Ping Fm Logo Mac Tutorials
Roman Kropachek Photo
Written by:

Last update on

How to Print Screen on a Mac: Your Comprehensive Guide

Understanding how to execute a print screen or, in other words, a screenshot on a Mac OS is a great stride in maneuvering your computer’s capabilities. The approach is somewhat different from the one generally used on Windows. This article provides a comprehensive guide split into several techniques to help you achieve this task with ease. 💻🍏


Method 1: Print Screen of the Whole Image 🖼️

The absolute straightforward approach to capturing a snapshot of your entire computer’s screen is by simultaneously pressing Command, followed by Shift and 3. The result? An instant copy of the screen. After tapping these keys, a thumbnail of your screenshot materializes at the bottom right corner. If you leave it untouched, the image automatically gets saved to your desktop. Alternatively, you can click on the thumbnail to edit the picture before it’s stored. Closing the editing window and selecting save will secure your edited screenshot.


Method 2: Print Screen of a Selected Portion 🖍️

In the situation where you only need a screenshot of a distinct part on your screen, the keyboard shortcut parallels the one above, but you’d replace 3 with 4. This trick changes the standard mouse cursor into a crosshair. Using this crosshair, press and hold your mouse or touchpad to draft a rectangle around your target. When you release the mouse button or touchpad, a screenshot of your selected area is done. The editing and saving process is the same as in the first method.


Method 3: Print Screen of a Single Window or Program 📁

Mac OS further allows you to take a screenshot of a single window or program. Initiate by pressing Command, Shift, and 4 together, turning the cursor into a crosshair symbol. Instead of drafting a rectangle, press the spacebar. The pointer instantly turns into a camera symbol. Hover the camera over any window the cursor, turning it bluish to indicate it’s selected. With a single press on the mouse or touchpad, you can create a screenshot of the selected window. The same saving and editing options also apply.


Method 4: Saving a Screenshot Directly to the Clipboard 📋

You can also store any screenshot directly into the clipboard. This method allows you to paste the image right into any image editing program or app. To conduct this, just add the Control key to whatever shortcut you use. For instance, hitting Command, Ctrl, Shift, and 3 creates a copy of the entire screen that goes straight to the clipboard. As nothing appears on the desktop, you can then paste it into any image editing software or app of your choice.

Conclusion: 🏁

That’s it! 🎉 You now know how to use different methods to print screen on a Mac. Keep practicing these steps until they become second nature. Remember, practice makes perfect. Go ahead and capture away! 🖥️📸


You can quickly take a screenshot on your Mac by pressing Shift + Command + 3.

Press Shift + Command + 4, then drag the crosshair to select the area you’d like to capture.

To save the screenshot directly to the clipboard, hold down the Control key while you press the other keys.

Press Shift + Command + 4 + Space bar. The pointer will change to a camera, then click the window or menu to capture it.

Yes, you can take a screenshot of the Touch Bar by pressing Shift + Command + 6.

After you take a screenshot, a thumbnail will automatically appear in the corner of your screen. You can click it to edit the screenshot, or wait for it to save to your desktop.

You can change the save location of screenshots by going to the Screenshot app, select Options, then choose a different save location.

Yes, you can set a timer for screenshots in the Screenshot app under Options.

Yes. You can include the mouse cursor by going to the Screenshot app, selecting Options, and then include the mouse cursor.

You can edit screenshots on your Mac by clicking the thumbnail that appears after you take the screenshot. This will open up the Screenshot app’s editing tools.

Yes, there are several apps like Snagit, Skitch, LightShot, and others that might offer additional screenshot features like video recording, annotation tools, etc.

You can open the Screenshot app by pressing Shift + Command + 5.

Yes, you can take screenshots of any display connected to your Mac.

If your screenshots are not appearing on the desktop, check the Screenshot app’s settings. It’s possible you’ve changed the default save location.

Yes, you can take a screenshot without any keyboard shortcut by using the Screenshot app, which is found in the Utilities folder.

Just like taking any other screenshot, you can press Shift + Command + 3 for a fullscreen screenshot or Shift + Command + 4 to select a specific area of the video.

Some applications may not allow you to take screenshots for security reasons. Also, the quality of the screenshots depends on the resolution of your screen.

After you take a screenshot, click the thumbnail that appears. In the editor, you’ll find options to share the screenshot via email, messages, or other social media apps.

No, the Screenshot app doesn’t allow you to delete screenshots. You need to find the screenshot in its location (by default, the desktop) and delete it.

The Mac operating system doesn’t have a built-in method for capturing scrolling screenshots. However, third-party apps like ‘CleanShot X’ make it possible.

By default, screenshots on a Mac are saved as PNG files, but this can be changed to other formats like JPEG, TIFF, GIF, and PDF.

You can resize a screenshot using the Preview app on your Mac. Open the screenshot with Preview, go to the Tools menu, select Adjust Size, and enter your new dimensions.

No, you cannot take a screenshot on a locked Mac. Apple does not allow screenshots in the Lock screen for security reasons.

If you’re logged into their account, and have permissions, yes, but not from your own user account. Without permission, privacy laws would prohibit such activity.

If your screenshots are blurry, it might be due to a low screen resolution, a magnified screen, or the resizing of the screenshot.

Yes, you can mute your Mac to take screenshots without the shutter sound.

Yes, you can print screenshots directly from the Preview app. Open the screenshot with Preview, then select File -> Print.

After capturing a screenshot, click on the thumbnail that appears. In the screenshots editor, you will find options to annotate the screenshot.

No, there is not a pre-defined limit to the number of screenshots you can take. However, bear in mind that each screenshot will take up disk space.

Yes, by pressing Shift + Command + 3 you can capture the complete screen’s content in one go.