Take a Screenshot on a Mac
Video Tutorial vs Article

Edited by Anonymous, vc, Broomsfly, Eng and 2 others

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Method 1: Video Tutorial

You're watching VisiHow. In this video, we're going to demonstrate how to take a screenshot using the Mac. There are two keyboard shortcuts for taking a screenshot.

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Steps

  1. 1
    Press "command" + "shift" + "3".
    This will take a screenshot of the entire screen. The screenshot will be saved as a file on your desktop as "Screen Shot" and the date and time.
    Screenshot On Mac.mp4-canvas10 33735.jpg
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  2. 2
    Press "command" + "shift" + "4".
    This allows you to select a certain area of which you will take a screenshot.
    Screenshot On Mac.mp4-canvas22 97756.jpg
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  3. 3
    Select the area by clicking and dragging the mouse pointer.
    In this video, the Google logo from the google.com web page is selected. This screenshot will also be saved to your desktop.
    Screenshot On Mac.mp4-canvas29 05718.jpg
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  4. 4
    You can open the screenshot from the desktop if you want.
    Screenshot On Mac.mp4-canvas34 81847.jpg
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This was a tutorial on how to take screenshots using the Mac. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the space below. Thank you for watching VisiHow!

Video: Take a Screenshot on a Mac Video Tutorial

Method 2: Article

People like Macs because of their straightforward interfaces and slick UI. Nonetheless, the simplicity of OS X does mean that some critical functions aren't as obvious.

Broomsfly 032914 macscreen10W.jpg

Taking a screenshot can be difficult for people who aren't used to the operating system, but that doesn't mean it's an impossible task. Fortunately, this easy guide will help you produce perfect screen grabs every time.

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Steps to Take a Screenshot on a Mac

There are a few different ways to take screenshots using your Mac. The main options we'll cover here include capturing the entire screen with a keyboard shortcut, using a similar shortcut to target a specific section of the screen and using the Grab application.

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Full-Screen Shortcut(⌘-Shift-3)

  1. 1
    Arrange your desktop the way you'd like it to appear in the screenshot.
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    Broomsfly 032914 macscreen1W.jpg
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  2. 2
    Once you've got all the Windows in the right places, simply press the Command(⌘), Shift and 3 keys at the same time.
    You can use either Shift key, but this command doesn't work with the 3 key on the number pad.
    Broomsfly 032914 macscreen2W.jpg
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  3. 3
    This key combination will automatically generate a .png-format file corresponding to the image shown on your screen at the time you pressed the keys.
    If you have a display with more than one monitor, the command generates a file for each screen.
    Broomsfly 032914 macscreen3W.jpg
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  4. 4
    By default, these files are placed on the desktop, and the screenshot operation also makes a camera shutter sound when completed successfully.
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Targeted Selection(⌘-Shift-4 and Drag)

  1. 1
    What if you only want to capture a specific part of the screen?
    If you don't feel like editing the images in Photoshop or another program after the fact, the ⌘-Shift-4 shortcut is for you.
    Broomsfly 032914 macscreen4W.jpg
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  2. 2
    With this command, you'll also need to use your mouse, trackpad or pointing device of choice.
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  3. 3
    Keeping an eye on your mouse cursor, press the Command(⌘), Shift and 4 keys together.
    You should notice that your pointer icon has changed to a cross-hair and a pair of numbers representing the x and y-coordinates of your mouse.
    Broomsfly 032914 macscreen5W.jpg
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  4. 4
    Now, click on one corner of the area that you'd like to capture.
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  5. 5
    Drag out while holding the mouse button.
    As you drag, you'll see a rectangular section appear over the contents of your window; this area represents the zone that will be copied to produce the screenshot image.
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  6. 6
    Once you're satisfied with your selection area, release the mouse button.
    The screenshot image will be generated on your desktop complete with camera sound effect. If you change your mind in the middle of dragging out the selection area, or you decide that you'd like to reposition the screenshot, you can press the Esc key to cancel the operation and start over again.
    Broomsfly 032914 macscreen6W.jpg
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The ⌘-Shift-4 shortcut

Also works when you want to take isolated pictures of specific menus or Windows.

  1. 1
    For menus, you can use the shortcut as previously described after opening up a menu.
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  2. 2
    Alternatively, you can press ⌘-Shift-4 and then press the Space bar.
    The pointer will change to a camera icon that highlights whatever menu, window or UI element you scroll over.
    Broomsfly 032914 macscreen8W.jpg
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  3. 3
    When you click the mouse, OS X will generate an image corresponding to the highlighted area.
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Grab Application

  1. 1
    Click anywhere on the desktop to switch to the OS X Finder application.
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  2. 2
    Next, open up a new window by pressing ⌘-N or selecting New Finder Window from Finder's File menu.
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  3. 3
    Head to the Applications folder before going into the folder called Utilities.
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  4. 4
    You should see an item called Grab.app; this application performs all the tasks we've already covered, but it also gives you some extra menu and help options.
    It's ideal when you need to capture a bunch of images or a time-delay shot
    Broomsfly 032914 macscreen9W.jpg
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Article Info

Categories : Tech

Recent edits by: Doug Collins, Eng, Broomsfly

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