Want to screenshot? How to do it on your Mac?

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Want to screenshot? How to do it on your Mac?

This is a short overview in action to countless customer demands. Screenshots can be made both by OS integrated features (each OS has various techniques) and also unique software program by third-party programmers. This is a life-simplifying alternative that assists to move details clearly, as it is commonly to reveal than to discuss. There are numerous approaches of making screenshots in macOS, each valuable in its very own method.

1. Hotkeys

You can take screenshots on macOS with “worldwide” hotkeys– energetic for all programs, video games, video clips, and so on. This is the fastest and also the simplest method, possibly, as well as there are a couple of essential mixes for it.

  • Shift⇧ + CMD⌘ + 3 – full screen.
  • Shift⇧ + CMD⌘ + 4 – selected area.
  • Shift⇧ + CMD⌘ + 4 + Space – window, folder, etc.

All screenshots are instantly conserved to Desktop. The fascinating component to observe concerning window-only screenshots is the openness as well as boundary darkness.

2. Preview

Preview is a multifunctional Apple application. We’ve mentioned it previously in our top free photo editors for macOS. Screen capturing is one of its features. To open Preview search it in Spotlight – click Ctrl⌃ + Space or CMD⌘ + Space (depends on settings) > type Preview > click Enter.

Then click File > Take Screenshot > pick one of three options: From Selection, From Window, From Entire Screen. Some more details to keep in mind: 

  • a mouse pointer will be visible on screens;
  • when capturing full screen, 10 seconds timer is on;
  • image formats: heif, jpeg, jpeg-2000, openEXR, pdf, png, tiff;
  • snapshot immediately opens in Preview edit mode.

3. Grab

Grab is another macOS utility for screenshots. To open Grab search it in Spotlight – click Ctrl⌃ + Space or CMD⌘ + Space (depends on settings) > type Grab > click Enter. Control Grab with hotkeys:

  • CMD⌘ + 4 – selection
  • CMD⌘ + 5 – window
  • CMD⌘ + 3 – full screen
  • Alt⌥ + CMD⌘ + 3 – timed screen (10 seconds)

or you can navigate to Menubar > Capture > select one of four options. After you take a screenshot, save it in png, jpeg, tiff. Note: there is no shadow on window-only screenshots.

4. Screenshot apps

If you seek an even easier way of how to screenshot on Mac, use third-party screen capturing apps. Find more info about 5 such tools below. We’ve also added a usability column to the comparison table, according to general experience, speed, response, image quality.

Area selection Window capture Full screen Timed screenshot Screenshot format Hotkeys Usability Priority
Lightshot Screenshot + + png ⇧⌘9 or custom 8/10 1
ScreenShot PSD + + psd ⇧⌘5 8/10 1
Apowersoft Screenshot + + png, bmp, tiff, jpg, gif ⌘1/⌘2 or custom 8/10 1
ScreenshotMenu + + + png 7/10 2
Light Capture + png, jpg, tiff, gif custom 7/10 2

Lightshot Screenshot

Version: 2.22
macOS: 10.7 or later | Size: 1.5 MB

A simple app with tools to make screenshots more informative: arrows, pointers, circles, squares, text. Add to that social sharing options and cloud upload with instant link.

ScreenShot PSD

 Version: 1.1
macOS: 10.6 or later | Size: 1.2 MB

Captures and saves all screenshots in PSD format, as a layered project. Thus every single item is editable, which could be useful for graphic designers. Quite outstanding.

Apowersoft Screenshot

Version: 1.2.4
macOS: 10.8 or later | Size: 9.1 MB

Similar to Lightshot, area selection comes quite handy, along with additional items such as lines, arrows, circles, text. Upload and sharing options are in place too. In Settings, you can change hotkeys for selection, full screen, and image format (png, bmp, tiff, jpg, gif).

Screenshot Menu

 Version: 1.2.1
macOS: 10.6 or later | Size: 329 KB

A tiny utility to capture screenshots, copy images to the clipboard. Activate auto-launch and you won’t even notice it in the background. No settings, no interface, only straight controls.


Version: 1.0.7
macOS: 10.11 or later | Size: 12.2 MB

A strange feature of this application is the capacity to display capture to Clipboard, to put it simply, without conserving a photo to a hard disk, pasting it right into a picture editor or Skype straight. Most likely to Preferences to set up: open displays in Preview (default macOS customer), result style, seems.


  1. Alexis_gamer says:

    the command + shift + 4 and the command + shift + 3 helped me a lot.

  2. William Andres says:

    This is by far the best Mac screenshot tutorial.

  3. Mahima Anni says:

    Woo I am quite impressed! But I’ll try it later cause I don’t have a laptop, I will buy it after 2 years later…

  4. W. Lee says:

    Love it! A toolbar suggestion: you already allow for screenshots of the entire screen, portion of screen, and window. You also allow for recording the entire screen and a portion. How about recording a window? Another feature suggestion is to add audio from the speakers and microphone to the audio and allow users to mute, control the volume of that, or maybe even add the webcam so people can see faces. I have tons of other suggestions but it’s far too long to add here. Thanks, this is probably the most helpful screenshot tutorial ever!