How to take screenshot on Mac

How to take screenshot on Mac

In the 21st century, Apple devices are very much in use. Several offices run their applications on Apple devices and as such, make use of the Mac Operating System for desktop and iOS for mobile.

As you continue to use the Apple laptops which runs on Machintosh operating System, you come to a point where you will need some relevant information and the only way to get them is by screenshoting them. In my previous post, I showed my readers how to set their home address on Iphone. Today, I want to show you how to take screenshot on Mac.

This is why this content is written after a thorough research to teach you several ways through which you can take screenshots on Mac and save them on your device.

It is important to know that Mac OS has lots of shortcut keys that aids you in doing almost anything. To that end, I will also show you the shortcut key you can use to perform this task.

Apple has new M1 and M2 versions on several of its Mac, yet the way screenshots are taken remains the same.

How to Sreenshot on Mac – First Method

The first method for screenshot is to use the shortcut key Cmd – Shift – 3. You are to press and hold these keys the same time for the screenshot to be fully captured. This shortcut key captures the entire screen of your device. You can then crop the screenshot if there are parts of it you do not want.

how to take screenshot on mac

How to Sreenshot on Mac – Second Method

Whereas the first method captures the entire screen, this second method only captures the aspect you want. Instead of using the first method and the cropping it, you can just use this second method and get the job done.

The shortcut key for this is Cmd – Shift – 4. This shortcut key turns the cursor into a crosshair which you can hover round the region you want to screenshot. If you get to the region where you want to screenshot, drag the cursor to select the portion of your choice. Then release the cursor and the shot is taken.

To screenshot using this method, follow the steps below;

  1. Click on Shift, Command and 4 at the same time.
  2. The next thing is to select the portion of the screen to capture. To do that, drag the crosshair. Press and hold the Space bar while dragging to move the selection.
  3. Release the mouse or trackpad button to take a screenshot
  4. Finally, wait until the screenshot is saved to your desktop.
how to take screenshot on mac

How to Sreenshot on Mac – Third Method

The shortcut key for the third method is Cmd – Shift – 5. This key calls up a panel at the bottom of the screen with a screen capture option. This command was introduced in MacOS Mojave in 2018. If you use the following MacOS versions, Mojave, Catalina, Big Sur, or Monterey, the Cmd- Shift – 5 shortcut key will pop up a screen capture menu that allows you to: 

  1. Capture Entire Screen
  2. Capture Selected Window
  3. Capture Selected Portion of the screen
  4. Record Entire Screen
  5. Record Selected Portion of the screen. 
how to take screenshot on mac

The Options button lets you select where your MacBook screenshot and video output is saved.

How to Sreenshot on Mac – Fourth Method

This method is mostly used for old 15 or 16 inch Macbook Pro or the current 13 inch Macbook Pro. The shortcut key for this operation is Cmd – Shift – 6

How to Sreenshot on Mac using a third-party application

Having outlined 4 shortcut keys you can use to screenshot on Mac, it is also important to let you know that you can do same with third-party applications. All you need to do is to install some relevant applications that can help you carry out this task.

#1 CleanShot X for Mac

Popular among such applications is the CleanShot X app for Mac. This application has amazing features that makes it standout from others that perform same functionality. The app has more than 50 different changes which makes it outstanding. While using this app for screenshot, you can choose to hide all desktop clutter and disable desktop notification.

Some of the great features of the CleanShot X app include, screenshot pinning, internal cloud and self-timer. The self-timer helps you capture with a little delay. This will help you get a more stable and prepare shot. The screenshot pinning feature helps pin your shots to the screen so that it can be visible. The internal cloud feature helps you to save your screenshot with the CleanShot X memory so that you can then get the shareable link for subsequent sharing.

#2 Capto

Capto an awesome tool for screen capturing and recording. It can be used for variety of purposes like screen capture, screen recording and editing. It has a lot of image and video editing tools. It has a feature that enables instantly sharing your shots to all popular platforms like YouTube, Dropbox, Tumblr, FTP/SFTP server.

Capto helps you to clearly record audios from either the system or the microphone. Also, for its image editing tool, it has a fully featured image editor to enhance and create informative images. As such, you can Highlight, Annotate, correct, or adjust the properties of your captured screenshot and make them stand out.

