How to take screenshot on Mac

Taking screenshots on a Mac is a useful feature that allows you to capture and save a visual representation of what is displayed on your computer screen. Screenshots serve a variety of purposes, both personal and professional. Here’s a brief overview of the topic and the importance of taking screenshots on a Mac:

1. Capturing Information: Screenshots are an effective way to capture information that you may need to refer to later. Whether it’s an important document, a webpage, an error message, or a piece of creative work, taking a screenshot ensures that you have a visual record of the content.

2. Sharing and Collaboration: Screenshots enable easy sharing and collaboration with others. You can quickly capture and share screenshots with colleagues, friends, or family members to illustrate a point, seek assistance, or provide visual feedback.

3. Documentation and Troubleshooting: Screenshots are valuable for documenting steps, processes, or software configurations. When troubleshooting technical issues or seeking assistance, sharing a screenshot can help others understand the problem more easily and provide accurate guidance.

4. Visual Reference: Screenshots serve as a visual reference for tutorials, guides, presentations, or reports. Including screenshots enhances the clarity and comprehension of your materials by providing visual cues and examples.

5. Memory Preservation: Screenshots can be a simple way to preserve memories. Whether it’s capturing a funny conversation, a memorable moment in a game, or an inspiring quote, screenshots allow you to save and revisit those moments in the future.

Taking screenshots on a Mac is a straightforward process, and understanding the various methods and options available can help you capture and utilize screenshots efficiently for a range of purposes.

Types of Screenshots

Certainly! On a Mac, there are several types of screenshots you can take. Here’s an explanation of each type:

1. Full Screen Screenshot: This type of screenshot captures the entire contents of your screen, including all open windows and menus.

To take a full screen screenshot, you can use the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + 3. After pressing the shortcut, the screenshot is automatically saved as a file on your desktop.

2. Selected Portion Screenshot: With this type of screenshot, you can capture a specific portion of your screen by selecting an area using a crosshair cursor.

To take a selected portion screenshot, use the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + 4. After pressing the shortcut, your cursor will turn into a crosshair.

Click and drag to select the desired area. Once you release the mouse button, the screenshot will be saved as a file on your desktop.

3. Specific Window Screenshot: If you want to capture a specific window or dialogue box, you can use the specific window screenshot option.

Press the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + 4, then press the Spacebar. Your cursor will change to a camera icon. Move the camera icon over the desired window or dialogue box and click to capture it. The screenshot will be saved as a file on your desktop.

4. Timed Screenshot: A timed screenshot allows you to capture a screenshot with a delay. This can be helpful when you need to set up a specific scene or capture a drop-down menu that disappears quickly.

To take a timed screenshot, use the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + 5. The screenshot toolbar will appear on the screen, and you can select the “Capture” button to access options for timed screenshots.

Choose a delay time (e.g., 5 or 10 seconds), and the screenshot will be automatically taken after the specified delay.

These different types of screenshots on a Mac give you the flexibility to capture the entire screen, specific portions, specific windows, or timed shots, depending on your specific needs.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts:

Full Screen

To capture the entire screen on a Mac and save it as a file on your desktop, you can use the following keyboard shortcut:

Keyboard Shortcut: Command + Shift + 3

Here’s how you can use this shortcut to take a full-screen screenshot:

1. Make sure you have everything on your screen arranged the way you want it to appear in the screenshot.

2. Press and hold the Command (⌘) key and the Shift key on your keyboard.

3. While holding down the Command and Shift keys, press the number key 3 on your keyboard.

4. As soon as you press the key combination, you’ll hear a camera shutter sound, and the screenshot will be captured. The screenshot will be saved as a file on your desktop with a name starting with “Screenshot” followed by the date and time of capture.

5. Locate the screenshot file on your desktop. By default, the file will be saved in PNG format, and its name will include the date and time information.

That’s it! You have successfully captured a full-screen screenshot on your Mac using the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + 3.

Selected Portion

To capture a specific portion of the screen on a Mac by dragging a crosshair cursor, you can use the following keyboard shortcut:

Keyboard Shortcut: Command + Shift + 4

Here’s how you can use this shortcut to take a selected portion screenshot:

1. Position your cursor on the screen where you want to begin capturing the screenshot.

2. Press and hold the Command (⌘) key and the Shift key on your keyboard.

3. While holding down the Command and Shift keys, press the number key 4 on your keyboard.

4. After pressing the key combination, your cursor will turn into a crosshair (+) symbol.

5. Click and drag the crosshair cursor to select the specific portion of the screen you want to capture. As you drag, you’ll see a rectangular outline of the area being selected.

