How to screenshot on Mac

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avatar logo 11 Sept at 12:23

All computer users face the necessity to take screenshots from time to time. As in Windows, if you want to make a screenshot on Mac, there are necessary tools for this. However, the hardest part for the newbies of Mac, who have just "moved" from Windows, is to figure out how to take a screenshot on Mac. As it turns out that to take a screenshot Mac users need to use different hotkeys and the previously worked methods are not efficient here, as such a familiar button print screen Mac users will not see on their keyboard. They need to look for and use other tools to in order to know how to screenshot on Mac. Definitely, you can take a camera, and take a picture of the monitor, as some of the users still do. Or you can press the "magic" button, and the computer itself will make a screenshot of the screen. Which button to press to take a screenshot? The answer you will find in this article.


Table of content

  1. How to make a screenshot on Mac using hotkeys
  2. How to save screenshots to clipboard via Mac screenshot shortcut
  3. How to paste screenshot on Mac
  4. How to take a screenshot on macOS Mojave
  5. How to select the place where to save Mac screenshot on Mojave
  6. How to set a timer for creating screenshots on macOS Mojave
  7. How to show mouse cursor on Mac screenshot on Mojave
  8. How to take screenshot on Mac with the help of Terminal
  9. Where to find screenshots on Mac
  10. How to change the place where the screenshots are saved
  11. How to change the shortcut combination for making screenshots
  12. How to take a screenshot on a Mac with Preview
  13. How to screenshot on a Mac using the built-in utility Grab Utility
  14. How to change extension/format of screenshots on Mac
  15. How making screenshots can be handy


How to make a screenshot on Mac using hotkeys

A very simple way how to print screen on Mac is to use keyboard shortcuts. This method is ideal in those cases when you need to make a screen in just a few seconds.


1. Screenshot of the entire screen

Command(⌘) + Shift(⇧) + 3. In order to take a screenshot of the entire Mac screen, just press this combination on your keyboard (in case if someone does not know where Shift on the Mac computer is, it's the button with the up arrow key above Fn button).

Screenshot of the entire screen

2. Screenshot of the part of the screen

Command(⌘) + Shift(⇧) + 4. In order to take a screenshot of the certain part of the screen press this combination. After that using the mouse or the touchpad (while holding the button), select the area of ​​the screen for which you want to make a screenshot, while the size of the selected area along the width and height in pixels will be displayed next to the "cross". Once you are ready, release the mouse button or stop highlighting the screen area with the touchpad. Press Esc to cancel, if there is a need.

Screenshot of the part of the screen

Tip: If you hold down the Option (Alt) key while selecting, the "snap" point will be placed in the center of the selected area. Try to take a screenshot without holding the Option key and with holding it, and see the difference.

3. Screenshot of a specific window in Mac

Command(⌘) + Shift(⇧) + 4 + Spacebar. Another option when creating screenshots on a Mac is a snapshot of a particular window without having to manually select this window. To do this, press the keys Command + Shift + 4, and after you release them, press the Space key. With this combination of keys, the mouse pointer will look like the image of the camera. Highlight the necessary window and click on it.

Screenshot of a specific window in Mac

How to save screenshots to clipboard via Mac screenshot shortcut

Like the written above you can save the entire Mac screenshot to clipboard a part of the screen or even a specific window, read the information below.

1. Save the entire screen

Command(⌘) + Ctrl + Shift(⇧) + 3. If you want to insert a screenshot immediately in some graphics editor or chat. Thanks to this combination you simply copy Mac screenshot to clipboard and after that just by pressing cmd+v, you can instantly add a screen in the menu of any program intended for working with images.

Save the entire screen

2. Save the part of the screen

Command(⌘) + Ctrl + Shift(⇧) + 4. By the analogy with the previous version, the screenshot is saved to the clipboard. Only it does not look like the entire screen and is represented as a selected area of ​​the display.

