How to screenshot on Mac

How to screenshot on Mac? If you need to capture your Mac screen or a portion of it, you can do it without necessarily downloading additional applications or relying on third-party services. In fact, macOS integrates some tools that allow you to “photograph” or record the entire Mac screen, single windows or specific portions to be selected manually.

If, therefore, you are wondering how to screenshot on Mac, all you have to do is press a specific combination of keys depending on the portion of the screen you intend to “capture” or record. Alternatively, you can directly launch the Screenshot application, installed by default on all Macs.

Both solutions allow you to take screenshot very easily, with the possibility of choosing the save folder and activating further options, such as activating a timer to take a screenshot or start recording the screen automatically. Is that exactly what you wanted to know? Find everything explained in detail right below.


  • How to screenshot on Mac 
    • How to screenshot on Mac with keyboard
    • How to screenshot on Mac without keyboard
    • Other solutions to take Mac screenshot
  • How to do screen recording on Mac

How to screenshots on Mac

To take Mac screenshot you can either prefer the use of macOS keyboard shortcuts or use the Screenshot app, installed as “standard” on all computers with the “bitten apple”. In both cases, you can take screenshots of the entire Mac screen, of individual windows or of portions of the screen to be selected manually. How to do? I’ll explain it to you right away!

How to screenshots on Mac with keyboard

The simplest and fastest solution to take a Mac screenshot is to use the macOS keyboard shortcuts, which allow both to “capture” the entire screen and specific portions of it or individual windows.

If your intention is to capture the contents of the entire screen of your Mac, you can press the combination of keys cmd + shift + 3 and, completely automatically, a screenshot will be taken which will be saved as a PNG image on the desktop of the your Mac.

Alternatively, you can also create a screenshot of the screen by pressing the keys ctrl + cmd + shift + 3 : in this case, however, the screenshot will not be automatically saved but kept in “memory”, so that it can be used in a program to graphics (eg GIMP ), in a text document or in any other file. In any case, after starting the app or opening the file of your interest, you can paste the screen by pressing the cmd + v keys or by right clicking with the mouse and selecting the Paste option from the opened menu.

If, on the other hand, you want to take a screenshot of a portion of the screen , press the combination of keys cmd + shift + 4 (or ctrl + cmd + shift + 4 to copy it to the macOS clipboard) and, using the viewfinder that appeared on the screen, select the area you intend to “capture”. To be precise, what you have to do is hold down the right mouse button, select the portion of the screen to “photograph” and release the button.

How do you say? Do you want to take a screenshot of a specific window ? In that case, you can use the key combination cmd + shift + 4 (or ctrl + cmd + shift + 4 to copy it to the macOS clipboard), press the space bar, select with the cursor (which in the meantime should have taken the form of a camera ) the window to “capture” and click on it.

After taking a screenshot of the entire screen, a portion of this or a single window, you can view a thumbnail of the screenshot captured in the lower right corner of the screen and quickly edit (or share) the image by clicking on this. ‘last.

How to screenshot on Mac without keyboard

If you prefer to take screenshot on Mac without a keyboard, you can use the macOS Screenshot app (also known as Screen Snapshot ) which not only allows you to “photograph” the Mac screen, with the possibility of adjusting advanced settings related to screen capture, but also to do screen recording, that is to record desktop videos.

If you think this is the best solution to photograph your computer screen, open the Launchpad by clicking on its icon (the one with the colored squares ) on the Dock bar, access the Other folder and start the Screenshot app by clicking on its icon (the one with the colored squares ). camera ). Alternatively, you can launch the app in question by pressing the key combination cmd + shift + 5.

At this point, select the Capture the entire screen option and click on the Capture item to “photograph” the entire Mac screen, while choosing the Capture the selected window option and selecting the window of your interest you can make the screen of that specific window. If, on the other hand, you want to “capture” a portion of the screen, choose the Acquire selection option, select the area of ​​your interest and press the Acquire button.

It will be useful to know that, by clicking on the Options item , you can adjust some advanced properties of the screen capture, such as the inclusion of the mouse pointer in the screenshots, the appearance of floating thumbnails after capturing screenshots, the setting of a timer to delay capture the screen, choose the folder to save the screenshots and so on.

Other solutions to take Mac screenshots

In addition to the predefined tools available on macOS that I indicated in the previous lines of this guide, you should know that there are other solutions to take Mac screenshots . Here are some screen capture programs you can consider.

  • CleanShot X: is a tool for making professional screenshots and screencasts with cloud space and many advanced functions for screen capturing (eg possibility to make complete screenshots of Web pages by scrolling) and editing. It costs $ 8 / month or $ 29 one-time without a free trial, but it’s also included in Setapp, a subscription service (with a 7-day free trial) that allows you to use over 200 applications for macOS (and iOS / iPadOS, with a small surcharge) which would normally be paid for by paying a single monthly or annual subscription. To find out more, I leave you to my guide on how Setapp works.
  • Monosnap: is a free application to make screenshots of the entire Mac screen, of single portions or of specific windows. In addition to an advanced screen editing editor, it also includes some additional features, such as the ability to set a timer to take automatic screenshots. By creating an account, it provides 2 GB of online storage space. A subscription version is also available (starting from 4.49 euros / month) which allows you to have 10 GB of space and to connect other storage services, such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
  • Greenshot: is another valid app to make screenshots on Mac which, through a very powerful editor, also allows you to add annotations, blur and highlight parts of the screenshot and much more. It costs € 1.99.

Furthermore, I would like to point out that some online services are also available, such as ShrinkTheWeb, which allow you to capture an entire Web page and not just a portion of it. To find out more, I leave you to my guide on how to save a web page as an image.

How to do screen recording on Mac

As mentioned in the previous lines of this guide, through the macOS Screenshot app it is also possible to do Mac screen recording, i.e. record the entire computer screen or portions of it.

To record the screen of your Mac, start the Screenshot app by clicking on its icon available in the Other folder of the Launchpad or press the combination of keys cmd + shift + 5.

Once this is done, click on the Options item and choose whether to also record the audio of your microphone, selecting the option you prefer between None and Mac Microphone (or any external microphones). In addition, you can also indicate where to save the recording , set a timer to start recording automatically and much more.

When you are ready to start recording, choose the option of your interest between Record full screen or Record selection (in this case, manually select the portion of the screen to “capture”) and click on the Record button . To stop recording and automatically save the video in the previously chosen destination, press the circle icon located at the top right of the menu bar or use the combination of keys cmd + control + esc.

I point out that you can also record the screen of your Mac using QuickTime , the video player included by default in macOS which, in fact, can also be used to create screencasts.

To record the Mac screen with QuickTime, open the Launchpad , go to the Other folder and start the app in question by clicking on its icon (the “Q” on a black background ). Once this is done, click on the File option located in the menu bar and select the New screen recording item from the opened menu.

At this point, if you are using macOS 11.0 (Big Sur) or later versions, you will see the same controls of the Screenshot app I have already told you about previously: follow, therefore, the indications I have given you in the previous paragraphs of this guide to start, stop and save the recording.

If, on the other hand, you are using an older version of macOS, first click on the arrow icon visible in the Screen Recording box to change the recording settings. Once this is done, press the Record button (the red circle icon ) to start recording and click the Stop button (the gray square icon ) to stop it and save the recorded video.

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