6. Release the mouse button or trackpad to capture the selected portion.

7. Once you release the mouse button, the screenshot will be automatically saved as a file on your desktop. The file name will start with “Screenshot” followed by the date and time of capture.

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8. Locate the screenshot file on your desktop. By default, the file will be saved in PNG format, and its name will include the date and time information.

That’s it! You have successfully captured a selected portion screenshot on your Mac using the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + 4.

Specific Window

To capture a specific window on a Mac using the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + 4 and the Spacebar, follow these steps:

1. Press and hold the Command (⌘) key and the Shift key on your keyboard.

2. While holding down the Command and Shift keys, press the number key 4 on your keyboard. This will activate the crosshair cursor.

3. Your cursor will turn into a crosshair (+) symbol. Move the crosshair cursor to the window you want to capture.

4. Before clicking to capture the window, press the Spacebar on your keyboard. The crosshair cursor will change into a camera icon.

5. Move the camera icon over the desired window or dialogue box you want to capture. As you hover over windows, they will be highlighted or shaded to indicate the area that will be captured.

6. Click on the highlighted window to capture it. You will hear a camera shutter sound, and the screenshot of the specific window will be saved as a file on your desktop.

7. Locate the screenshot file on your desktop. By default, the file will be saved in PNG format and its name will start with “Screenshot” followed by the date and time of capture.

By using the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + 4 followed by the Spacebar, you can easily capture a specific window on your Mac.

This method allows you to focus on capturing a single window without having to manually select the area using the crosshair cursor.

Timed Screenshot

To take a timed screenshot on a Mac with a delay using the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + 5 and selecting the “Capture” button, follow these steps:

1. Press and hold the Command (⌘) key and the Shift key on your keyboard.

2. While holding down the Command and Shift keys, press the number key 5 on your keyboard. This will bring up the screenshot toolbar on your screen.

3. The screenshot toolbar will provide you with various options for capturing screenshots. To take a timed screenshot, look for the “Capture” button in the toolbar and click on it.

4. After clicking the “Capture” button, a drop-down menu will appear with timing options. Choose the delay time you prefer (e.g., 5 seconds, 10 seconds) by clicking on the corresponding option.

5. Once you have selected the delay time, the screenshot toolbar will minimize, and a countdown timer will appear on the screen.

6. Position your screen content or set up the desired scene for the screenshot during the countdown period. Make sure everything you want to capture is prepared.

7. After the selected delay time elapses, your Mac will automatically capture the screenshot. You will hear a camera shutter sound, and the screenshot will be saved as a file on your desktop.

8. Locate the screenshot file on your desktop. By default, the file will be saved in PNG format, and its name will start with “Screenshot” followed by the date and time of capture.

By using the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + 5 and selecting the “Capture” button with a desired delay time, you can easily take timed screenshots on your Mac. This feature allows you to prepare your screen or scene before the screenshot is captured, giving you the flexibility to capture the desired content precisely.

Using the Screenshot Toolbar

The Screenshot Toolbar is a feature that appears when you use the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + 5 on a Mac. It provides a range of options for capturing screenshots and recording the screen. Here’s an explanation of its features:

1. Capture Entire Screen: This option, represented by an icon of a screen, allows you to capture the entire contents of your screen. Clicking on this option captures the screen immediately, and the screenshot is saved as a file on your desktop.

2. Capture Selected Portion: This option, represented by an icon of a square overlaid with dotted lines, enables you to capture a specific portion of the screen. Clicking on this option turns your cursor into a crosshair (+) symbol. You can then click and drag to select the desired area for capture. After releasing the mouse button, the screenshot of the selected portion is saved as a file on your desktop.

3. Capture Window: This option, represented by an icon of a window, allows you to capture a specific window or dialogue box. Clicking on this option turns your cursor into a camera icon. Hovering the camera icon over windows highlights or shades them to indicate the area that will be captured. Clicking on the desired window captures it, and the screenshot is saved as a file on your desktop.

4. Record Entire Screen: This option, represented by an icon of a filled-in circle, enables you to record your entire screen. Clicking on this option starts the screen recording immediately. You can control the recording using the controls that appear in the menu bar at the top of the screen. After stopping the recording, the resulting video file is saved on your desktop.

5. Record Selected Portion: This option, represented by an icon of a filled-in circle inside a rectangle, allows you to record a specific portion of the screen. Clicking on this option turns your cursor into a crosshair (+) symbol. You can click and drag to select the desired area for recording. Once you release the mouse button, the screen recording begins in the selected portion. You can control the recording using the menu bar controls, and the resulting video file is saved on your desktop after stopping the recording.

