Screenshot Mac

How do you take a screenshot on a Mac?


I can’t tell how many times I’ve been asked that question. That inspired me to make this website. Also many new people switch to Mac and I hope they will find this useful as well.

Even though you know how to take a screenshot on a Mac, it can be difficult remembering it. That is because there are different ways to take screenshots on a Mac, depending on how you want the screenshot to be. More about this later.

On a Mac there is no ‘Print Screen’ button, its not even called printing the screen or making a screen print. On a Mac the correct phrase to use is capturing the screen or taking a screenshot. Because there is no designated button for taking screenshots you need to use a combination of keystrokes.

How to take a screenshot on a Mac running Mac OS X:

The basic functionality of taking a screen capture of a window or desktop in Mac OS X takes an image and puts the image file on the desktop. Each uses the pressing of Command and Shift keys concurrently as the basis for execution, followed by a number:

Command+Shift+3: takes a screenshot of the full screen and save it as a file on the desktop.

Command+Shift+4: brings up a selection box so you can specify an area to take a screenshot of, then it gets saved as a image on the desktop.

How to Print Screen to the Clipboard on a Mac running Mac OS X:

This other way is similar to the ‘Print Screen’ button in the Windows universe. Be using the commands below you capture the screen or selected area and saves it in the Clipboard:

Command+Control+Shift+3: takes a screenshot of the entire screen and saves it to the Clipboard for pasting into another program.

Command+Control+Shift+4: enables you to select an area, which it takes a screenshot of and saves it to the Clipboard for pasting elsewhere

The above techniques work for all Mac computers as long as they run a version of Mac OS X. Notice that some old Macs dont have the Command button, but have the older  button instead.

 


Tags: Screenshot mac, Print screen mac, Screendump mac, Mac screenshot, Screenshot on mac, MacBook Pro, Printscreen

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12 comments

  1. Iris

    Very nice. This worked like a charm. How do you take a screenshot of a only a window? Similar option as Alt+printscreen in windows 7?

    Besides this I found it very helpful. Didnt know all the options :)

    Regards Iris

  2. Mads

    I found this on another page. It seems like there are other and different ways to take a screenshot on a mac. Maybe its helpful:

    Command-Shift-3: Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it as a file on the desktop

    Command-Shift-4, then select an area: Take a screenshot of an area and save it as a file on the desktop

    Command-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Take a screenshot of a window and save it as a file on the desktop

    Command-Control-Shift-3: Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it to the clipboard

    Command-Control-Shift-4, then select an area: Take a screenshot of an area and save it to the clipboard

    Command-Control-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Take a screenshot of a window and save it to the clipboard

  3. Dan

    When there is no PrtScr (printscreen) button on a Mac, it must be because Mac users are better at using keyboard shortcuts then windows users :)

  4. Gert

    Mads, thats very good of you to post all the shortcuts, but I’m not sure all the explanations are right. Do you use Command-Shift-4 + space to take a screenshot of a specific window?

  5. Kim

    What about taking a screenshot on an iPhone 4S?

  6. Mindy

    I previously used command+Shift+4 to take screen shots all the time. Now it isn’t working. I’ve tried checking the settings for my keyboard and screen shots and they are all still set to the default . I’ve turned off my computer and rebooted. Any other suggestions?

  7. admin

    Hey Mindy.
    Sound weird.
    Does it make the photo sound?
    And what happens if you press Command-Control-Shift-4 and try to paste it into a image-editor program ?

  8. Will

    Thanks for that guide, it was very useful. But, why why why, aren’t there just a prt-scr button on a mac? That would have been a hell of a lot easier :)

  9. Mindy

    There is no photo sound and no cross hairs like there used to be either. As far as I can tell NOTHING happens. Command-Control-Shift-4 also seems to be completely unresponsive.

  10. Mohammed

    Nothing happens when I use -> Command-Control-Shift-3 -> where should the screenshot go??

  11. NoName

    Hey
    Print screen on a mac isn’t rocket science – dont anyone read the manual anymore?

  12. flora

    i just updated my system. usually i do tons of screenshots. now they are not saving to my desk top. it is incredibly frustrating. i have no idea where they are saving….. they are un-findable.

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