Save the part of the screen

3. Save the specific window in Mac

Command(⌘) + Ctrl + Shift(⇧) + 4 + Spacebar. Allows you to save the specific window to the clipboard and to paste it wherever it is necessary.

How to paste screenshot on Mac

Once you have saved the desired screenshot to the clipboard and are ready to paste it into the necessary program or place, use the following shortcut Command(⌘) + V.

How to paste screenshot on Mac

How to take a screenshot on macOS Mojave

Mojave adds one more keyboard shortcut in order to screenshot on Mac, namely Command(⌘) + Shift(⇧) + 5. This combination brings up a small panel at the bottom of the screen with capture options. There are three screenshots buttons that allow you:

  • to capture the entire screen capture the screen;
  • to capture the window capture the window;
  • to capture the screen section capture the screen section.

On the left is the "X" button to close the screenshot screen, but you can also just press the Escape key to exit the tool.

How to take a screenshot on macOS Mojave

How to select the place where to save Mac screenshot on Mojave

  1. Open Screenshot program by openning Command(⌘) + Shift(⇧) + 5.
  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.
How to select the place where to save Mac screenshot on Mojave

How to set a timer for creating screenshots on macOS Mojave

  1. Open the Screenshot program.
  2. Click “Options”.
  3. To set the timer, select “5 seconds” or “10 seconds”. To disable, select the option “None”.
How to set a timer for creating screenshots on macOS Mojave

How to show mouse cursor on Mac screenshot on Mojave

  1. Press Command(⌘) + Shift(⇧) + 5.
  2. Click “Options”.
  3. Click “Show Mouse Pointer”.
How to show mouse cursor on Mac screenshot on Mojave

How to take screenshot on Mac with the help of Terminal

With the help of the command line, you can do almost everything on your Mac and there is no wonder that Terminal can answer the question “How to take a picture on a Mac?”. In order to get to know how it works, read below:

  1. Launch Terminal
  2. Type the following command: man screencapture

It will show you the detailed guide with the list of commands for making different kinds of screenshots(entire screen, selection, window, delayed screenshot, etc). Choose the one you need and execute this command in Terminal.

How to take screenshot on Mac with the help of Terminal

Where to find screenshots on Mac

So, where do screenshots go on Mac? By default, all the screenshots are saved on the desktop in the format "Screenshot YYYY-MM-DD in HH.MM.SS.png". In other words “screenshot 2018-05-30 in 10.05.23.png". However, if you save a screenshot to the clipboard (for example, you pressed the Control button in various keyboard shortcuts), then there will be no file on the desktop.

Where to find screenshots on Mac

How to change the place where the screenshots are saved

As we found out earlier, the created screenshots are immediately sent to the desktop. Is it convenient? Not always. And what if you need to make a bunch of screenshots. Then we just litter the entire desktop. In this case, you need to determine the new place for storing rather than sending Mac screenshot to desktop.

For this:

  1. Determine the folder in which the screenshots will be saved. For instance, create a separate folder in Documents named “Screenshots”.
  2. Launch Terminal and type the command defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~/Documents/Screenshot
  3. Instead of specifying the path to the folder manually, you can put a space after the word space in the command, drag the folder to the terminal window and the path will be added automatically.
  4. Press Enter.
  5. Type killall SystemUIServer command in the terminal and press Enter.
  6. Close the terminal window, now the screenshots will be saved to the folder you specified.

If you want to return everything by default, run the following commands:
defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~ / Desktop
killall SystemUIServer

How to change the shortcut combination for making screenshots

Above are the standard key combinations for making screenshots, but they can be changed if desired. Do this as follows:

  1. Go to the computer settings on the operating system MacOS. To do this, move the mouse cursor to the upper left corner of the screen, and click on the apple icon.
  2. From the drop-down menu select the item "System preferences"/"Keyboard"/"Keyboard Shortcuts".
  3. In the "Screenshots" item, change the keyboard shortcuts.
How to change the shortcut combination for making screenshots

How to take a screenshot on a MacBook Pro

The main idea of making screenshots on MacBook Pro is the same as on Mac. However, in the new MacBook Pro, some elements are moved to the Touch Bar. So, how to take a picture of the Touch Bar.

