How to Take a Screenshot on Mac

Screenshots have become essential parts of our day-to-day lives. They might come in handy for verifying information, saving things you like on the web, capturing stuff on your screen, sharing it with others, or saving it to refer to it later. This tutorial is everything about how to take a screenshot on mac.

No one can deny how handy screenshots are. If you’re using a Mac, there are various ways to capture a photo of your screen or a single part. These methods will work for all Macs, including MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or even an iMac. 

However, if you have a MacBook Pro with a touch bar that was released in 2016, you have one more way of taking a screenshot that the other Macs don’t. Let us look at all you need to know on how to take a screenshot on Mac. 

How to Take a Screenshot on Mac – Entire Screen

There are various methods to take a screenshot on your Mac using keyboard shortcuts. One uses the Spotlight feature and another is applicable only for MacBooks that have a touch bar. Let’s go through each of them. 

The first shortcut is using Command-Shift-3. This will take a screenshot of your entire screen. It includes the top menu bar and the dock if they are visible.

This method is suitable if you do not want to hide anything on your screen and are just looking for a way to screenshot something quickly. 

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How to Take a Screenshot on Mac of a Particular Area

The second method allows for a lot of versatility while taking screenshots. The shortcut is Command-Shift-4.

how to take a screenshot on Mac
mac take screenshot

This will morph the pointer on your screen into crosshairs. You can use these crosshairs to select a particular screen area that you want to take a picture of.  

take a screenshot on Mac 1

There are also four other options that allow you flexibility while capturing the screen using this method. 

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You can tap the spacebar once, which will turn the crosshairs into an icon that looks like a camera. You can use this to capture a photo of any window you want, and it will capture just that, nothing more. The images taken using this method will also have white borders and a sort of shadow encompassing all the corners around them.  

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How to Take a Screenshot on Mac of the Dock

This shortcut can also be used to take a picture of your dock. Just hover the camera icon over your dock. A blue highlighted area should pop up. Simply click on it, and it will take a screenshot of just your dock. 

This process can be repeated for any windows you might have open on your Mac. 

  • If you select a particular area of the screen without releasing the mouse or trackpad and thumb down and hold the spacebar. The shape of the area which you highlight using the crosshair gets fixed. Now that highlighted area can now be repositioned anywhere on the screen. As soon as you release the mouse, whatever is inside that specified area will be screenshotted.  
  • After selecting the desired area on the screen, if you hold down the shift button, the highlighted area will get locked horizontally.

If you want to change the size horizontally again, simply let go of the shift key without releasing the mouse button. Now you can readjust the area you want to take a picture of; when you’re satisfied, simply let go of the mouse button to screenshot it. 

There is another method that basically combines the two methods mentioned above, along with a few extra features. If you press Command-Shift-5, a small rectangular window will show up at the bottom of the screen. 

Take Screenshot on Mac

Within it, the first option is to capture the entire screen. The second allows you to take a screenshot of a selected window which is identical to using Command-Shift-4  and pressing the spacebar to turn the crosshairs into a camera icon. Lastly, the third option is for capturing a specific area of the screen. 

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How to Record Screen on Mac

There are also two options for recording the entire screen or a selected portion of the screen. Furthermore, there is an Options tab that allows you to choose where you want to save the screenshots or recorded videos. 

Record Screen on your Mac
  • A timer that will enable you to keep a duration of either five or ten seconds. A few other options such as the floating thumbnail, the cursor, and another option that remembers the last selection you made. 
  • The floating thumbnail option is already enabled by default. It gives you a brief preview of the snapshot you took at the bottom right corner of the screen. If you click on it, you can edit, crop, rotate or draw on the screenshot if you wish to and then save it. 

Moreover, if you have a Mac with the touch bar, the rectangular box you see when you press the Command-Shift-5 shortcut will be transposed onto the touch bar with identical controls. 

You can also use the Spotlight feature to access screenshot control. Simply press Command-Spacebar to open the Spotlight search and type “screenshot” in it. The same rectangular box will appear on the screen as mentioned in the previous steps when you hit enter. 

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How to Take Screenshot of the Touch Bar

This last method is only applicable to Macs with a touch bar. If you press the Command-Shift-6 shortcut, it will take a screenshot of whatever is displayed on the touch bar at that moment. The snapshot will be an elongated rectangular image due to the shape and size of the touch bar. 


We hope this article helped you understand the various ways to take a screenshot on Mac.

Apart from the shortcuts, you can even simply open the Screenshot tool in general. Through that, you can select any option you like. Well, it might be a little hectic to do so, hence being aware of the shortcuts helps in the overall process.

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