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These options in the Screenshot Toolbar give you convenient access to capturing screenshots and recording the screen in various ways, providing flexibility depending on your specific needs and preferences.

How to customize screenshot options.

Like changing the save location, choosing the file format (PNG, JPEG, or PDF), and including or excluding the mouse pointer.

Certainly! The ability to customize screenshot options can vary depending on the operating system you are using. I’ll provide instructions for the two most common operating systems, Windows and macOS.

Customizing Screenshot Options in Windows:

1. Changing the Save Location:

By default, Windows saves screenshots in the “Pictures” folder. To change the save location, follow these steps:
– Press the **Windows key + Print Screen (PrtScn)** to capture a screenshot.
– Open the **File Explorer** (Windows key + E) and navigate to the desired folder where you want to save your screenshots.
– Right-click on the folder and select **Properties**.
– In the **Properties** window, go to the **Location** tab.
– Click on the **Move** button and select the new folder you want to use for saving screenshots.
– Click **Apply** and then **OK** to save the changes.

2. Choosing the File Format:

Windows captures screenshots in the PNG file format by default. However, you can convert them to other formats manually. To change the default file format, you’ll need to use third-party screenshot tools such as Greenshot or ShareX, which offer more advanced customization options.

3. Including or Excluding the Mouse Pointer:

Windows does not provide built-in options to include or exclude the mouse pointer in screenshots. However, third-party screenshot tools like Greenshot or ShareX offer this feature. Install one of these tools and explore their settings to customize the inclusion or exclusion of the mouse pointer in your screenshots.

Customizing Screenshot Options in macOS:

1. Changing the Save Location:

By default, macOS saves screenshots on the desktop. To change the save location, follow these steps:
– Press **Command + Shift + 5** to open the Screenshot toolbar.
– Click on **Options** in the toolbar.
– Under **Save To**, select the desired location from the dropdown menu or click **Other Location** to choose a custom folder.

2. Choosing the File Format:

macOS allows you to choose between PNG, JPEG, and PDF file formats for screenshots. Follow these steps to change the default format:
– Press **Command + Shift + 5** to open the Screenshot toolbar.
– Click on **Options** in the toolbar.
– Under **Save To**, select the desired format from the dropdown menu.

3. Including or Excluding the Mouse Pointer:

macOS provides an option to include or exclude the mouse pointer in screenshots. Follow these steps:
– Press **Command + Shift + 5** to open the Screenshot toolbar.
– Click on **Options** in the toolbar.
– Under **Show Mouse Pointer**, select the desired option: **None**, **Selected**, or **All**.

Remember, the customization options may vary depending on the version of the operating system you are using.

I can provide instructions for using the Markup tool to preview and make basic edits to screenshots on both Windows and macOS.

Using Markup Tool in Windows:

1. Take a screenshot using the preferred method on Windows. This can be done by pressing the **Print Screen (PrtScn)** key or using the **Windows key + Shift + S** shortcut.

2. After taking the screenshot, a notification will appear in the bottom right corner of the screen. Click on the notification to open the screenshot in the **Screen snip** tool.

3. In the Screen snip tool, you can use the Markup toolbar to preview and make basic edits to the screenshot. The Markup toolbar offers options such as drawing on the screenshot, highlighting sections, adding text, and cropping.

4. To draw on the screenshot, click on the **Pen** icon in the toolbar and choose a color. Then, use your mouse or stylus to draw on the screenshot.

5. To highlight a section of the screenshot, click on the **Highlighter** icon in the toolbar and choose a color. Then, click and drag the cursor to highlight the desired area.

6. To add text to the screenshot, click on the **Text** icon in the toolbar and click on the area where you want to add the text. Type your desired text and adjust the font, size, and color using the options in the toolbar.

7. To crop the screenshot, click on the **Crop** icon in the toolbar. Click and drag the handles on the edges of the screenshot to select the desired area. Once selected, click **Save** to crop the screenshot.

8. After making the necessary edits, click on the **Save** button in the top-right corner of the screen snip tool to save the edited screenshot.

Using Markup Tool in macOS:

1. Take a screenshot on macOS using the preferred method. You can use the **Command + Shift + 3** shortcut to capture the entire screen or **Command + Shift + 4** to capture a selected portion.

2. After taking the screenshot, a thumbnail of the screenshot will appear in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Click on the thumbnail to open it in the Markup tool.

3. In the Markup tool, you can use various tools to preview and edit the screenshot. The Markup toolbar provides options such as drawing, shapes, text, highlighting, and cropping.

4. To draw on the screenshot, click on the **Draw** icon in the Markup toolbar and choose a color. Then, use your mouse or trackpad to draw on the screenshot.