  1. Using the key combination Command(⌘) + Shift (⇧) + 6 you will take a picture of the Touch Bar, which will be saved on your desktop.
  2. With the combination Command(⌘) + Control + Shift(⇧) + 6, you can make a screenshot of the Touch Bar, which will be copied to the clipboard immediately.
  3. How to take a screenshot on a MacBook Pro

How to take a screenshot on a Mac with Preview

If you do not like to use shortcuts you can always use Preview for such purposes.

  1. Go to Finder/Applications/ Preview. This opens the application.
  2. In the upper left corner of the screen you will see several options.
  3. Click on the "File" option and select “Take a screenshot” option.
  4. Choose one out of 3 variants for making screenshot:
    • from Selection;
    • from Window;
    • from Entire Screen.

After that specify the name and Mac screenshot location. And that is it.

How to take a screenshot on a Mac with Preview

How to screenshot on a Mac using the built-in utility Grab Utility

Mac computer also has a built-in utility in order to screenshot on Mac. You can find it in the Applications/Utilities/Grab Utility or by using the Spotlight search. After starting the program, go to the tab “Capture” and choose the option you need:

  • Selection (hotkey Command (⌘) + Shift (⇧) + A)
    Select the desired area to make a screenshot.

  • Window (hotkey Command (⌘) + Shift (⇧) + W)
    Click on the desired window.

  • Screen (hotkey Command (⌘) + Z)
    Click anywhere on the screen.

  • Timed Screen (hotkey Command (⌘) + Shift (⇧) + Z)
    Click wherever you want on the screen to start the timer.

After selecting, you will see a notification that you need to click anywhere outside this notification to get a screenshot, after that, the screenshot opens in the utility window, which you can save to the desired location.

How to screenshot on a Mac using the built-in utility Grab Utility

How to change extension/format of screenshots on Mac

By default, all screenshots will be saved with the extension PNG, if you want to change the extension to any of these: JPEG, TIFF, PDF GIF, BMP, PNG, proceed the following steps.

  • Launch the Terminal and execute the command:
    defaults write com.apple.screencapture type format < specify extension PNG, JPEG, TIFF, PDF GIF or BMP >
  • Press Enter.
  • Execute the command:
    killall SystemUIServer
  • Press Enter.

However, if this variant frightens you and you find it too difficult, you can always use third-party apps, such as PhotoBulk that can help you to convert your screenshot to the desired format within a minute.

How making screenshots can be handy

Users have to make screenshots more often as it seems at first sight. Below are the 2 main reasons for making screenshots. However, the list can go into infinity.

1. Let's say you found something interesting on a web page and want to save what you saw to show it to your friend or share it via social networks, as web pages have the property of changing or even being removed from sites. Or you know for sure that you will not see the same content when you load the page (if the page content is dynamic). You have only one way out - to capture what you saw as an image. With the help of Uplet, you can seamlessly upload this screenshot to your Instagram page directly from your Mac. Or if you are a fan of storing all the things on your cloud or a remote server, CloudMounter can give you a hand here, allowing you to upload taken screenshots to the cloud directly from Finder.

How making screenshots can be handy

2. Screenshot of the screen you can ask the technical support staff. For example, you face an issue with some and the technician needs to see what exactly is displayed on the screen. If you send a screenshot, he/she will see everything as if they were sitting at your computer. And if you like everything to be in order on your desktop and computer, you need to have a decent file manager that will help you to deal with all the taken screenshots and Commander One is exactly what you have been looking for.


We hope that this article was rather informative to you and you found some new and interesting info.

Commander One for Mac

This dual panel file manager for Mac is fully compatible with MacOS 10.10 and later. Requires 19.75MB free space, latest version 1.7.4(2445). Released 22nd Sep, 2017.

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