How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac

We all have to take screenshots of somewhere and something on our Mac. If you want to share something with others, you can screenshot it, save it and share it with others. Taking a screenshot might be helpful if you want to remember some important stuff of yours. If you have got any error on mac and wants to show it to someone, you can screenshot that error and share it with other for their reference.

However, if you are new to using Mac computers, you might don’t know how to take screenshots on your Mac. Although, it’s easy to take to screenshots with help of just a couple of steps. In today’s article, I am going to show you some ways to take a screenshot on your Mac. As well as, I am going to show you how you can save and edit your screenshot.

How can I use Screenshots?

Taking Screenshots is quite essential; you can take screenshots of anything and share them with others. There are many easy ways you can take screenshots of your important data and use them for your needs. You can take Screenshots however you want to, you can capture your entire Mac’s screen or only captures the part you want to and screenshots it.

With the help of Screenshots, you can capture any precious movement in the form of an image and save it to your Mac. You can also take and save the screenshots to any location and folder of your Mac. As well as, you can also open it and view it anytime. Now, let’s get into how to take Screenshots on your Mac.

How to take Screenshots on your Mac:

There are quite a four ways you can take Screenshots on your Mac. Let’s take a look at how to take Screenshots.

How to take a screenshot of the whole screen:

To take the screenshot of the whole screen of your Mac,

  1. you have to press Command + Shift +3 to capture the whole display. Let’s say if you are using multiple screens on your Mac, then it will take two screenshots of each screen.
  2. This screenshot will automatically going to save to your desktop. Or while taking screenshots, you will be going to see a thumbnail in the corner of your Mac screen, you can click on it and edit the screenshot as per your liking.
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How to take a Screenshot of the specific part of your screen:

If you only want to capture a certain portion of your Mac screen then, you can use this method to take screenshots. To do this:

  1. Press and hold all three keys together: Shift + Command + 4.
  2. After pressing keys together, you will see crosshairs appear on your screen with some numbers.
  3. Drag the crosshair to select the specific area of your screen to capture. So, they are going to form a rectangle around the area you want to screenshot.
  4. When you are ready to take a screenshot, release the mouse button or trackpad button.
  5. To cancel taking the screenshot, press the Escape key.
  6. As above, you can find the screenshot in the corner of the screen, which you can edit as per your requirement. Or it will by default go to save to desktop.

How to take Screenshots for more options:

All the current versions of Mac come with a Screenshot app, which provides you many options like video record or editing your screenshot. To open this app:

  1. Press Shift + Command + 5. A small menu panel will be going to appear at the bottom of your Mac screen.
  2. Three icons on the left will allow you to take a screenshot of the whole screen, a specific portion of the screen, or a highlighted section. 
  3. The icons to the right side of the screen, allow you to record a video of the entire screen, or a highlighted section.
  4. After that, you can also see the menu named options. Click on it, this will allow you to choose where to save your screenshot, how much time you need to before capturing a screenshot, and many more options.
  5. After selecting your desired menu setting, you just have to click the capture button given on the last of your screen and it will capture your screenshot.

Now as you can see, there is an options menu called Show Floating Thumbnail, which is enabled by default. When you take screenshots, a tiny thumbnail would be appearing in the corner of your screen. You can click on this thumbnail before it disappears to open the screenshot on your Mac. If you can’t do this, then your screenshot will be going to save to your desktop which you can see in a few seconds. After opening the window image, you can draw or type on it, crop it, edit it, share it, or as well you can delete it.

How to take Screenshot using Touch Bar:

If your Mac computer has the Touch Bar then, you can take a screenshot of what is showing on the Touch Bar. You can take this screenshot if there is something on your touch bar that you want to show to others then you can take a screenshot of it, save and edit it and send it to others. To do this:

You just have to press Shift + Command + 6 together. It will immediately capture everything on your Touch Bar. Your Mac will be going to capture the entire Touch Bar and saves it on the desktop by default, which you can change if you want to.

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Or here is the following another way to take a screenshot using Touch Bar:

  1. Access System Preferences > Keyboard.
  2. Click “Customize Control Strip.”
  3. Choose the location of your screenshot button on the Touch bar, drag and drop it there, and save the changes.
  4. You can choose anything you want to capture: the entire screen, selected area, or window.

Where my screenshots saved and where to find them on Mac:

As we have talked about earlier, by default all your screenshots will be going to save to your Mac desktop. However, you can save your screenshots to other folders or places as per your liking. By default, it will be automatically titled ScreenShot. But, you can change the location of the screenshot if you want to. To do that:

  • Press Shift + Command + 5 to open the screenshot menu, and then click Options.
  • Find the location you want to save to in the Save to section.
  • You can also choose Other Location, to save the screenshot elsewhere.

How to Edit a Screenshot on Mac:

Whenever you take the screenshot, a thumbnail will appear on the bottom right screen of your Mac. You can click that image to view the screenshot you have recently taken. If you have to click on the thumbnail, then you can find your screenshot on your desktop or wherever you have saved it too. Here is how you can edit it:

  1. Firstly open the image, either by double-clicking the image on your desktop or by clicking on the thumbnail that appears when you take the screenshot.
  2. After opening the screenshot, you will find a pencil in the circle icon on the top left side of your screenshot image.
  3. After you click on the pencil icon, you can access many options for editing your screenshots.
  4. You can do many things like add shapes, boxes, notes, words, drawings, and even your signature to it.
  5. You can also use different options like crop and revert the screenshot as per your liking and as well it also has a share button to share your screenshot with anyone using any applications whether mail or messages.
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Can I change the Format of my Screenshots on Mac?

Yes, The default format for the Mac screenshots is PNG. With the help of the Screenshot program, you can open screenshots directly in the Preview program. There you can save your screenshots in JPG, PDF, TIFF, and other many file formats. You can also change the format of your Screenshot using the Command line.

1. Open Terminal from the Application > Utilities folder, or you can use Spotlight to open command line.

2. And write the following command: defaults write type png.

3. To save your screenshot format to tiff, you have to type like this:

defaults write type tiff.

4. Press Enter to save the command and you are done. It will be going to save your screenshot file to whatever format you want it to save.


Taking screenshots is essential as it allows you to keep your precious movement captured in one place. Whether you want to share any data or want to share your errors with someone, you can do that by just taking a screenshot and sharing it with others. With the help of different commands, you can take screenshots in different ways and even edit your screenshot as per your liking. Learning how to take a screenshot will actually save your time, as you don’t want to share all your files with someone just to show them one error. Hopefully, after reading this article you understand how to take screenshots on your Mac easily.