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3 Easy Ways to Take a Screenshot on a Mac

by Justin Herrick | August 12, 2018August 12, 2018 9:30 am PDT

On macOS, you can take a screenshot. Hold down a special combination of buttons on the keyboard and your Mac will create a PNG file of what’s shown and selected. Then you’re free to edit that screenshot or immediately share it anywhere.

Taking a screenshot may sound so simple, but there are actually a few different methods to do so on Apple’s computers. The Cupertino-based company lets you frame the whole screen or capture a user-selected portion of it. You’re also able to snap only what a specific window looks like. See, you have plenty of options to ensure you get the screenshot you want.

Whether you’re entirely new to macOS or just need a refresher on how to take a screenshot, here are the three ways to take a screenshot on a Mac.

How to Take Screenshots on a Mac - Cmd Shift 3

Method #1: Command + Shift + 3

The easiest method to take a screenshot on a Mac is by holding Command + Shift + 3. When these buttons are simultaneously pressed on the keyboard, macOS will create a mirrored image of everything on the screen. You get every pixel from corner to corner, edge to edge.

How to Take Screenshots on a Mac - Cmd Shift 4

Method #2: Command + Shift + 4

With this method, you have an extra step involved. The combination will launch a crosshair icon. It’s used to mark where you’d like to start (and end) a drag-and-drop of a selected area on the screen. Those who want to get very detailed can take advantage of the real-time coordinates below the crosshair icon.

If you know exactly what needs to be included, get everything inside the user-selected portion. Now you shouldn’t have to crop or make any space-related adjustments.

How to Take Screenshots on a Mac - Cmd Shift 4 Space Bar

Method #3: Command + Shift + 4 + Space Bar

Holding Command + Shift +4 + Space Bar isn’t a very popular method, but you still have it at your disposal. It’ll cue a camera icon. After the camera icon appears, hover over the window that you’d like to screenshot. Then click and you’ll have a screenshot of that window alone. Basically, it’s a cleaner screenshot than if you were to want a certain window but had to crop.


Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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