Taking screenshots on a Mac is easy. Here you have several options - you can take a screenshot of a whole screen, selected window or any custom area you like. This guide will show you how to take a screenshot of the entire screen, a part of the screen or a desired window.
Keyboard Shortcuts to take screenshots on a Mac
There are several keyboard shortcuts that can be used to capture screenshots on a Mac.
to take a screenshot of the whole screen. The screenshot is saved on the desktop.
and then select a custom area to capture a portion of the screen. The screenshot is saved on the desktop.
Press Command-Shift-4, then the Space bar
, and select a window to take a screenshot. The screenshot is saved on the desktop.
to take a screenshot of the screen and save it to the Clipboard.
and then select a portion of the screen to take a screenshot of a custom area and save it to the Clipboard.
Press Command-Control-Shift-4, then press the Space bar
, and select a desired window to take a screenshot and save it to the clipboard.
Where to find saved screenshots
By default, all screenshots are saved on the desktop as .png files with the filename in the following format 'Screen Shot date at time.png'.
To view the screenshot, double click on it. The screenshot will be opened with Preview. To open a screenshot with another app, right-click on it and choose Open With.
How to take a screenshot your entire Mac screen
To capture a screenshot of the whole Mac desktop, press Command-Shift-3
. The screenshot will be automatically saved as a png file on your desktop.
To capture a screenshot of your entire screen and copy it to the Clipboard, press Command-Shift-Control-3
. The screenshot will be placed into the Clipboard so you can paste it into another app.
How to take a screenshot of a custom area of your Mac screen
To capture a portion of the screen, press Command-Shift-4
(saves the screenshot on the desktop) or Command-Shift-Control-4
(saves the screenshot to the Clipboard). The crosshair pointer appears. Click and drag the crosshair to select the area you wish to capture. To control the selection in different ways, you may use Shift, Option, or the Space bar while dragging.
How to take a screenshot of a specific window on a Mac
To capture a window, press Command-Shift-4
, then press the Space bar.
Move the camera pointer that appears over a desired window to highlight it.
Click to take the screenshot.
To save a screenshot of a window to the Clipboard instead of placing a file on the desktop, press Command-Control-Shift-4
, then press the Space bar, and move the camera over the window you want to capture.
How to take a screenshot and copy it to the Clipboard
By default, screenshots are saved automatically as .png files on the desktop. If you don't want to clutter your desktop with saved screenshots and you just want to paste a screenshot into a file, you can use the following keyboard combinations:
to save the screenshot of the whole screen to the Clipboard instead of creating a file on your desktop.
and then select a portion of the screen to capture the screenshot of a custom area and save it to the Clipboard.
, then press the Space bar and move the camera that appears over the desired window to take a screenshot of it to your Clipboard.
How to save screenshots in other formats than png
With Preview you can take screenshots and save them in other formats.
Open Preview and choose File > Take screenshot.
Select one of three options: From Selection, From Windows or From Entire Screen.
Then choose File > Save or press Command-S, enter the file name and choose the file location and format.