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How to take a long screenshot on mac

how to take a long screenshot on mac

Are you looking to capture an entire webpage or a long conversation on your Mac? Traditional screenshots might fall short, but long screenshots offer a solution. As someone who has navigated these waters, I’ve found reliable workarounds to take long screenshots on a Mac. It’s a valuable skill, whether you’re a professional presenting a full web design or an enthusiast documenting extensive dialogues. Although Mac doesn’t have an out-of-the-box feature for this, various methods, some involving third-party tools, can accomplish the task. Let’s explore these strategies to ensure you can capture every bit of the content you need.


Common Scenarios:

Webpage Documentation 📄

  • Web designers or developers may need to capture full-page designs for client presentations or portfolios.
  • People conducting research might want to capture online articles or threads for offline reference.
  • Marketers and SEO specialists may need to assess and archive competitor landing pages in their entirety.

Extended Conversations 🗨

  • Users wishing to keep a record of long chat histories or text threads for personal or legal reasons.
  • Business professionals who need to document extended email exchanges or online meetings for future reference.
  • Customer service representatives archiving long interactions for quality assurance and training.

Online Content Archiving 📚

  • Journalists and researchers looking to capture expansive social media feeds or forums for analysis.
  • Educators and students preserving lengthy online educational resources or lecture notes.
  • Personal archivists or memory keepers saving significant webpages or digital memories.

Step-by-Step Guide. How To Take A Long Screenshot On Mac:

Method 1: Using Built-In Screenshot Tools and Image Stitching 📷

  • Step 1: Capture multiple overlapping screenshots using Mac’s built-in screenshot functionality by pressing Shift + Command + 4.
  • Step 2: Open the screenshots in Preview or a similar image editing software.
  • Step 3: Manually align and stitch the images together to form a continuous long image.

Note: This method is free but time-consuming and may not produce precise results.

Conclusion: Ideal for those who prefer a manual approach without third-party software.

Method 2: Utilizing Browser Extensions on Safari or Chrome 🌐

  • Step 1: Install a long screenshot browser extension, such as Nimbus Screenshot & Screen Video Recorder or Awesome Screenshot.
  • Step 2: Navigate to the webpage you want to capture and click the extension icon.
  • Step 3: Choose the option to capture a full page or selected area.

Note: Review the extension’s privacy policy and permissions before use.

Conclusion: A convenient method for capturing webpages with minimal manual work. Refer to the Chrome Web Store or Safari Extensions for options.

Method 3: Using a Third-party Application like Snagit 🖥

  • Step 1: Download and install Snagit from the official website.
  • Step 2: Launch Snagit and select the ‘Panoramic Capture’ option.
  • Step 3: Click ‘Start’ and scroll through the content you want to capture.
  • Step 4: Click ‘Stop’ and edit the long screenshot as desired.

Note: Snagit is a premium software with a free trial available.

Conclusion: Snagit is a powerful tool with more features than just long screenshot capabilities, suitable for professional use.

Method 4: Using Automator to Capture Scrolling Content 👨

  • Step 1: Open Automator on your Mac and create a new ‘Service’ or ‘Quick Action’.
  • Step 2: Add a series of actions that mimic scrolling and taking screenshots.
  • Step 3: Run the Automator service to capture and combine screenshots automatically.

Note: This method requires familiarity with scripting and Automator.

Conclusion: Effective for those comfortable with DIY automation on Mac.

Method 5: Capturing Long Screenshots with QuickTime Player and Image Editing 🎬

  • Step 1: Use QuickTime Player to record a video of your screen while you scroll through the content.
  • Step 2: Extract frames from the video using an image editor or converter tool.
  • Step 3: Stitch these frames together to create a long screenshot.

Note: Like Method 1, it is free but requires more work and editing skills.

Conclusion: A good alternative if you are comfortable with video capturing and image editing.


Precautions and Tips:

Ensure Crisp Capture 🖼

  • Maximize your browser window or increase your screen resolution for higher-quality captures.
  • Review each segment of your capture for clarity and continuity.

Be Mindful of Privacy 🛡

  • Blur sensitive information when sharing or storing long screenshots.
  • Seek permission if the captured content involves other parties.

Additional Insights

Understanding how to take a long screenshot on a Mac encompasses more than just the process itself; it can be about enhancing productivity and managing digital information effectively. As such, it’s important to be discerning when selecting tools and techniques to match your specific needs. Professionals, in particular, should seek out solutions that balance efficiency with output quality. Productivity experts like Getting Things Done often stress the importance of streamlined workflows, which long screenshot techniques can contribute to.

Moreover, considering the rise of remote work and digital collaboration, the ability to succinctly capture and convey complex information through long screenshots has never been more relevant. Websites like Zapier frequently update lists of productivity tools, which include screen capture utilities that could further simplify the process.

Uninterrupted workflow is another key aspect when taking extensive screenshots. Interruptions could lead to overlaps or gaps in the captured content, so tools that automatically scroll while capturing can be highly beneficial. Lastly, cloud storage platforms such as Dropbox or Google Drive can be instrumental in storing and sharing these long screenshots with colleagues or clients.


In today’s digital-heavy environment, being adept at taking long screenshots on your Mac is synonymous with being resourceful. The methods I’ve shared cover a wide array of scenarios – whether you’re using built-in tools, extensions, third-party applications, or creative video-to-screenshot conversions. Remember that each method has its own set of pros and cons, so choose the one that fits your circumstances the best. For more advanced tasks, turning to robust tools like Snagit could be ideal, but don’t underestimate the power of simple browser extensions for quick grabs. Whichever path you choose, practice makes perfect, and soon you’ll be capturing long screenshots like a pro! Don’t forget to check out additional insights from productivity gurus at Getting Things Done and tool roundups at Zapier for optimizing your digital workflow.


Yes, you can capture a long screenshot on a Mac using the built-in screenshot utility or third-party apps such as Kap.

To take a long screenshot on a Mac, press Shift + Command + 4, then select the area. You’ll need to manually scroll and capture multiple sections.

No single command exists for a long screenshot on a Mac. Multiple screenshots must be stitched together manually or with third-party software.

Third-party applications like Snagit offer dedicated features for capturing long, scrolling screenshots on a Mac.

Press Shift + Command + 3 for a full-screen snapshot or Shift + Command + 4 to select an area for a regular screenshot on a Mac.

You will need to use a third-party browser extension or app designed to capture full-page or long webpages on your Mac.

Yes, browser extensions such as Awesome Screenshot for Chrome or Safari enable long screenshot capabilities on your Mac.

Do I need any special permissions to take long screenshots with third-party tools?

What file formats can I save my long screenshots on a Mac?

Can I edit long screenshots directly on my Mac after taking them?