Everything You Need to Know about Screenshot on Mac

Taking screenshots on computers has always been helpful to us many times. Times like when you love a post someone just made on FACEBOOK and you are in rush to scroll down and therefore no time to copy, what do you do? You just screenshot it. What about Instagram? Since Instagram would never let you download a picture to your PC, you have to screenshot it since you sure need it badly.

Now, changing a personal computer from one brand to another always tends to create some problems for most users in terms of operation. In cases of changing from a Windows to Mac, the problems can be quite many and some of them involve starting afresh to learn how an apple Mac functions, how to operate it and how to carry out some functions on it.

Taking a screenshot on Mac can be an intimidating affair especially for a newbie who just got a new Mac. This problem is always because the Mac comes without a PrintScreen key on its keyboard and there is no available shortcut on Mac for this purpose. But then, I will love to let you know that printing screen is in fact much easier on Mac than in Windows and that is what you are going to learn in this article.

Part 1: How to Print Screen on Mac?

This is going to teach you how to take a print screen on Mac. You can capture the entire screen of your Mac or you can just capture a selected part of it and the screenshot is saved automatically to your computer.

Method 1: Screenshot the Entire Screen

Step 1. Press Shift-Command(⌘)-3.

Step 2. Now you can find the screenshot saved as a .png file on your computer.

screenshot entire screen on mac

Method 2: Screenshot Part of the Screen

Step 1. Press Shift-command-4. The pointer will change to a crosshair.

Step 2. Move the crosshair to the part where you want to start taking the screenshot, then drag to select an area. You can change the way the selection moves by holding shift, option or space bar while dragging.

Step 3. After you are done selecting the portion you want to screenshot, release your mouse or trackpad button. To cancel the action, hit the ESC (Escape) key once before you release the button.

Step 4. Now you can find the screenshot saved as a .png file on your computer.

screenshot part of the screen on mac

Method 3: Take a Screenshot of a Window

Step 1. Press Shift-command-4. The pointer will change to a crosshair.

Step 2. Press the space bar and the pointer will change to a camera.

Step 3. Move the camera over to a window and it will be highlighted.

Step 4. Click on your mouse or trackpad and to cancel, press the ESC (Escape) key before you click.

Step 5. Now you can find the screenshot saved as a .png file on your computer.

screenshot a window mac

Method 4: Take a Screenshot of a Menu

Step 1. Click on the menu to display all its contents.

Step 2. Press Shift-command-4. The pointer will change to a crosshair.

Step 3. Drag the crosshair to select the menu.

Step 4. Click on your mouse or trackpad and to cancel, press the ESC (Escape) key before you click.

Step 5. Now you can find the screenshot saved as a .png file on your computer.

These steps will capture the contents of the Menu but not its title:

Step 1. Click on the menu to display all its contents.

Step 2. Press Shift-command-4. The pointer will change to a crosshair.

Step 3. Press the space bar and the pointer will change to a camera.

Step 4. Move the camera over the menu and it will be highlighted.

Step 5. Click on your mouse or trackpad and to cancel, press the ESC (Escape) key before you click.

Step 6. Now you can find the screenshot saved as a .png file on your computer.

screenshot a window mac

Method 5: Save a Screenshot to Clipboard for Further Pasting

Step 1. Your screenshots on Mac are saved in .PNG format on your desktop.

Step 2. You will have to press the modifier key when taking a screenshot to send the image to the system clipboard.

Step 3. This way, you can use the Universal Clipboard feature to copy the image and paste it anywhere you want to.

Step 4. To do this, you need to press the control key on the keyboard while you hold the shift+command+4 to send a captured screen to the clipboard.

Part 2: How to Change the Format of a Screenshot File?

All your screenshots are saved automatically to your desktop in .PNG format. This is often good as you will get high quality images in that format but sometimes, the files turn up bigger than we want and the only way to reduce them is by changing the format.

You can change this file format by using the simple terminal command. You can find the terminal command on every Mac by using search to find "Terminal".

Step 1. Open Terminal Command.

Step 2. Copy and paste this command “defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg” and hit Enter. (You can change the “JPG” here to PNG, PDF, GIF, TIFF or any other file type you want.)

After this, all your screenshots will be saved in JPG format.

change screenshot format mac

Part 3: What if You Can’t Find the Screenshot Taken on Mac?

To solve this problem, open the Terminal and specify the following command “defaults read com.apple.screencapture”, and check the results:

1. If you can't find a "location key", then it will specify the location for the screenshots.

2. If you can't find any, then, the default location is assumed to be your desktop.

Summary

This is all. I believe you can now see how easy it is to take screenshots on your Mac. Now you can go ahead and make that screenshot that you have always wanted and have a blast with your Apple Mac while at it. Easy does it. Want to know how to print and mark the screenshot on other devices, like iPhone X and devices on iOS 11? Find useful tips here.