Are you struggling with your first Mac and do not know which applications to turn to to "photograph" the computer screen? No fear! If that is indeed the case I am happy to tell you that for fare screenshot Mac you don't need any external software, you can do everything comfortably from macOS using the tools included in the operating system.
Yes, you read that right! To make Mac screenshots, all you have to do is memorize some key combinations from the keyboard and learn some terminal commands that, if you need them, could allow you to change the format and appearance of your screenshots and that's it. Time very few minutes and then it will all come naturally to you, you'll see. As a final result you will get very high quality snapshots (in PNG, JPG or other graphic file formats) to share online on blogs, forums or via email. If necessary, you can also capture individual windows, "immortalize" portions of the screen and customize your images with arrows, highlights and writings.
So if you are really willing to find out how to proceed in order to take Mac screenshots, I suggest you take ten or so minutes of free time, sit comfortably in front of your Apple-branded computer and concentrate on reading this simple guide. I am sure that in the end you will be able to tell yourself more than satisfied and that in case of need you will also be ready and willing to explain to your friends in need of receiving a similar tip how to proceed. Let it bet?
Take Screenshots of the Entire Screen
Interested in understanding how to take screenshots of the entire Mac screen? Yes? Well, then hit the combination cmd+shift+3 on your computer keyboard and, almost as if by magic, the image will be saved in PNG format directly to the desktop. If you use a multi-desktop setup, screenshots of both desks will be saved in separate files.
Also holding down the key ctrl while taking the screenshot (then pressing cmd+shift+ctrl+3) the image will not be saved on the desktop but will be copied to the clipboard. This means that you can paste it into a text document, a note or any other file of your interest simply by pressing the combination cmd+v.
If you are using a version of macOS equal to or higher than 10.14 (Mojave), once you have taken the screenshot, you will see a thumbnail of the same appear in the lower right corner of the screen. By clicking on the thumbnail in question, you can modify the image by inserting geometric shapes, writings, arrows and more, using the commands available at the top left.
In the same window, you will also find buttons to share the screenshot (the square with arrow inside) or delete it (the basket). Once you have applied the changes or shared the screenshot, to save it on the Mac, click on the button end.
Take Screenshots of Individual Windows or Portions of the Screen
If, on the other hand, you want to take Mac screenshots by capturing a portion of the computer screen, and not the entire desktop, press the combination cmd+shift+4 on the computer keyboard. You will see a crosshair appear instead of the mouse pointer.
At this point, hold down the right mouse button, select the area of the screen you want to "photograph" and release the button. The screenshot will be saved on the desktop as a PNG file.
If you want to capture an application window precisely, instead of selecting the screen area manually, use the key combination cmd+shift+4I awarded the space bar and click on the window to "photograph". Very easy.
In both situations, you can decide whether to take Mac screenshot and save it directly to the desktop or whether to copy the image to the clipboard. To copy a screenshot to the clipboard do as I told you before: hold down the key ctrlwhile capturing the screen.
Again, if you are using a macOS version equal to or higher than 10.14 (Mojave), once the screenshot is taken, you will see a thumbnail of the same appear in the lower right corner of the screen. Thanks to the thumbnail in question, you can quickly edit and share the image.
If you are not a lover of keyboard shortcuts and / or want more granular control over screenshot settings, you can use the application Screenshot, also included "stock" in macOS. It allows you to take screenshots of the entire desktop, portions of it and allows you to adjust various advanced parameters, such as the inclusion of the mouse cursor in the capture, the delay in making the screenshot and its destination folder. It also allows you to record videos of what happens on the Mac screen.
To access Screenshot, all you have to do is open the Launchpad Mac, open the folder Other and click the app icon. Alternatively, you can open the application by pressing the key combination cmd+shift+5 on the Mac keyboard.
At this point, you should be in front of the Snapshot toolbar, which is structured in a very simple way: on the left there are the buttons for take a screenshot of the entire screen, of a selected window or one portion of the screen chosen by the user; following are the buttons for record a video of the entire Mac screen or a portion of the same, while clicking on the button options You can access all screenshot preferences, such as the ability to show the mouse pointer, show the floating thumbnail after capturing the screen, set a timer to delay the screen capture and choose the folder in which to save the images. Once you have adjusted your preferences, choose the capture option you prefer the most, click on the button Acquire and take your screenshot.
If you are using a version of macOS earlier than 10.14 (Mojave), you can access a more limited version of Screenshot, which does not allow you to record videos or adjust many of the preferences related to taking screenshots. After starting the application, click on its icon that appears in the bar Dock and select one of the four options that are shown to you by clicking on the item Shootlocated at the top left of the menu bar.
- By choosing the option Selection you can take a screenshot of a portion of the screen.
