How to Print Screen or Take a Screenshot on Mac

Print Screen on Mac is not as easy as windows computer but Mac does provide a lot of options compared to Windows. However, it’s very complicated. In Windows, capturing a screen can be easy as pressing a single button that results in the screenshot saved on the default location. Almost every windows keyboard features a key to take a screenshot.

In the Mac, there is no dedicated key to take a screenshot but the combination of several keys can result in taking a screenshot from all the perspectives.  

Let’s see what are the keys and options does Mac offers in capturing the screen. 

1. How to Print Screen on Mac (Fullscreen)?

This method is used to capture the entire screen (Just like pressing “Print Screen” on Windows). This is the widely used method as it captures the whole screen. Mac allows us to do so by the combination of three keys.  

Saving the file to the desktop

Print Screen on Mac

1. Press Command + Shift + 3 together to take a screenshot

The captured screen will be saved on the desktop as “Screenshot” with the corresponding date and time 

Saving the file to the Clipboard 

If we go further, the screenshot can be saved to the clipboard instead of desktop. This will be easy if you want to copy and paste or upload it somewhere. 

 

Print Screen on Mac

1. Press Command + Control + Shift + 3 together  

This command will save the screenshot to clipboard 

2. How to Print Screen on Mac (Selected Area)?

This will capture the selected area such as the menu bar, application window, or some selected area on the desktop. This is similar to the Snipping Tool on windows.  

Saving the file to the desktop 

Print Screen on Mac

1. Press Command + Shift + 4 together and the cursor will be changed to ✚

2. Now click and drag the cursor covering the area you want to capture

3. Release the cursor and the screenshot will be saved to the desktop.  

Saving the file to Clipboard 

Print Screen on Mac

1. Press Command + Control + Shift + 4 together and the cursor will be changed to ✚

2. Now click and drag the cursor to cover the area you want to capture 

3. Release the cursor and the screenshot will be saved to clipboard.  

3. How to Print Screen on Mac (Particular window or application)?

This method is used to take a screenshot of the particular app window such as Pages, Safari, Photos and other apps.  

Saving the file to the desktop 

1. Press Command + Shift + 4 together  

2. The cursor will be changed to ✚ 

3. Now press the Spacebar and now the cursor will be changed to a camera icon?

4. Move the camera icon over the window you want to capture (you will notice the hovered window is being highlighted)  

5. Press the cursor and the highlighted window will be captured and saved to the desktop 

Saving the file to Clipboard 

1. Press Command + Control + Shift + 4  

2. The cursor will be changed to ✚ 

3. Now press the Spacebar and the cursor will now be changed to a camera icon?  

4. Hover the camera icon over the window you want to capture (you will notice the hovered window is being highlighted) 

5. Press the cursor and the highlighted window will be captured and saved to the clipboard 

4. How to take a screenshot of the Touch Bar on MacBook Pro?

1. Press Shift + Command + 6 to capture the screen of the touch bar.  

Note: You need to have Sierra 10.12.2 or later for this to work 

How to turn the MacOS’s default format from .PNG to .JPG or any other supported formats?

All the screenshot captured will be saved in the PNG format as it produces the image in the highest quality possible. In most cases, PNG formats are great but the downside of those is the size. It will be huge if you own a MacBook with the retina or some high-end monitors with high resolution.  

It is possible to change the default format from PNG to JPG or any other supported formats. Just follow the steps 

For this, you need to open the terminal and paste a command. 

1. Open the terminal (In case you don’t know, go to Applications – Utilities and you will find the terminal or just enter “Terminal” in the search to find it faster) 

2. Copy and Paste the below command and hit enter 

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg 

3. If you need any other formats, just replace the word “jpg” with any of the supported formats

4. Enter Username and Password if asked

The new settings will be applied once you restart your Mac

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