Three Ways to Take a Screenshot on a Mac

by: - Last updated on: September 26th, 2020

Unlike a Windows machine, which has a ‘Print Screen’ key to capture screenshots, a Mac, on the other hand, lacks a dedicated key for the same purpose. So, if you happen to be a Mac user, and a large part of your daily workflow requires you to take screenshots, there are a few different key shortcuts that you can use to capture a screenshot. Until now, there have been two ways to capture a screenshot. But, with macOS Mojave, Apple has added a new way to take screenshots on Mac. So let’s dive in and look at these methods.

three ways to capture a screenshot on a mac

Method 1. Shift-Command-3

If you wish to capture everything present on the screen, this is the ideal method. By hitting the Shift-Command-3 key combination, the entire screen is captured and saved on the Desktop.

Method 2. Shift-Command-4

If there are certain elements on the screen that you wish to include/exclude, the Shift-Command-4 combination is the way to go. Once triggered the pointer changes to a crosshair. Using which, you can select the section of the screen that you wish to capture in your screenshot.

Other options:
With this method, there are a few different options to provide you with more control over your screenshots.

(a) Press and release the space bar

As soon as the space bar is pressed and released, the crosshair changes to a camera, which can then be moved over to any open window and clicked on, to capture a screenshot. Note that this screenshot has a drop shadow around, which, in case you wish to get rid off, can be removed by pressing and holding the Option key.

(b) Press and hold the space bar

After dragging the crosshair to select an area on the screen that you want to capture, and before releasing the trackpad/mouse button, pressing and holding the space bar locks in the shape and size of the selection area, and allows you to reposition it anywhere you want on the screen.

(c) Hold the Shift key

Similar to the second option, this option involves dragging the crosshair to select an area on the screen and then holding down the Shift key before releasing the trackpad/mouse button. Which, locks-in each side of your selection area, allowing you to move your trackpad/mouse across the screen.

Method 3. Shift-Command-5 (macOS Mojave only)

With macOS Mojave, Apple introduced a tiny panel for capturing and recording the screen, along with a bunch of other options. So, when you hit the Shift-Command-5 combination, a panel appears on the bottom of the screen, with an ‘x’ key to close, three options for screenshots, two options for recording screen, an options button, and a capture button:

macOS Mojave screenshot control panel

(a) Capture Entire Screen

Upon clicking this option, and hitting the Capture button, an entire screenshot of the screen is captured. It is similar to how the Shift-Command-3 (Method-1), would work.

(b) Capture Selected Window

It is similar to the Command-Shift-4 (Method-2), option (a). With this option, the pointer changes to a camera, which can then be moved to an open window, and clicked on, to capture it. It also provides some other options like the ability to select the location of the saved screenshot, set a timer to capture the screenshot, and a few more.

(c) Capture Selected Portion

With this option, you can select a part of the screen that you want to capture in your screenshot. It is similar to the Shift-Command-4 (Method-2), option (b). Once you select it, a part of the screen is highlighted with the selection tool, which can then be resized to select the area of the screen that you want to capture.

That’s it!
Those are some of the ways to capture a screenshot on a Mac running on macOS Mojave or an older version.

TIP: The screenshot panel can be dragged to anywhere on the screen by grabbing it from the left edge. Additionally, the floating thumbnail can be double-tapped to perform a bunch of actions like Save to different locations, Open with different apps, Show in Finder, Delete, and Markup.

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