Capturing Screenshots on a Mac

Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Select What You Capture from Your Screen

Mac Monitor

Take a Screenshot of the Entire Screen

  1. Press Command+Shift+3
  2. You will hear the sound of a camera shutter
  3. Look on your desktop for a file that starts with “Screen Shot…”

Note: Files are saved as “.png” files—they are compressed, high-quality, and web friendly. They can be imported as is into all major word processing and desktop publishing applications. However, .png files are not suitable if you need to edit your screenshot or use layers. The Grab app is best for saving screenshots for editing.

Take a Screenshot of a Specific Area of the Screen

  1. Press Command+Shift+4
  2. You will see a crosshair
  3. Click, hold, and drag around the area you wish to capture (it’s usually easiest to start in the upper left of the area you are capturing)
  4. Release and you will hear the shutter sound
  5. Look on your desktop for a file that starts with “Screen Shot…”

Tip: If you mis-select the area you want to grab, press the ESC key to reset and then press Command+Shift+4 again. Do this before you release the click and drag.

Take a Screenshot of a Specific Window

  1. Press Command+Shift+4
  2. Then press the Spacebar and you will see a camera icon
  3. As you mouse over different windows or dialog boxes the one selected will be highlighted in blue
  4. Click to take the screenshot

Tip: Press ESC before clicking to reset. Also, you can use Command+Tab to cycle through apps to find the specific window you want.

Tomorrow, I’ll show you how to use the Grab app in a similar way to do screen shots.