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How to Screenshot on Mac: A Comprehensive Guide

Mac computers provide a variety of useful features, and one such feature is the ability to capture screenshots. Whether you need to capture an image, document, or error message, taking screenshots on a Mac is quick and easy. In this article, we will guide you through different methods to screenshot on your Mac effortlessly.

Method 1: Capturing the Entire Screen

If you want to capture everything displayed on your Mac's screen, follow these steps:

  1. Press the "Command" (⌘) + "Shift" + "3" keys simultaneously.
  2. Your Mac will automatically capture the entire screen, and the screenshot will be saved as a PNG file on your desktop.

Method 2: Capturing a Selected Portion

If you only need to capture a specific area of your screen, use the following steps:

  1. Press the "Command" (⌘) + "Shift" + "4" keys at the same time.
  2. Your cursor will turn into a crosshair.
  3. Click and drag the crosshair to select the portion of the screen you want to capture.
  4. Release the mouse button to take the screenshot.

Method 3: Capturing a Specific Window

If you want to capture a specific window or dialog box, use this method:

  1. Press the "Command" (⌘) + "Shift" + "4" keys together.
  2. Press the "Spacebar." Your cursor will change into a camera icon.
  3. Move the camera icon over the desired window or dialog box.
  4. Click on the window to capture the screenshot.

Method 4: Using the Screenshot Toolbar

Starting from macOS Mojave, there is a handy screenshot toolbar that makes capturing screenshots even more convenient:

  1. Press the "Command" (⌘) + "Shift" + "5" keys simultaneously.
  2. The screenshot toolbar will appear at the bottom of your screen.
  3. Choose the desired screenshot option: capture the entire screen, a selected portion, or a specific window.
  4. After selecting an option, click on "Capture" in the toolbar to take the screenshot.

Method 5: Using the Touch Bar (for MacBook Pro users)

MacBook Pro models equipped with the Touch Bar offer a convenient way to capture screenshots:

  1. Press the "Shift" + "Command" (⌘) + "6" keys simultaneously.
  2. The screenshot will be automatically captured and saved on your desktop as a PNG file.


Question Answer
Q: Can I change the default location where screenshots are saved? A: Yes, you can. Go to "Finder," select "Preferences" from the "Finder" menu, click on the "General" tab, and choose a new location under "New screenshots save to."
Q: How can I change the screenshot file format? A: By default, Mac saves screenshots in the PNG format. However, if you prefer a different format like JPEG, GIF, or TIFF, you can change it using third-party apps or Terminal commands.
Q: Can I capture screenshots with keyboard shortcuts in macOS? A: Yes, as mentioned in the methods above, you can use various keyboard shortcuts to capture screenshots on your Mac.
Q: Are there any built-in editing options for screenshots? A: Yes, starting from macOS Mojave, you can edit screenshots immediately after capturing them. Just click on the thumbnail preview that appears in the bottom-right corner of your screen.
Q: Can I take screenshots of the Touch Bar on MacBook Pro? A: Unfortunately, the Touch Bar itself cannot be captured as a screenshot. However, you can capture the main screen while the Touch Bar is displayed.


Capturing screenshots on your Mac is a simple process that can be done using various methods, such as capturing the entire screen, selecting a portion, or targeting specific windows. Additionally, macOS provides convenient options like the screenshot toolbar and Touch Bar integration for MacBook Pro users. Remember to explore the preferences to customize the default location and file format for your screenshots. Now that you know how to screenshot on a Mac, you can easily capture and save important information or share visual content with others.

Thank you for reading this comprehensive guide on how to screenshot on Mac. We hope you found it helpful. If you're interested in more useful Mac-related articles, be sure to check out our other informative pieces.

Goodbye, and happy screenshotting! Note: This article is for educational purposes and was written based on information available at the time of writing. Mac operating systems and features may change over time, so it's always a good idea to consult the official Apple documentation for the latest instructions and updates.