How to take screenshots on your Mac

If you’re coming from a Windows PC to a Mac, you might be wondering how to take a screenshot without the Print Screen key on your keyboard. Don’t worry, there are a bunch of ways to take a screenshot — including ways to capture a specific window — available in macOS, whether you’ve updated to Catalina or are still using Mojave, and they all produce images you can use for whatever you need.

When you want to take a screenshot on macOS, you have both built-in and third-party tools to choose from. Let’s see how to make the most of the screenshot options on your Mac and explore some helpful tricks along the way.

How to take screenshots on your Mac - Mac

How to take a screenshot on a Mac using keyboard shortcuts

macOS has some virtual keyboard shortcuts to help you get a screenshot right away. We’ll get to know them one by one, as which one depends on what exactly you want to take a shot of.

(Having a problem with screenshot shortcuts on your Mac? Make sure you haven’t disabled them under تفضيلات النظام -> لوحة المفاتيح -> الاختصارات -> لقطات الشاشة.)

Take a screenshot of the entire screen

For this option, you need the shortcut Cmd + Shift + 3. Which takes a screenshot of the entire screen and saves it to your desktop as a PNG image.

Do you want to copy the screenshot to the clipboard to paste it somewhere else instead of automatically saving it? add key Control To the previous shortcut – i.e. press Control + Cmd + Shift + 3. For more information on this basic copying procedure, see How to Copy and Paste on a Mac.

Capture part of the screen

How to take screenshots on your Mac - Mac

You will need to click on Cmd + Shift + 4 If you want to capture a specific part of the screen. This shortcut turns the pointer into an intersection; You can then click and drag it to select the part of the screen you want to capture.

While making a selection, hold down the . key Shift If you want to limit adjustments to an axis X or Y. To change the volume of your choice proportionally from the center, hold down the . key Option. And if you want to move the selection, press and hold the . key Space Instead of that.

(Have you changed your mind about taking the screenshot? No problem. Press the key Escape to cancel the action.)

Once you are satisfied with the selection, release the mouse. The screenshot will be saved to your desktop as a PNG file. As mentioned above, if you want to copy the captured image to the clipboard instead of saving it, you will need to tweak the shortcut a bit. By making the abbreviation as Control + Cmd + Shift + 4 To copy what you capture from the screen.

Capture application window

How to take screenshots on your Mac - Mac

Want to take a screenshot of the active window? First press Cmd + Shift + 4. Then press Space , and you’ll see the intersection turn into a camera.

The active window will appear shaded, and if you click on the camera, you will get a screenshot. Before clicking, you can also choose to move the camera focus to a different window.

If you want to take a screenshot with the timing, you need to open a tool Screenshot Mac Embedded. We will discuss this in the next section.

How to take a screenshot on a Mac with Screenshot

How to take screenshots on your Mac - Mac

within التطبيقات -> الأدوات المساعدة , you will find the application that will help you to take screenshots stored on your Mac, which is called Screenshot. You can also open this app using the shortcut Cmd + Shift + 5.

(If your Mac isn’t running Mojave or later, look for the Grab app instead of Screenshot in the Utilities folder.)

With Screenshot, Apple has simplified the entire screen capture process. The app is useful if you prefer a multi-click approach rather than keyboard shortcuts.

The Screenshot toolbar has three buttons that make screen capture on macOS quick and not difficult: Capture Entire Screen And Capture Selected Window And Capture Selection Portion. (The app also has two buttons for screen recording.)

For timed screenshots, tap the button.Optionsin the toolbar. You will find options temporary in the menu that appears.

After taking a screenshot using any of the above options, you will see a mini preview at the bottom right of the screen. Click on it to reveal a preview window complete with tools for editing, annotating, or for deleting the screenshot. Here, you can add text, graphics, shapes, and even your signature to the screenshot.

The full-size preview window also has an option to open the screenshot with other Mac apps like Notes, Mail, and Reminders.

If you want to turn off the thumbnails feature, uncheck the option Show floating thumbnails in the list”Optionsfrom the Screenshot toolbar.

How to take screenshots on your Mac - Mac

Configure Screenshot Settings on Mac

You might, for example, want to change the default screenshot format or change where screenshots are saved on your Mac. In such cases, you will need to execute a command from Terminal. Let’s take a look at three of the most useful commands.

We have appended each command to a second command that is necessary to solidify the changes. Which is read as follows:

killall SystemUIServer

To change the default screenshot format

You can save screenshots in other formats like JPG, BMP, and PDF. To do this, you will need to replace [file type] In the below command with the name of the related three character format:

defaults write type [file type] && killall SystemUIServer

To change the screenshot save directory

In Mojave and later versions of macOS, you can change the default destination folder directly from the Screenshot app. To do this, click on the Options button in the Screenshot toolbar and select a folder of your choice under the “Screenshot” toin the resulting list.

On a Mac running a pre-Mojave system, you should rely on this Terminal command:

defaults write location [path] && killall SystemUIServer

replace [path] The new Finder save location that reads something like:


You can either type the path name into Terminal, or drag and drop the relevant folder into Terminal to paste its path name.

Alternatively, you can also copy the path name and then paste it into Terminal. You will find an optioncopy as track namein the destination folder context menu or right-click menu. However, the command only appears when you hold down the Option key while right-clicking.

Change the default file name for screenshots

If you want to replace the default prefix (Screen Shot) in screenshot names with a different keyword, try this command:

defaults write name [file name] && killall SystemUIServer

Make sure to replace [file name] On the command with the new keyword before executing.

If you’d rather not use Terminal, install a utility that allows you to modify macOS settings without Terminal commands.

How to take screenshots on Mac with Preview

The Preview app on your Mac also allows you to get screenshots. It’s just one of the basic Preview tricks you’ll want to know on macOS.

The plus of using Preview for taking screenshots is that you can select a different file format and change the save directory for each new screenshot. Of course, you can also edit the screenshot in Preview right away before saving it.

You’ll find screenshot tools in Preview under ملف -> أخذ لقطة للشاشة. Unfortunately, there is a missing option to take the screenshot by timing.

Best screenshot apps for your Mac

How to take screenshots on your Mac - Mac

Want advanced features not included with the built-in screen capture tools on your Mac? Try one of the three third-party tools below.

1. Monosnap

This app is added to your Mac’s menu bar and you can access it with a keyboard shortcut. Monosnap allows you to edit screenshots, add annotations, arrows, boxes, and text to them. You can also blur elements, highlight specific areas, and upload screenshots to the cloud. Monosnap has been added to our list of the best macOS menu bar apps.

Download: Monosnap (Free)

2. Sketch

This app allows you to capture and edit/comment on various on-screen items without having to open another app. Skitch also supports timing for taking screenshots.

Download: Skitch (Free)

3. Snappy

You should get Snappy if your work involves collaborating through screenshots often. You can not only edit and comment on screenshots as usual, but also easily share them. Sharing options include a password protection feature and the option to set a time for self-destruct.

Download: Snappy (Free)

Get screenshots on other Apple devices, too

Now you know how to take a screenshot on your MacBook quickly and efficiently. macOS gives you the tools to capture everything you need.

Why not master the basics of the following screenshots on the iPhone?

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