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How to take a screenshot on Mac (The Complete Guide 2021)

Taking a screenshot on a Mac is nothing new, in fact, there are so many people are wondering how to get this job done because there is no “Print Screen” key on your Mac keyboard. Taking a screenshot on your Mac is a great way to make a tutorial, showing a great moment of videos, high scores from Games, some problems you need help and the conversations on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.

Taking screenshots on a Mac is super simpler than Windows 10 because you can use the built-in keyboard shortcuts or the third-party software for taking a screenshot on Mac.

How to Take a Screenshot on your Mac

(Mojave, Catalina and Big Sur)

Apple has added the new tool in new macOS to help simplify this process. Taking pictures and recording videos is no longer that hard. Let’s jump right in to find out!

There are several new ways to take screenshots on your MacBook, especially with the new macOS Big Sur, Catalina and Mojave version. Previous keyboard shortcuts like Shift + Command + 4 or Shift + Command + 3 still remain working.

Capture the whole Screen

Step 1: Press Shift + Command + 5 to see the toolbar.

Step 2: Choose the Capture Entire Screen icon.

takeascreenshot mac

Step 3: Click anywhere on the screen you want to capture to take a screenshot, or you can click on Capture to take screenshots.

Step 4: At this point, you will see a small thumbnail appear at the corner of your laptop screen. Click on this thumbnail to edit the screenshot(s) you have just taken.

This process is only available on macOS Mojave or later.

You also can follow the traditional way of taking a screenshot, which is available for all macOS. All you need to do is press Shift + Command + 3 to capture the whole screen, and you can find the screenshot on your desktop.

Capture a Window

Step 1: Press Shift + Command + 5 to see the toolbar.

Step 2: Choose the Capture Selected Windows icon.

takeascreenshot mac

Step 3: Click on the window you want to take a screenshot of.

Step 4: At this point, you will see a small thumbnail appear at the corner of your laptop screen. Click on this thumbnail to edit the screenshot(s) you have just taken.

This process is only available on macOS Mojave or later. You also can follow the traditional way of taking a screenshot, which is available for all macOS.

All you need to do is press Shift + Command + 4. Then, press Space and you will see the pointer change to a camera. Click on the window you want to capture, and you will find your screenshot(s) on your desktop.

Capture a Selected area of the Screen

Step 1: Press Shift + Command + 5 to see the toolbar.

Step 2: Choose the Capture Selected Portion icon.

takeascreenshot mac

Step 3: Drag your mouse the select the area you want to capture.

Step 4: Click on Capture.

Step 5: At this point, you will see a small thumbnail appear at the corner of your laptop screen. Click on this thumbnail to edit the screenshot(s) you have just taken.

This process is only available on macOS Mojave or later.

You also can follow the traditional way of taking a screenshot, which is available for all macOS.

All you need to do is press Shift + Command + 4, then drag your mouse to the area you want to capture. After you release the mouse, the screenshot has now taken, and you can find it on your desktop.

Capture the Touch Bar

You can press Shift + Command + 6 to take a screenshot of what currently being displayed on the Touch Bar. Your macOS has to be Sierra 10.12.2 or later.

Capture a Menu

Step 1: Click on the menu to see its content.

Step 2: After pressing Shift + Command + 5, choose one of the two options to take a screenshot: Capture Selected Window or Capture Selected Portion.

takeascreenshot mac

Step 3: At this point, you will see a small thumbnail appear at the corner of your laptop screen. Click on this thumbnail to edit the screenshot(s) you have just taken.

This process is only available on macOS Mojave or later. You also can follow the traditional way of taking a screenshot, which is available for all macOS.

First, you need to click on the menu to see its content. Then, press Shift + Command + 4 and drag your mouse to the menu where you want to take a screenshot. After releasing your mouse or the trackpad button, press Space to change the pointer into the camera icon and click on the menu to capture.

This is all the different ways to take a screenshot on macOS Big Sur or later with a special tool, I hope you find this article helpful. If you have any question on whether the steps are not clear, or you don’t understand, just comment down below, and I’ll answer them one by one.

How to change the default save location of screenshots on a Mac

Step 1: Create a new folder on Desktop or wherever you want.

Step 2: To change the name of the created folder, just click on that folder and press the Enter button. Then, type the new name you want, such as “TakeaScreen”

Step 3: Open a Terminal app by typing “terminal” on Spotlight Search or click on Launchpad >> Other >> Terminal.

Step 4: At Terminal window, let copy and paste the command line below.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location

Note: Make sure to have a “space” after “defaults write com.apple.screencapture location”.

Then, let drag and drop the folder into the Terminal.

takeascreenshot mac

Drag and drop the folder

Step 6: Once you’ve pressed Return button, continue to Enter the command below.

killall SystemUIServer

Now, you can take a screenshot by using the above guide to check the result.

Using the built-in app on a Mac

Preview App

Preview is also the built-in tool which lets you open anything from photos to PDF files on Mac. However, it has some hidden features. With Preview, you can completely take a screenshot and here is the step-by-step to do that.

Step 1: Go to LaunchPad >> open Preview app. Then, click File >> Take a screenshot at the menu of the screen.

takeascreenshot mac

Step 2: Select the option you want. To save your screenshot, click File >> Export.

takeascreenshot mac

Grab Utility

Apple’s operating system, Mojave, has been released to the public. This update includes a plethora of new features including better security for browsing and screensavers that play behind your login screen as you’re working on projects. The most notable change in this version is with Grab which was replaced by Screenshot! It means you can not use Grab on Mojave, Big Sur and later.

Step 1: Open the Grab app on your Mac by going to Applications >> Utilities >> Grab. You can only use the Grab’s menu at the top left of your Mac’s screen because there are no app’s window which show up on the screen.

Step 2: Go to the Capture menu and select one of 4 options, including:

  1. Taking a screenshot of your entire screen, select Screen and click on the screen which you want.
  2. Taking a screenshot a part of your screen, click Selection. A window will appear and you need to drag your mouse over the part of your screen you want to capture.
  3. Taking a screenshot of a particular app window, click Window. Then, select the window you want to take a screenshot of.
  4. Click Timed Screen option, you’ll have 10 seconds to stage the screen before this app capture the entire screen.

Using the Third-Party App

Skitch

Skitch is a great screen capture and editing app from Evernote. Skitch can assist as your primary screen capture app, surely replacing the built-in Grab utility in your Mac. It provides some features which allow you to annotate a screenshot with adding arrows, text, shapes, and lines.

Pros

  • It costs free.
  • User-friend ly interface
  • Supports for JPG, PNG, JPEG, TIFF, GIF, BMP, and PDF formats.

Cons

  • It only allows editing one image at a time.
  • Must use export option to save the image.

LightShot

LightShot is also an amazing screenshot tool available for Mac. You can capture screenshots in many ways and easily edit, upload or even share them on the Internet. Here’s the guide on how to use the LightShot app.

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