How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac

Your Laptop Can Do It Too How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac

Screenshots prove their usefulness in often underrated and under-utilized ways. Great examples include capturing the screen’s appearance when something goes wrong or pointing out something specific.

It is an easy thing to do if you know the method. But it becomes an enigma to someone who is a novice to using a Mac-powered computer. But don’t worry, there are a lot of ways to take a screenshot using a Mac.

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Today, we will look at these various methods to help you take a full screenshot on Mac devices. Read on and learn how you can do this yourself without any hassle.

1. Using Keyboard Combinations

One of the more common methods for taking a full screenshot on Mac is by using keyboard combinations. Windows lets you do this using the Print Screen key, an option sadly not in the Macintosh keyboard layout.

Now combine this confusing setup with how the Command key works. You can see how this can be a daunting situation for a newcomer.

The good news is that you can use keyboard combinations to capture the screenshots you need. It even comes with variations to them. By default, these screenshots appear on your desktop after capturing them.

Let us look at each of these keyboard combinations for taking a screenshot.

Taking a Full Screenshot

To take a full screenshot of your desktop, the keyboard combination is Command + Shift + 3. Using this, you can take a quick snap of your desktop screen in an instant.

Now, there is also a variation to this to save it on your clipboard instead. The keyboard combination for that is Command + Shift + Control + 3.

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Once it is on your clipboard, you can Paste (Command + V) this to any program you want to put it to. For example, you can put this on your Keynote presentation.

Taking a Screenshot of a Selected Area

You can also take a screenshot of a selected area instead of the whole screen. For this, the keyboard combination you need is Command + Shift + 4.

Upon inputting this combination, your mouse pointer changes into a crosshair. This means you can click and drag to create a box that would indicate the area that you want to capture. Release the mouse button to get a snap.

Use the keyboard combination Command + Shift + Control + 4 to save it to your clipboard instead. Then, repeat the steps to capture the area you want for the screenshot. Once you release the mouse button after selecting the area, it ends up in your clipboard instead.

Taking a Screenshot of a Specific Window

While this uses the same keyboard combination as earlier, this is an entirely different approach. This option lets you capture a window instead of creating a drag box.

To do this, use the Command + Shift + 4 keyboard combination. Once your mouse pointer changes to a crosshair, press Spacebar. The crosshair will change into a camera icon.

With that cursor ready, hover towards any window that you want to capture. The moment it hovers on a window, you should see a light blue overlay on it. Click on the window you want to capture and you will have it snapped as a screenshot.

You can use this to capture other elements on your Mac like the menus or the dock. You can also have the screenshot head straight to your clipboard. Just use the same variation (Command + Shift + Control + 4), then repeat the instructions mentioned here.

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2. Using Apps for Screenshots

The other method available for you to use is through apps. This comes in the form of the Grab and Screenshot apps, which you can find in your Launchpad. You can also launch them using a keyboard combination, which is Control + Shift + 5.

These apps do vary and have some noticeable differences depending on the version of the OS that you have. If you happen to be using an older OS, you would have the Grab app. Otherwise, you have access to Screenshots instead.

Screenshots appear in later Mac OS versions such as Catalina, where you end up with a toolbar when accessing the app to take screen captures. It also lets you pick the screenshot type that you want and where you can save it.

As for Grab, you would have this in older Mac OS versions. It lets you perform the same features as the Screenshot app. It also has the Timed Screenshot feature.

Another interesting tidbit is that you can also take screenshots using the Preview app. While this is the default app for viewing photos and PDFs, you can also use this to edit images. To take a screenshot using Preview, go to File and then to Take Screenshot. You have the option to take the screenshot “From Selection,” “From Window,” or “From Entire Screen”.

This way, you can get the Mac screenshot that you need. Now you can use it for the photos or videos you work on.

3. Screen Captures with Audio

A bonus pointer that you can try is that you can also record your screen with sound using your Mac. Now, this comes with a set of specific instructions and may fit various purposes. Such as making video tutorials.

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Now You Can Take a Full Screenshot on Mac

Knowing the tools that you have available, taking a full screenshot on Mac becomes easier and more manageable. Along with the numerous features, keyboard combinations, and tools, you can maximize your Mac to its fullest potential. You begin to see how it can be a powerhouse in fulfilling your tasks.

Mix it up every once in a while, and find the right tool for the job. Your mac is a versatile device that you ought to explore.

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