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How to take a screenshot on Mac PC

Unlike Windows, on macOS there are several standard ways to take a screenshot not only of everything on the display, but also of individual areas of the screen. In this article we will tell you which program you can use to take a screenshot on Mac and which keyboard shortcuts to use. 

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How to take a screenshot using the “Screenshot” program on macOS Mojave and newer (for other versions of macOS, instructions below)

Screenshot feature on Mac is a standard utility for taking screenshots. Forget Windows’ PrintScreen and Paint. Apple has done everything in a simple and elegant way.

How to take a screenshot on Mac using keyboard

1. Open Screenshot. The app can be found by going to Finder → Applications → Utilities → Screenshot , through Spotlight or Launchpad search.

Starting with macOS Mojave, you can also launch the Screenshot application with the keyboard shortcut ⌘Cmd + ⇧Shift + 5 .

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The application attracts with ease of use and compactness. Once launched, a toolbar appears at the bottom of the screen.

2. Select one of the following options (screenshot above): “The image of the entire screen” , “The picture of the selected window” or “picture of the selected area”.

If you select Capture Full Screen, you will immediately get a screenshot if you don’t set a timer.

3. Click on the box or mark a portion of the screen if you selected one of the remaining options. Your screenshot will be taken immediately after selection.

4. If necessary, right-click on the displayed screenshot thumbnail in the lower right corner to open the context menu.

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Use the context menu to choose where to save the screenshot, as well as send, edit, show in Finder, delete, or mark it.

How to choose a save location for screenshots and screen recordings in macOS Mojave and later

Although you can choose from a limited set of locations for saving screenshots and recordings after they are taken, in the new version of the OS you can also make a default choice.

1. Open the Screenshot program ( Finder → Applications → Screenshot , through Spotlight search , Launchpad, or press ⌘Cmd + ⇧Shift + 5 on your keyboard on your keyboard to open the screen toolbar.

2. Click the “Options” button on the panel that appears at the bottom of the screen.

3. Select “Desktop” , “Documents” , “Clipboard” , “Mail” , “Messages” or “Preview” in “Save to” to set the save location.

How to set a timer to take screenshots in macOS Mojave and later

1. Open the Screenshot program using any of the above methods.

2. Click Options.

3. To set the timer, select “5 seconds” or “10 seconds” , to disable, select  “No”.

How to show the mouse cursor in screenshots in macOS Mojave and later

1. Open the Screenshot program using any of the above methods.

2. Click Options.

3. Click Show Mouse Cursor.

How to edit a screenshot on macOS Mojave and newer

1. After taking a screenshot, its thumbnail will appear in the lower right corner. Click on it to start the “Layout” mode.

2. Markup can also be launched by right- clicking on the screenshot thumbnail and selecting Markup from the context menu.

3. Use the Markup toolbar to draw, write, select, add shapes, insert text, label, rotate, or select text styles using the toolbar at the top of the Quick View.

4. Click Finish  to save your changes.

How to take a screenshot using Screenshot (macOS High Sierra and earlier)

After launching the Screenshot application (the program can be found by going Finder → Applications → Screenshot , through the Spotlight or Launchpad search ), in the menu bar, go to the Screenshot tab and select one of the available screenshot options:

  • selection  (keyboard shortcut Command (⌘) + Shift (⇧) + A);
  • window  (Command (⌘) + Shift (⇧) + W);
  • screen  (Command (⌘) + Z);
  • delayed screen  (Command (⌘) + Shift (⇧) + Z).

How to take a screenshot on Mac using keyboard shortcuts

The Screenshot application is certainly great, but having memorized a couple of hot keys, you can easily take several types of screenshots literally instantly. It remains to imagine that you are a pianist and, at first, write out combinations on a sticker and stick them on the computer display:

How to take a screenshot on Mac using keyboard shortcuts
  • Command (⌘) + Shift (⇧) + 5  – Opens the Screenshot app (macOS Mojave and later only).
  • Command (⌘) + Shift (⇧) + 3 – Screenshot of the entire desktop. If you have multiple monitors, the same number of files will appear.
  • Command (⌘) + Shift (⇧) + 4  – screenshot of the selected part of the display. The cursor arrow will turn into a crosshair with the current coordinates. You just have to choose the area of ​​interest.
  • Command (⌘) + Shift (⇧) + 3 and then press the  spacebar  – a screenshot of the entire window. Just move the camera to any window, as it turns blue. Clicking the left mouse button will get a screenshot (by default, a beautiful shadow around the window is activated).
  • Control (⌃) + Shift (⇧) + Command (⌘) + 3  – save a screenshot of the entire display to the clipboard (the file is not created in the default folder, but you can paste the image copied to the clipboard in any program).
  • Control (⌃) + Shift (⇧) + Command (⌘) + 4  – save the selected display area to the clipboard (works similarly to the previous command – the file is not created, but you can immediately paste a screenshot from the clipboard).

It is noteworthy that you can insert screenshots not only on the Mac on which they were created, but also on devices tied to the same iCloud thanks to the Universal Clipboard (Universal Clipboard).

We wrote in more detail about the operation of this function and the activation method in this article.

All screenshots are saved on the desktop by default in the format “ Screenshot YYYY-MM-DD in HH.MM.SS ” (Screenshot – date – time). Both the path and the name can be changed using Terminal commands.

To change the default name, enter the following command in Terminal and press Return (Enter):

defaults write name "любое название"; killall SystemUIServer

You can return the name to its original state with the command:

defaults delete name; killall SystemUIServer

To remove the shadow cast by the window run the following command:

defaults write disable-shadow -bool true; killall SystemUIServer

Return to the initial state is carried out by the command:

defaults delete disable-shadow; killall SystemUIServer

How to take a screenshot of an entire web page in a browser on Mac

The standard utility for taking screenshots and shortcuts are only good if you want to capture information within the display frames. It is not uncommon to take a screenshot of a web page with content going far down. In this case, we recommend using the free FireShot extension for Google Chrome (it’s time to get used to the fact that the most delicious extensions are not available in Safari).

After installation, click on the extension icon and select one of the available screenshot options:

  • the whole page;
  • visible area;
  • region.

In the end, it remains to edit the points of interest directly in the web form and save the result in a convenient format.

How to take a screenshot of the Touch Bar in MacBook Pro

If you are the proud owner of a MacBook with a Touch Bar, then sooner or later a question related to screenshots will probably arise. And yes, you can take a screenshot of this small display, and even in a systemic way (without using third-party software. Apple, as always, took care of the nuances).

Use the keyboard shortcut  Command (⌘) + Shift (⇧) + 6 in order to take a screenshot of everything that is located on the Touch Bar. The file will immediately be saved in the default location (usually the desktop).

But using the key combination  Command (⌘) + Shift (⇧) + Control (⌃ ) + 6 – the  Touch Bar screenshot is copied to the clipboard, but the file itself is not created on disk (that is, you can insert an image ( Command (⌘) + V )).

You can customize the keyboard shortcut for taking a screenshot of the Touch Bar by going to the menu  → System Preferences … → Keyboard → the “Keyboard Shortcut” tab.

Related: How to Screenshot on iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max.

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George Philip
George Philip
George is a tech-savvy professional and enthusiast. He writes content that gives you the insights and information you need to understand how tech is impacting your life, workplace, and world. You may contact him via his email - [email protected]


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