- By choosing the option Window you can take screenshot of a single window.
- By choosing the option Screen you can take screenshot of the whole Mac screen.
- By choosing the option Screen with timer you can create a screenshot with 10 seconds delay compared to when you give the command.
When the operation is completed, the app will automatically open Preview and you will be shown a preview of the screenshot you just made. To save it, select the entry Save from the menu Fillet which is located at the top left.
If you prefer, you can also include the mouse cursor in screenshots made with Snapshot. To activate this function, select the item Preference ... from the menu Snapshot located at the top left and then click on the style you want to apply to the cursor to include in the screenshots.
Would you like to save screenshots in a format other than PNG? Don't like the shading that macOS automatically applies to window snapshots? No problem. By giving some simple commands to be given by terminal, you can change these behaviors and get screenshots that are fully suited to your needs.
If you don't know how to open Terminal, search for it in Spotlight or open it "manually" by clicking on its icon in the folder Other . Launchpad. At this point you can issue all the commands that you find illustrated below.
In all cases, you will have to copy, paste and possibly modify the commands I am about to give you in the terminal then you will have to press the button Submit on the keyboard. Also note that for the changes to take effect, you will need to log out of your user account or you will need to restart the process SystemUIServer giving the command killall SystemUIServer always in the terminal.
Change the Screenshot Format
If you want to save the screenshots in a format other than PNG (eg. JPG or BMP), open the terminal and type the following command.
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type format
Instead of the term format you have to type the extension of the file format in which you intend to save the screenshots. Formats are supported JPG, BMP, TUF, TGA, JP2, PICT, PNG e PDF. The changes affect both full-screen screenshots and screenshots of individual windows and individual desktop portions.
In case of second thoughts, to restore the creation of snapshots in PNG format you can always use the same command by typing PNG instead of format.
Turn off Shading
To remove the shadow effect from individual window screenshots, open Terminal and issue the following command.
defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true
In case of second thoughts, to restore the shadow, give this other command.
defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool false
Change the Destination Folder for Screenshots
By default, macOS saves all snapshots to the desktop and names them Screenshot followed by the date and time of realization. These parameters can also be easily changed via the Terminal.
To change the destination folder of the screenshots use the command defaults write com.apple.screencapture location folder where instead of folder you must enter the complete path of the folder in which to save the images. If you don't feel like wasting precious time manually typing the destination path for the screenshots, drag the folder to the Terminal. Its path will automatically appear on the command line.
If you want to change the default name of the snapshots, use the command defaults write com.apple.screencapture name "file name" where instead of the file name you have to type the name you want to assign to the screenshots (if the name consists of a single term you can also avoid using quotes).
Take Screenshots of Web Pages
On some occasions you may need to capture an entire web page. In these circumstances you can take Mac screenshots by resorting to the use of Snapito. It is a completely free online service without registration that allows you to take snapshots of entire Web pages (therefore including the portion visible only by scrolling) without installing extensions in Safari, Chrome or Firefox.
How does it work? Simple! To begin with, click here to immediately connect to its home page of the service, type the address of the page you want to capture in the field located in the center of the screen and give Submit.
Once this is done, within a few seconds you will see the preview of the image obtained appear on the screen and you can decide whether to download it directly to your Mac (by clicking on the item Download Original Screenshot) or whether to share it online (using the URL given to you). By clicking on thegear placed at the top, however, you can choose the resolution at which to capture the screenshot.
Would you like to customize your screenshots by inserting arrows, highlights, writings or other? If the answer is yes but you forgot to click on the screenshot thumbnail at the time you made it (or you use a version of macOS prior to 10.14 Mojave), you can rely on Preview, the default macOS application for viewing images and PDF documents.
To edit the screenshots obtained with Preview, just double-click on the image you intend to act on and wait for the app window to be visible on the screen. To edit the screenshot you can use all the main editing tools present in the program toolbar and in the menu bar. For example, you can adjust the size of images by selecting the item Adjust size from the menu Means or insert lines, squares and writings in the screenshots by first clicking on the briefcase icon located at the top right and then on the desired tool in the toolbar that appears in the software window.
When you are satisfied with the result, you can export your edited screenshot as a PNG, JPG or PDF file by selecting the item Export ... from the menu Fillet. If you are using a version of macOS equal to or later than 10.7 Lion, you can also count on the autosave function, which records all changes made to an image directly on the original file.
If Preview doesn't satisfy you, I suggest you take a look Skitch di Evernote, an application that allows you to capture the Mac screen and edit screenshots with arrows, writings and so on. The software is available for free and is so intuitive that I am sure you will not encounter any difficulties in using it. You can download Skitch from the Mac App Store by clicking here.