How to Screenshot on Mac in 5 Ways

Screenshots are an extremely useful tool for collecting and sharing data on your Mac. Whether you want to save an interesting article, share a funny meme, or document an error message, knowing how to screenshot on Mac is essential.

In this article, we’ll cover various methods to take screenshots on your Mac, including keyboard shortcuts, built-in tools, and third-party applications. From capturing the entire screen to specific areas or windows, we’ll guide you through the process step-by-step. Let’s dive in and master the art of screenshotting on a Mac!

How to Screenshot on Mac Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Full-Screen Screenshot

On a Mac, simply hit Command () + Shift + 3 to capture your full screen. The snapshot will be automatically saved to your desktop as a PNG file.

It’s that easy! This shortcut is ideal for capturing everything displayed on your screen quickly.

Screenshot of a Selected Area

Sometimes, you only need to capture a specific area of your screen. To do this, use Command (⌘) + Shift + 4. Your cursor will transform into a crosshair, allowing you to select and move the desired location. When you let go of the mouse button, the screenshot will be saved to your desktop.

Capture a Specific Window

To grab a specific window, use Command () + Shift + 4 + Spacebar.

Your cursor will transform into a camera icon. Move it over the window you wish to screenshot and click on it. The screenshot will be saved as a PNG file on your desktop.

Using the Built-in Screenshot Tool: Grab

While the keyboard shortcuts offer quick solutions, macOS also provides a built-in screenshot application called Grab. It offers additional features, making it an excellent alternative for certain scenarios.

Accessing Grab

To open Grab, go to Applications > Utilities > Grab. Launch the application to access its various screenshot options.

Capturing the Screen

In Grab, you’ll find the option to capture the entire screen under the “Capture” menu. Simply click on “Screen” or press Command (⌘) + Z to take the screenshot.

Capturing a Selection

Select “Capture” and choose “Selection” from the menu. You can then drag and select the desired area. Click on “Capture” to save the screenshot.

Capturing a Window

For capturing a specific window, click on “Capture” and then “Window.” The cursor will become a camera symbol. The screenshot will be saved after you click on the window you wish to capture.

How to Screenshot on Mac Using Third-Party Apps

While macOS offers powerful built-in tools, third-party apps can provide even more flexibility and features for advanced users or specific use cases.


Lightshot is a popular and user-friendly third-party app for capturing screenshots. After installing Lightshot, you can use the Command (⌘) + Shift + 5 shortcut to access its features.


Snagit is a robust screenshot and screen recording tool that offers extensive editing capabilities. It’s perfect for professionals who need to annotate or add graphics to their screenshots. Install Snagit, and you’ll have easy access to its features via the Command (⌘) + Shift + 6 shortcut.


Skitch is an excellent choice for those who value simplicity and straightforward annotation tools. It’s perfect for quickly marking up screenshots before sharing. After installation, use the Command (⌘) + Shift + 7 shortcut to launch Skitch.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I change the default screenshot format on Mac?

 A: Yes, you can! By default, macOS saves screenshots in PNG format, but you can change it to JPEG, TIFF, GIF, or other formats. To do this, open Terminal and enter the appropriate command.

Q: How can I take a screenshot of the Touch Bar on a MacBook Pro?

 A: To capture the Touch Bar’s contents, press Command (⌘) + Shift + 6. The screenshot will be saved to your desktop.

Q: Does macOS offer a screenshot timer for delayed captures? 

A: Yes, macOS allows you to set a timer for delayed captures. Go to the “Capture” option in Grab and pick “Timed Screen.”

Q: Can I take screenshots of web pages that extend beyond the screen’s visible area?

 A: Absolutely! With third-party apps like Snagit, you can capture full-length web pages that exceed your screen’s visible area.

Q: Is it possible to screenshot only a specific menu or context menu?

 A: Unfortunately, macOS doesn’t provide a built-in option for capturing menus. However, some third-party apps like Skitch may offer this functionality.

Q: How can I include the mouse cursor in my screenshots?

 A: To include the mouse cursor in your screenshots, use the Grab application’s “Preferences” to enable the option.


Now that you’ve mastered the art of taking screenshots on your Mac, you can efficiently capture and share information with ease. From using simple keyboard shortcuts to exploring advanced features in third-party apps, you have a range of options at your disposal. Remember to select the strategy that best meets your requirements and increases your productivity. Have fun taking screenshots!