Screenshot Mac: There are many occasions when you may need to take a screenshot, or a snapshot, of your computer screen. In fact, this is a practice that can be very useful to show the way you have customized your desktop to friends online, to share some screens of a work software with a colleague or to obtain remote assistance from a more experienced user of you. How do you say? Do you fully understand what we are talking about but don’t have a clue how to take screenshots on your Mac? Well, I don’t see the problem … I can explain to you how to make Mac screenshots .
In the following lines, in fact, I’m going to show you some useful solutions that you can use directly and comfortably on your Apple brand computer to capture the screen. Depending on what your needs and preferences are, you can choose to make Mac screenshots using the “standard” tool available on macOS or the useful and efficient “third-party” tools. The choice, of course, is up to you.
So read the instructions on how to make screenshots on macOS that you find below and you will find out how to get beautiful snapshots of the desktop, individual windows and Web pages in no time. In all cases it is a real no-brainer, I assure you. Having said that, no more talk and let’s get to work immediately.
Tool in series
If you are interested in how to make Mac screenshots and if you want to do this without installing new applications on macOS you can take advantage, as I said, Istantanea , the special tool available as standard on Apple brand computers.
If you want to take a snapshot of the entire screen, press the key combination cmd + shift + 3 on the Mac keyboard and the image will be automatically saved on the macOS desktop . To capture only a portion of the screen instead use the combination of keys cmd + shift + 4 after which hold down the left mouse button and select the desktop area of interest. Again the image is automatically saved to the Mac desktop.
If, on the other hand, you intend to make Mac screenshots of a single application, use the combination of keys cmd + shift + 4 but instead of selecting the area of the screen to “photograph” with the mouse, proceed by pressing the space bar on the Mac keyboard and click on the window you want to “immortalize”. The end result – guess what – will be automatically saved on the macOS desktop with a nice shadow effect. With the same technique you can also capture the Dock and the menu bar located at the top of the screen. Simpler than that?
Then I reveal a little trick: if you hold down the ctrl key on the keyboard while making a screenshot, the latter instead of being saved on the desktop will be copied to the macOS clipboard. This function is particularly useful when, for example, you want to take a screenshot of a window or a portion of a screen and attach the image to a Pages document, an e-mail message or in any other application. Comfortable right?
If you use a version of macOS equal to or later than 10.14 (Mojave), after capturing a screenshot, you will see a thumbnail of it appear in the lower right corner of the screen: clicking on this thumbnail, a Quick Look window will open with some editing tools (top) to add writings, arrows and more to the image. Once the changes are complete, you can save the screenshot on the Mac by pressing the Finish button (top right) or share it online, pressing the square icon with the arrow inside (always at the top right).
If you want, you can also customize your screenshots with the insertion of arrows, highlights, writings and so on with Preview , the app available on all versions of macOS, thanks to which you can view images and PDFs also making changes .
To edit the screenshots obtained with Preview, just double-click on the one you want to act on and wait for the Preview window to be visible. To modify 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 the images by selecting the Adjust size item from the Tools menu or insert lines, squares and text in the screenshots by clicking first on the briefcase icon located at the top right and then on the desired tool in the toolbar that appears in the software.
If you are not a lover of keyboard shortcuts, you can capture Mac screenshots using the commands in the Screen Snapshot tool . To use it, start the app by looking for it in Spotlight , clicking on its icon in the Other folder of the Launchpad or by pressing the key combination cmd + shift + 5 .
At this point, choose how to proceed: the first three buttons of the application allow you to capture the entire Mac screen , a specific window or a portion of the desktop . Then there are two buttons that allow you to record a video of the Mac screen : the first allows you to capture the whole desktop, while the second to select only a portion of the screen to be recorded.
Finally, there is the Options button that allows you to adjust all the preferences related to the creation of the screenshots. It allows, for example, to choose whether to include the mouse pointer in the captures, whether to show the floating thumbnail of the screenshots made, to set a timer for the screen capture and to choose the folder in which to save the images. After adjusting all your preferences, choose the capture option you prefer and click on the Capture button to get your screenshot. Easy, right?
If you use a version of macOS earlier than 10.14 Mojave, you can use a less complete version of the Snapshot utility, which only allows you to take screenshots and not videos of what is happening on the desktop. Now I’ll explain how to use it.
Once started, press on the Shooting item located in the upper left part of the menu bar and select the option you prefer from the menu that is shown to you by choosing between Selection , Window , Screen or Screen with Timer . Afterwards, use the app in a similar way to what I indicated in the previous lines.
Change the screenshot capture settings
In all cases, screen capture is signaled by camera sound reproduction. In addition, by default the screenshots made on Mac are saved in PNG format but if you deem it appropriate you can change this parameter and also other aspects of the Snapshot tool via Terminal .
If you don’t know how to open Terminal, look for it in Spotlight or open it “manually” by clicking on its icon in the Other folder of the Launchpad . At this point you can issue all the commands that you find below.
- If you want to change the format in which the screenshots are saved open Terminal, type the command defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg and press the Enter key on your Mac keyboard. Instead of jpg you can choose various file formats, such as example jpg, bmp, tuf, jp2, tga, pict, pdf or png (which is the default macOS option).
