A Simple Guide for How to Take a Screenshot on Your Mac

Screenshot 2017-12-29 17.55.22You never know when you’ll need to keep the receipts on a bad tweet, memorialize a silly conversation in Slack, or capture a screen image of a window or menu to share in a presentation or with your company’s tech support.

Unlike many PCs, you won’t find a “print screen” button on your Mac to capture images of your computer screen. Instead there are multiple keyboard shortcuts you’ll need to memorize to capture that perfect screenshot.

Here’s a how-to guide for all of your screenshot needs, illustrated with—you guessed it—screenshots.

1.) How to capture the entire screen

To take a screenshot of your entire screen—we’re talking corner-to-corner, menu bars and all—users should press SHIFT, COMMAND (⌘), and the number 3 simultaneously. The image (a .PNG file) will save automatically on your desktop. The final product will look something like the below image. The pink arrow points to where your saved screenshot should appear.

2.) How to capture part of your screen

Hoping to zero in on a specific section of your screen? There’s a shortcut for that too. Press SHIFT, COMMAND (⌘) and the number 4. Crosshairs should appear in place of the usual mouse arrow; click and hold using your trackpad or mouse to drag the crosshairs across your screen, creating a rectangular “net.” The selected area will appear grey as shown in the image below. To finish, simply release your held click and voila! Selection captured.

(Accidentally start to draw a net around the wrong part of the screen? Press the escape button while you’re dragging and you’ll reset the process.)

Screenshot 2017-12-29 18.11.19
Screenshot 2017-12-29 18.11.19

3.) How to capture everything in a specific window

Let’s say you want to capture an entire window, but neither want to share your entire screen nor play target practice with Apple’s provided crosshairs. There’s an easier way—but it’s a two-step process. Start by pressing SHIFT, COMMAND (⌘) and the number 4, just as you would to draw a custom capture area. Once the crosshairs have appeared, press the space bar. The crosshairs should become a camera icon. Move the camera over the window of your choice and click once. Done! The .PNG file of your desired window should appear on your desktop. This same method can be used to take a screenshot of a specific application’s menu.

Screenshot of a calculator

4.) How to capture an image of your Touch Bar

If you own a Mac computer with a Touch Bar, there’s a way to capture that, too. Simultaneously press SHIFT, COMMAND (⌘), and the number 6. You can also customize your Touch Bar to include a screenshot button.

That’s it! Now you’re ready for the next covfefe.