes manually, using a brush. This can greatly simplify the work with screenshots.

Instead of spending a lot of time mastering new graphic editors, just double-click on any image and start editing it using the built-in program. Tools for changing images are on the top panel of the application.

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