- If you want to disable the shading from the screenshots of the single windows, open Terminal, type the command defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true and press the Enter key on the keyboard. In case of second thoughts, open Terminal again, type the command defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool false and press the Enter key on the keyboard again.
- If instead you want to change the destination folder of the screenshots open Terminal, type the command defaults write com.apple.screencapture location (path where you want to save the screenshots) and press the Enter key on the keyboard. Instead of (path where you want to save the screenshots) type the path on your Mac where you prefer to save the images of the computer screen you capture.
In all cases, to make the changes effective, log out of your user account or restart the SystemUIServer process by typing the killall SystemUIServer command in Terminal and then pressing the Enter key on the Mac keyboard.
Do not you prefer the use of Terminal but would still like to change the parameters according to which you can make Mac screenshots? Yes? Well, then you can turn to Onyx . This is an excellent free utility that allows you to customize your Mac, delete temporary files from the hard disk and adjust various hidden settings of the Apple operating system.
To connect to the official Onyx website click here . Once the program’s web page is displayed, download the software to your Mac by pressing the appropriate link. Keep in mind that each version of OnyX is exclusively intended for a version of macOS, so be careful when downloading the application on your Mac. If you don’t know what version of the operating system is installed on your computer, click on the apple logo located at the top left of the menu bar and select the item About this Mac from the menu that appears.
When the download is complete open the OnyX.dmg file and drag the OnyX icon to the macOS Applications folder to install the program on your Mac.
When the operation is complete, start OnyX by clicking on its icon and selecting the Open item from the menu that appears. In the window that opens, click again on Open , type the password of your user account on macOS and click OK and Accept to launch the software. Every time you start it, OnyX will ask you if you want to check the status of the hard disk: to customize the screenshot capture function this step is not necessary, then click on Cancel and go to the next step.
The next step is to bring to you the card parameters OnyX and select the image format to save screenshots from the drop down menu located next to the entry Screenshot Format: . You can also decide whether to keep the shading in the snapshots of the individual windows by keeping or removing the check from the item Shadow in the screen capture and, if necessary, you can change the folder in which the screenshots are saved using the Select … button located next to the item ** Located in:. You can also choose whether or not to add the date and time of capture in the name of the screenshots by putting or removing the check mark on the box located next to the item Include the date and time in the name of the screen shots ** and you can choose which name to assign by default to the screenshots by filling in the text field located next to the Name: item and then clicking Apply . To save the settings just close the application, if instead you want to restore the default settings click on the Restore default button located at the bottom right.
Third party tools
The tool for making standard Mac screenshots is not to your liking? If the answer is “yes” I suggest you take a look at Skitch . If you have never heard of it, know that it is a free application produced by Evernote that allows you to take screenshots in an extremely easy and fast way. Once captured the snapshots can then be personalized and modified with the addition of arrows, highlights and much more.
So if you want to find out how to make Mac screenshots with Skitch, the first thing you need to do is download the application from the Mac App Store .
Once the software window is displayed, to capture the Mac screen just press the key combination Cmd + Shift + 5 on the computer keyboard and select the portion of the screen to be captured with the mouse. To take a snapshot of the whole desktop you can instead use the key combination Cmd + Shift + 6 .
Alternatively, you can take a screenshot with Skitch by pressing on the Snapshot screen item that you see in the program window and then selecting with the mouse cursor and with the left button of the latter pressed the portion of the screen you want to capture. If, on the other hand, you want to take a screenshot of the entire desktop, press the arrow that you see next to the screen snapshot option and select the Full screen item from the displayed menu.
After taking the screenshots, you can customize and edit the images obtained through the integrated Skitch editor. The editor has a handy toolbar on the left with arrows, geometric shapes, writing tools and more. To customize a captured screenshot, just click on the tool you want to use and make the changes you want to the screen photograph you have just made.
To save the modified screenshot, drag the bar located at the bottom of the window to the folder where you want to export the screenshot or directly to the macOS desktop. Alternatively, you can save the screenshot you have just made and edited by pressing on the File item in the upper left part of the menu bar, choosing the Export … item from the menu that is shown to you, indicating a name for the file you are about to create in the Export as: field , the format in which you want to save the image by choosing between PNG, BMP, JPG, PDF or TIFF from the Export Format: menu , indicating the position of Windows where you want to save the file and then pressing the buttonSave .
If, on the other hand, after making Mac screenshots and making changes instead of saving it on the desktop, you prefer to share it immediately via the social networks you usually use, just click on the Share item located at the top left of the menu bar and select the service you want to use from the drop-down menu that is shown to you.
Are you interested in figuring out how to take Mac screenshots by intervening only on Web pages? If the answer is yes, know that to do this you can resort to the use of Awesome Screenshot , a special and very useful extension for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox which, in fact, allows you to photograph a Web page in an extremely simple and totally automatic way.
To know how to download this extension to make Mac screenshots by intervening only on Web pages and to find out how to use it you can read my guide on how to photograph a Web page .