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How to Screenshot on Mac: A Comprehensive Guide 2024



How to screenshot on mac ?

Capturing screenshots on a Mac is an essential skill for anyone looking to save, share, or document their screen activities. Whether you are a seasoned Mac user or a newcomer, mastering the different ways to take screenshots on a Mac will significantly enhance your productivity. This guide provides a thorough exploration of all the methods available, ensuring you have all the tools at your disposal.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Screenshots

1. Capture the Entire Screen

To capture the entire screen, use the following keyboard shortcut:

Press Command (⌘) + Shift + 3.

This action will instantly capture the entire screen, and the screenshot will be saved to your desktop by default. The file will be named “Screen Shot [date] at [time].png”.

2. Capture a Selected Portion of the Screen

If you need to capture a specific area of your screen, use this shortcut:

Press Command (⌘) + Shift + 4.

This command will change your cursor to a crosshair. Click and drag to select the area you want to capture. Once you release the mouse button, the screenshot will be taken and saved to your desktop.

3. Capture a Specific Window

To capture a specific window, follow these steps:

Press Command (⌘) + Shift + 4, then press the Spacebar.

Your cursor will change to a camera icon. Move the camera icon over the window you wish to capture and click on it. The screenshot will be saved to your desktop.

4. Capture the Touch Bar (for MacBook Pro)

If you have a MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar, you can capture its contents using this shortcut:

Press Command (⌘) + Shift + 6.

The screenshot of your Touch Bar will be saved to your desktop.

Using the Screenshot App

1. Accessing the Screenshot App

For a more user-friendly approach, macOS offers a built-in Screenshot app, available in macOS Mojave (10.14) and later. To access this app:

Press Command (⌘) + Shift + 5.

This will bring up the Screenshot toolbar, providing you with various options for capturing your screen.

2. Screenshot Toolbar Options

The Screenshot toolbar includes several options:

  • Capture Entire Screen: Click this button to capture the entire screen.
  • Capture Selected Window: Select this option to capture a specific window.
  • Capture Selected Portion: Use this to select and capture a portion of your screen.
  • Record Entire Screen: This option allows you to record a video of your entire screen.
  • Record Selected Portion: Use this to record a video of a selected portion of your screen.

3. Additional Settings

Click the Options button on the Screenshot toolbar to access additional settings:

  • Save to: Choose where to save your screenshots (Desktop, Documents, Clipboard, Mail, Messages, Preview, or Other Location).
  • Timer: Set a timer for 5 or 10 seconds before the screenshot is taken.
  • Show Floating Thumbnail: Enable this to see a floating thumbnail of your screenshot for quick annotation or sharing.
  • Remember Last Selection: This option remembers your last selected area for the next screenshot.
  • Show Mouse Pointer: Include the mouse pointer in your screenshots.

Annotating and Editing Screenshots

1. Using the Floating Thumbnail

When you capture a screenshot, a floating thumbnail will appear in the lower-right corner of your screen. Click the thumbnail to open the screenshot in Markup, where you can annotate and edit it before saving or sharing.

2. Markup Tools

The Markup toolbar includes several tools for editing your screenshots:

  • Sketch: Draw freehand shapes on your screenshot.
  • Shapes: Add predefined shapes such as rectangles, circles, and arrows.
  • Text: Add text to your screenshot.
  • Signature: Add a saved signature or create a new one.
  • Highlight: Highlight text or other elements on your screenshot.
  • Adjust Color: Adjust the color settings of your screenshot.

Saving and Sharing Screenshots

1. Saving Screenshots

By default, screenshots are saved to your desktop. However, you can change the save location using the Screenshot app’s Options menu. Additionally, you can drag the floating thumbnail to a specific folder or document to save it there.

2. Sharing Screenshots

You can quickly share your screenshots using the Share button in the Markup toolbar. This allows you to send your screenshot via Mail, Messages, AirDrop, or other available sharing options.

Advanced Screenshot Techniques

1. Taking Timed Screenshots

To take a timed screenshot, use the Screenshot app’s timer feature. This is particularly useful for capturing dropdown menus or other elements that require interaction before the screenshot is taken.

2. Using Terminal Commands

For advanced users, Terminal offers additional screenshot capabilities. To capture the entire screen and save it to a specific location, use the following command:


screencapture -i ~/Desktop/screenshot.png

To capture a selected portion of the screen:


screencapture -s ~/Desktop/screenshot.png

Troubleshooting Common Issues

1. Screenshots Not Saving

If your screenshots are not saving, ensure that you have enough storage space on your Mac. You can also check the save location settings in the Screenshot app’s Options menu.

2. Keyboard Shortcuts Not Working

If the keyboard shortcuts are not working, make sure that they are enabled in System Preferences:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Go to Keyboard.
  3. Select the Shortcuts tab.
  4. Ensure that the screenshot shortcuts are enabled.

3. Screenshots Are Blurry

Blurry screenshots can result from capturing low-resolution screens or resizing screenshots incorrectly. Ensure you capture screenshots at the screen’s native resolution and avoid excessive resizing.


Taking screenshots on a Mac is a versatile and powerful feature that can enhance your productivity. Whether you are capturing the entire screen, a specific window, or a selected portion, mastering these techniques ensures you can quickly and efficiently capture the information you need. By using the built-in tools and shortcuts, you can also annotate, edit, save, and share your screenshots with ease.

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