How to Screenshot on Mac: 4 Different Ways

screenshot of mac computer

Luckily, when it comes to how to screenshot on Mac, it is as easy as taking a screenshot on a Windows PC. Although the commands or keys are not the same, the procedure is easy and quick. On Mac, you can take different types of screenshots, such as capturing a specific window, a menu, or a selected portion of the screen.

The keyboard commands on this Apple OS are certainly the simplest as well as the quickest way to take any kind of screenshot. The most basic key to how to screenshot on Mac is Command + Shift + 3. However, there more options for you to use.

By default, any screenshot that you take, regardless of the method or command used, are saved to the Desktop. However, you can easily change the destination to any other folder of your choice for saving your screenshots.

Typically, a screenshot is saved as an image file with the extension, .png. It will have a label, ‘Screen Shot (year)-(month)-(day) at (time)’. You can easily change this image to some other image using an image viewing program, and convert it to another image extension using the Save As option.

The methods of how to screenshot on Mac discussed below work on all Mac versions. Whether still working on High Sierra or shifted to Mojave, the following methods produce screenshots that you can further process and use.

Taking a Screenshot of Full Screen

Whether you have one screen or more than it, it’s simple to grab the screenshot of what is seen on one or more screens on Mac. Here are the steps to follow, except on Mojave:

  1. Press Command + Shift + 3 A sound similar to the camera shutter is heard.
  2. See the screenshot on the desktop.

The procedure of how to screenshot on Mac Mojave is a bit different. It is as follows:

  1. On this platform, you press Command + Shift + 5 to display capture controls on the screen.
  2. In the panel of these controls, click the Capture Entire Screen This change the mouse pointer to a camera.
  3. Now, either click Capture in the panel to grab the screen of each display or click anywhere on any screen to grab the screenshot of that display. This results in the grabbed screenshot thumbnail in your screen’s corner. The screenshot is on the desktop.

Taking a Screenshot of Partial Screen

Often, you do not want to capture the whole screen but just a part of it. This is because you may want to emphasize a section of the currently running application or show an interesting area of the screen to make it clear. This is where you need to know how to screenshot on Mac such that you get the screens’ specific area as an image. Following are the steps for the same, except for Mojave:

  1. Press Command + Shift + 4 The mouse pointer becomes a crosshair.
  2. Drag the crosshair diagonally from top left to bottom right across the area on the screen, which you wish to capture. A rectangle shape forms the edge of the selected area.
  3. Release the mouse button. The screenshot of that selected area is taken and saved on the desktop.

On the display of crosshair, you may opt to let go of the keys. While dragging, you may press Spacebar for moving around the selected area. At this time, holding Shift allows moving it horizontally. To stop the capture task at any time, just press Escape. This will not create or capture any image.

Following are the steps to capture a partial area as a screenshot on Mojave or later Mac version:

  1. Press Command + Shift + 5 at once. A marquee highlighting the area to be captured is shown.
  2. Resize or move the marquee, if required, to select the region exactly to capture.

The shortcut key also displays a menu showing options to save the screenshot, show the pointer, and so on. Finally, once the screenshot is taken, a thumbnail of the same will be displayed in the screen’s bottom right so that you can edit it.

Taking a Screenshot of a Window

If there are multiple windows open, you can easily take a screenshot of any of them. Following are the steps for the same:

  1. Press Command + Shift + 4 The mouse pointer becomes a crosshair.
  2. Press Spacebar.
  3. Place the cursor over the desired window. It gets highlighted in blue to indicate that it will be captured.
  4. Click the mouse. The pointer becomes a camera icon. The foremost window will become grey.
  5. Click the window whose screenshot you wish to take. The screenshot with a shadow is saved to the desktop.

This procedure of how to screenshot on Mac captures not only windows but also menu bar, desktop, and the Dock. In case you want a screengrab without the shadow, press and hold the Option or Alt key and then press Space + Alt once the crosshair is displayed.

Taking a Screenshot of a Specific Size

When you drag the crosshair over the intended screen area, the generated selection border’s bottom right shows pixel numbers, such as 1024 x 560. This is the size, the width and length, of the selected area in pixels. These numbers are useful when you want to capture a screenshot as per the specific size requirement.

Dragging the selection window across the intended area of the screen will show the size of the selected space. To capture the screenshot, just release the mouse at that displayed size. Following are the steps to how to screenshot on Mac to get an image of predetermined size:

  1. Press Command + Shift + 4 at once. The crosshair is displayed on the screen.
  2. Drag the crosshair to select an area whose size equals to the required pixel width and depth.
  3. Press Spacebar and move the box formed due to selection around the screen until you cover the intended area to be included in your screenshot.
  4. Finally, release the mouse button.


These are some simple and quick ways to how to screenshot on Mac. You need to choose the one that best fits your requirements.

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