#3 YAC

Yac is another awesome tool for screenshots. It works with iOS, Android, Windows and Mac. You can use this tool to screenshot awesome moments and also share your shots. In sharing your shots with your colleagues, this tool makes it very easy for you without you having to disturb your colleague and interrupt their work. This tool has lots of advanced media players. 

All these third-party apps are available with Setapp, so you can try all of them for free

How to take screenshot on Mac using the Touch Bar 

If your Mac has the Touch Bar, then there is another alternative for screenshots. This is basically for those who are used to Windows Operating system. As such, adapting to Mac may not be easy and immediate. Using the Touch Bar, you can create a dedicated button for screenshots. To do that, here are the steps to follow.  

  1. Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Keyboard 
  2. Click Customize Control Strip
  3. Choose the location of your screenshot button on the Touch Bar, drag and drop it there, and save the changes.  

Having done this, you can screenshot Mac using just the Touch Bar.

Click the screenshot button — It will bring up a screen capture menu.

Click “Save To” if you want to change where your screenshots are saved to.

Choose what you want to capture: the entire screen, selected area, or window.

Then move your cursor to take a screenshot. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Having provided some information about Mac Screenshots, there are other questions that this post will not fail to answer.

How do I view screenshot on Mac?

Once you capture a screenshot on your Mac device, it automatically stores on your desktop. As such, there are basically 2 ways to access them. The first is to use the finder tool and search for it with the name you saved it with. This first method is mostly used when you have lots of documents on your desktop. The second is to just go through all the documents you have on your desktop and hopefully, you will surely find it.

How do I paste a screenshot on a Mac?

You will need to paste your screenshots on one location of the other for subsequent reuse. For this to happen, you must first copy the screenshot and then head over to the desired location and save it there. The way to copy and paste is the same with that of windows. Click on Control + C to copy. Then go to the desired location, click on Control + V to paste.

How do I disable screenshots on Mac?

There may be a few times when you are no longer interested in screenshots, the only alternative will be to disable the feature. To do that, Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Screen Recording on a Mac to disable screenshots. A padlock will be displayed, which you can Unlock with your password.

How do I change where my screenshots are saved?

As earlier stated, screenshots are saved on the desktop as their default location. But in order to change that location there are few things to do. If you are using Mojave or later, launch the Screenshot app by pressing shift + command + 5. Click the Options menu in the app toolbar. From there, you can then edit the location to your choice.

How do I change the keys used for screenshots?

You can actually change the keys used for screenshots. To do that, open the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen, then System Preferences. Click Keyboard, then select the Shortcuts tab. From there, select Screenshots in the menu at left. Having done that, you can then change the default shortcuts to whatever you want to change it to.

How to add annotations

MacOS’ Markup capabilities are built into the Screenshot app. That means you can easily add highlights to text, draw arrows to point out details, make freehand sketches, add your signature, and much more to any screen capture.

Step 1: To see the Markup toolbar, just select the thumbnail that appears in the bottom-right corner after taking a screenshot.

Step 2: After you select the screenshot’s thumbnail, it opens in a window with a Markup toolbar at the top. This is a system utility window that appears above all other windows and lacks the usual maximize, minimize, and sizing options of an app window. There are several drawing tools, a text tool, a signature option that lets you sign on your trackpad or take a photo of an ink and paper signature with a webcam or iPhone, and more.

Step 3: Perfect squares and circles are possible when using the Shapes tool, but the Sketch tool at the top-left is quite helpful at correcting wobbly, hand-drawn shapes, including boxes, stars, triangles, ovals, and arrows.

Step 4: It’s also easy to edit your drawings and annotations. Deselect the current tool so the cursor becomes an arrow and choose any annotation to adjust its size, position, and color. Hit the Delete key to remove that sketch, text, or signature.

Step 5: When you’re satisfied with marking up the screenshot, choose the Done button at the upper right to save the image. You can also use the Share menu to AirDrop and send to another app, or simply trash the screenshot if you’ve decided you don’t want it.


Never lose any amazing moment again while browsing and reading through documents. Those images and contents are very important and you need to screenshot and save them for subsequent reuse. Seeing that MacOs is more complex than windows, I have tried to explain in detail, how you can screenshot.

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