Effective Ways for Taking Screenshot on Mac

A screenshot works as an ideal and unique way to show other people what is running on your computer screen. A screen shot could be used to show a snapshot of a funny conversation or an error message appearing on your screen. It could also be used to provide another user with instructions on how to perform a task. Mac OS X provides its users with a variety of simple and pro ways to capture the image they need.

I. Best way – Apowersoft Mac screenshot

No matter you're entry-level users or pro users, you can all find what you need in this compact but powerful application. This application has two useful screenshot modes, letting you capture screen, web pages, application window, webcam and more. This essential capability covers nearly all benefits that could be brought by the other approaches as you may take.

screenshot mac

Moreover, it also comes with abundant editing options and cloud storage. Maybe you will find one or two functions as described in other applications, but this one has perfectly integrated all of them in one pack and presents the most comprehensive solution for Mac users. It's also equipped with a simple interface that anyone can handle the things with just a few minutes. You can get a free trial now and try the fantastic screenshot experience.

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If you prefer to use the default method to capture a screenshot on Mac, please keep reading with the second solution.

II. Default way – Using keyboard on Mac

The content here falls into 3 parts below.

1. Screenshot a section on screen

screenshot mac section
  • Command+Shift+4. The cursor turns into a cross-hair reticle.
  • Click and drag the cursor in order to highlight the area you would like to take a screenshot. A grey rectangle appears as you drag the cursor. You can also press the esc button if you need to adjust your windows before taking the screenshot. This will take you back to the regular cursor and you can make your selection once again.
  • Release the mouse drag. If the sound of your computer is turned on, you will hear a noise similar to that of a camera shutter. The sound signifies that the screenshot has been taken.
  • Where to find your screenshot. The recorded file is saved as a .png file with the "screenshot label". Additional details on the file include the date and time of capture. However, earlier OS X versions will save the screenshot with the "Picture #" format. For instance, the 5th screenshot will be saved as "Picture 5".
  • Use your screenshot. The screenshots are ready for use once they are captured and saved. They can be attached to an email, dragged into other applications such as word processors or even uploaded directly to the web.

2. Taking a shot of the entire screen

screenshot mac entire
  • Ensure your screen is displaying what you need in your screenshot image. You need to confirm that all the required windows are clearly visible and sized in the right manner.
  • Command+Shift+3. After pressing these commands, the computer will make a camera shutter noise. This is an indication that your image has been captured.
  • Where to find your screenshot. It will be saved with a "screenshot" label with accompanying details such as the date and time of capture. However, earlier OS X versions are likely to use the "Picture #" format in saving the screenshots.

3. Take a screenshot of the application window

screenshot mac app
  • Command+Shift+4 and hit the Spacebar. The cross-hair will definitely switch to resemble a small camera. Pressing the spacebar once more switches it back to the normal reticle.
  • Move the cursor over the window to be captured. The camera highlights the different windows with a blue color when moved over them. Using keyboard commands like command + Tab will shift through the windows while still in the same mode.
  • Click on your preferred window. The screenshot of the selected window will be saved in a similar manner as the other methods mentioned above.

This method is more likely to be suitable for people who want to have a quick workaround without installing something on their computer. Still, there's a tool which comes with your system as default, so you may utilize it for a little bit more options.

III. The old way – Bundled Apple software for taking screenshots


Screenshots can also be captured in Mac OS X by using a bundled Apple utility, GrabMac. The software can be accessed by checking in the Utilities folder accessible through the Applications tab on the start menu. Grab makes it possible for users to take screenshots especially when then need to include a menu or cursor in the screenshot. It is also useful when the screenshot needs to be captured with a TIFF format. In order to include a cursor, you will be required to choose the cursor icon you need to have in your screenshot from the Grab Preferences. In order to capture a screenshot using grab, you will be required to:

  • Run Grab.
  • Choose a capture mode. The mode is selected from the "Capture" menu. The modes to select from include Window, Selection, Timed Screen and Screen.
    1. The Selection mode allows the user to drag and capture specific regions of the screen. Grab displays a tooltip that outlines the selected region and the screenshot opens up in a window once the mouse button is released. The cursor is not included in this selection.
    2. The "Window Mode" provides the user with an instruction mode asking them to select the section of the window they wish to capture. The instructions disappear once the user clicks on the "Choose Window" button. The clicked window is then captured as well as the cursor only if it was selected in the preferences.
    3. In the "Screen Mode", an instruction window appears and asks the user to click on the screen once they are ready to capture a screenshot. Once again, the cursor will only be included in the screenshot if it was selected in the preferences.

This tool lets you take screenshots more efficiently than the manual way using keyboard, but it still has an obvious drawback – it does not allow users to select the area of the screenshot and have to crop unwanted parts each time. Due to this shortage, people may still prefer a more flexible and customizable program like the first one as described. Also, if you're using Evernote on your computer for making notes, the last one in the evaluation list may suit your needs.

IV. Alternative Way – Use Skitch to take a screenshot

The skitch program allows users to pass across their points using shapes, annotations and sketches. They consist of fewer words but transform the ideas into reality within the shortest time possible.

  • Open the program. If you have Skitch on your doc, you will be required to double click the pink heart icon appearing on the doc. However, if you do not have it on your doc, you can click a similar icon on the applications folder.
  • Open the page for your screenshot in a new window or tab. The window should not be minimized. Clicking on the program icon will definitely bring the program to the front of your screen.
  • Click on the "Snap" button. The Skitch screen will shrink and leave you with capture crosshairs.
  • Size the window to be screenshot. The crosshairs should be positioned at the farthest corner of the section to be captured. Hold your mouse button down and drag the crosshairs towards the opposite end of the section to be captured. Release the button once you get to the end of the section to be captured.
  • Formation of the screenshot. The image should now be visible in the Skitch program.
  • Utilize the screenshot as you need. Pressing the Save button on the upper right corner will save the screenshot in the Skitch folder. The file can however be moved to the desktop by using the "Drag me" tab and releasing it into any open space on the desktop.

V. Specific guides of taking screenshots for Mac

The above content covers all general needs regarding screenshots on Mac in multiple ways. Here we have also included some accurate guides for the detailed occasions, check them below:

Taking a screenshot on a Macbook - learn how to take pictures of screen on your Mac laptop, helping you communicate with others in office, library, meeting room, house and other occasions via images intuitively.

How to do Screen Grab on Mac - a comprehensive article written in instructional tone, guiding users to make screen grab on Mac in multiple ways for free.

Make Screenshot on Macbook Air - a specific guide for users to work through the process of taking screenshot on Macbook Air.

iPod Screen Capture - you may be familiar with creating screenshot on Mac computers for sharing what you have seen on screen, but do you know how to capture the screen on iPod/iPad? Find the answers in this article.

Mac OS X Screen Capture - general solutions for users who work on Mac OS X to capture various things on screen for design works, system issue reporting, document materials, etc.

Screenshot for QuickTime - see a moving scene on QuickTime and want to record it down? Here're the best tips for you to make snapshots for the videos on QuickTime.

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  • Raymon Oct 5, 2014 at 10:03 am

    I’d like to find out more? I’d care to find out some additional

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