Taking Screenshots on Your Mac: Tips & Tricks

You’ll notice on Mac keyboards that there isn’t a key to print screen. So how do you go about in taking screenshots?

There are actually various different ways to do it and most just require you to memorize a few quick shortcuts.

Saving the screenshots on your desktop

Command+Shift+3

This is the simplest way and one that replicates the the Print Screen button. It takes a screenshot of the whole screen and saves it as a PNG file on your desktop.

Command+Shift+4

This shortcut gives you the flexibility to take a screenshot of a selected area before saving it on your desktop. No longer do you need to go through the tedious process of taking a screenshot of the whole screen, before opening a photo editing program to crop it.

Command+Shift+4+Space

This shortcut is good if you need to take a screenshot of a specific window and the Command+Shift+4 shortcut doesn’t provide you with the accuracy. Simply hover the camera icon until your selection is highlighted in blue and just left click.

This shortcut can even take screenshots of toolbars.


Saving the screenshots on your clipboard

The next three shortcuts feature the same commands as the previous three mentioned above. However, instead of saving the screenshots on your desktop, they are saved on your clipboard.

You can view your clipboard by opening:
Finder > Editor > Show Clipboard

However, the following screenshot shortcuts are probably best used with a clipboard manager app like Jumpcut, ClipMenu or CopyPaste.

Command+Control+Shift+3

Takes a screenshot of the whole screen before saving it on your clipboard.

Command+Control+Shift+4

Takes a screenshot of a selected area before saving it on your clipboard.

Command+Control+Shift+4+Space

Takes a screenshot of a specific window before saving it on your clipboard.

Resizing your screenshot selection

If you’re running on Leopard, there are added flexibility when you use Command+Shift+4 or Command+Control+Shift+4.

Hold down your mouse when you’re making a selecting and press down the following keys:

Space: Locks like size of the selection and you can move your mouse around.
Shift: Resizes only one of the edges.
Option: Resizes the selection with the center as the anchor point.

Using the Grab app to take screenshots

If shortcuts aren’t your thing or you need more flexibility with taking screenshots, then take a look at the default Grab app. It can be found in:
Applications > Utilities > Grab

A new window won’t open, but rather a toolbar.

What’s new with the Grab app is the Time Screen Capture feature.

Other Screenshot apps

If you’re looking for more complex ways of taking screenshots, there are of course applications you can download. Popular screenshot apps include Snapz Pro X, Paparazzi, GrabUp and Viola.

Do you have any tools, tricks and tips to add?