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5. To add shapes, click on the **Shapes** icon in the Markup toolbar and select the desired shape. Click and drag on the screenshot to draw the shape.

6. To add text to the screenshot, click on the **Text** icon in the Markup toolbar and click on the area where you want to add the text. Type your desired text and adjust the font, size, and color using the options in the toolbar.

7. To highlight a section of the screenshot, click on the **Marker** icon in the Markup toolbar and choose a color. Then, click and drag the cursor to highlight the desired area.

8. To crop the screenshot, click on the **Crop** icon in the Markup toolbar. Click and drag the handles on the edges of the screenshot to select the desired area. Once selected, press the **Enter** key to crop the screenshot.

9. After making the necessary edits, click on the **Done** button in the Markup toolbar. You can then choose to save the edited screenshot or copy it to the clipboard for further use.

These instructions should help you use the Markup tool to preview and make basic edits to your screenshots on Windows and macOS.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Here is how to copy a screenshot directly to the clipboard without saving it as a file (Command + Control + Shift + 3 or 4).

I can explain how to copy a screenshot directly to the clipboard without saving it as a file using the keyboard shortcuts on macOS.

Copying a Screenshot to Clipboard on macOS:

1. Press the following keyboard shortcut based on the type of screenshot you want to capture:
– **Command + Control + Shift + 3**: Capture the entire screen.
– **Command + Control + Shift + 4**: Capture a selected portion of the screen.

2. After pressing the keyboard shortcut, the screenshot will be captured, and you will see a thumbnail of the screenshot in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

3. Before releasing the keys, press and hold the **Control** key. This action will copy the screenshot directly to the clipboard instead of saving it as a file.

4. Once the screenshot is copied to the clipboard, you can paste it into any application or document that supports image pasting. Use the **Command + V** keyboard shortcut or right-click and select **Paste** to paste the screenshot.

By following these steps, you can copy a screenshot directly to the clipboard on macOS without saving it as a file.

Using Third-Party Apps

In addition to the built-in screenshot options on macOS, there are also third-party applications available that offer additional features and functionality for capturing screenshots. These apps provide more advanced customization options, editing tools, and various capture modes. Some popular third-party screenshot apps for macOS include:

1. **Snagit:** Snagit is a powerful screenshot and screen recording tool that offers a wide range of features. It allows you to capture screenshots, record videos, add annotations, apply effects, and easily share your captures.

2. **Skitch:** Skitch is a simple and intuitive screenshot tool developed by Evernote. It enables you to capture screenshots, annotate them with arrows, text, shapes, and sketches, and quickly share or save them.

3. **Lightshot:** Lightshot is a lightweight and user-friendly screenshot tool. It allows you to capture selected areas or the entire screen, edit screenshots with basic annotations, and easily share them online.

4. **Monosnap:** Monosnap is a feature-rich screenshot and screen recording application. It offers various capture modes, editing tools, cloud storage integration, and the ability to annotate screenshots with arrows, text, and other graphical elements.

These third-party apps often provide more advanced options for capturing, editing, and sharing screenshots, allowing you to customize your workflow and enhance your productivity. You can find these applications and others by searching the Mac App Store or third-party software repositories online.

Conclusion,

Here’s a summary of the key points discussed regarding taking screenshots on a Mac:

1. **Built-in Screenshot Options:** macOS provides built-in screenshot options that are easy to use. The main shortcuts are **Command + Shift + 3** to capture the entire screen and **Command + Shift + 4** to capture a selected portion of the screen.

2. **Clipboard Copy:** By holding down the **Control** key in conjunction with the screenshot shortcuts, you can copy the screenshot directly to the clipboard without saving it as a file. This allows for quick and easy pasting into applications or documents.

3. **Preview and Basic Edits:** After capturing a screenshot, macOS provides the Markup tool that allows you to preview the screenshot and make basic edits. You can draw, add text, highlight, and crop the screenshot using the Markup toolbar.

4. **Third-Party Apps:** In addition to the built-in options, there are third-party applications available for capturing screenshots on a Mac. These apps offer additional features, customization options, and advanced editing capabilities. Some popular examples include Snagit, Skitch, Lightshot, and Monosnap.

Overall, taking screenshots on a Mac is both easy and versatile. The built-in options provide quick access to capturing the screen or a specific portion, with the ability to copy directly to the clipboard. The Markup tool allows for basic edits and annotations.

Furthermore, third-party apps offer even more advanced features and functionality to cater to specific needs. Whether you’re a casual user or require more advanced capabilities, macOS provides a range of options to capture and work with screenshots effectively.

Remember to organize the points logically and provide clear step-by-step instructions for each method of capturing a screenshot on a Mac.

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