Snag Those Screens: How to Take Screenshots on Your Mac

Ever stumble upon something on your Mac that you just gotta capture?

Screenshots are your friend! Luckily, there are several ways to take screenshots on your Mac, depending on what you need to grab. Here’s a quick guide:

Capturing the Whole Picture

For a screenshot of your entire screen, use the keyboard shortcut:

  • Shift + Command + 3

Hold all three keys down at the same time. You’ll usually hear a faint shutter sound or see a brief screen flash, indicating the screenshot was captured.

The screenshot will be saved as a PNG image on your desktop by default.

Snipping a Specific Area

Maybe you only need a portion of your screen. Here’s how to do that:

  • Shift + Command + 4

This combo activates the selection tool. Your cursor will transform into a crosshair. Drag the cursor to select the area you want to capture.

When you release the mouse button, the chosen area will be captured as a screenshot.

Pro Tip: Adding Flourishes to Your Snippets

After selecting the area with Shift + Command + 4, you can press and hold one of these keys while dragging to make your selection even more precise:

  • Space: Hold this to move the entire selection rectangle around without resizing it.
  • Option: Hold this to exclude the window’s shadow from the screenshot.
  • Shift: Hold this to constrain the selection to a square.

Taking a Screenshot of a Window or Menu

  • Shift + Command + 4 + Space

This nifty shortcut lets you capture a specific window or menu bar. Click on the window or menu you want to grab, and it will be captured as a screenshot.

Finding Your Screenshots

By default, screenshots are saved to your desktop. However, you can also customize this location in your System Preferences.

Quick Edit (Optional)

Sometimes you might want to make a quick edit to your screenshot before saving it permanently.

After taking a screenshot (using any method), you might see a thumbnail appear briefly in the corner of your screen.

Clicking on this thumbnail opens a quick editing window where you can crop, markup, or add text to your screenshot before saving it.


These methods work for most Mac computers. If you’re unsure about your specific model, you can consult Apple’s Support resources for more detailed instructions.

So, fire up those keyboards and start snapping those screenshots!

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