If you are new to the Mac operating system and environment you may be wondering how to take a screenshot on a Mac computer or you have transitioned from a Windows PC to Mac and are missing your ‘Print Screen’ button, this quick tutorial will have you taking screenshots on iMac or MacBook in no time. In the latest releases of macOS Apple has included two really easy methods of capturing screen images using keyboard shortcuts. Allowing you to capture the full screen or just a small part if preferred using the Mac equivalent to the Windows Snippet screenshot tool.
To capture the whole screen on your Mac
To capture a screenshot of your whole iMac or MacBook screen simply use the following shortcut by pressing the following keyboard buttons all together : Command + Shift + 3
Your captured screenshot will then be saved to the to your Mac desktop by default.
Capture a selection of the screen on your Mac
To capture a screenshot of a portion of your Mac screen simply press the following keyboard shortcut buttons all together : Command + Shift + 4
This will provide a handy cross hair your can use to draw a box around the screen area your would like to screenshot. Your captured screenshot will then be saved to your Mac desktop by default.
Change the where your Mac screenshots are saved
If you would like to change the location of your saved screenshots on your Mac press Command + Shit + 5 buttons together to bring up the screen capture settings panel. Under the Options tab on the right-hand side you will open a new list options list and under ‘Save to’ you can select from Desktop, Documents, Clipboard, Mail, Messages, Preview or another location more suitable to your needs. A number of other options are available to tweak your screenshot capture depending on your requirements after which the options menu will disappear and your standard desktop will reappear.
How to take screen shots on older Macs running High Sierra or earlier
If you are using a Mac computer loaded with an operating system High Sierra or earlier you will need to use the Terminal application to change the location of your saved screenshot. Start Terminal and enter the following command :
defaults write com.apple.screencapture location
Then simply drag the location from Finder into your terminal window and any screenshots you take from now on on your Mac will be save to that new location. To finish the process enter the command below and hit the Return button.
If you are unsure which macOS your Apple computer is running, jump over to the official Apple website for instructions on how to check.
Change the format of your Mac screenshot
You can also change the format the screenshots are saved in and by default Mac will save these as .png files but you can also save them as .jpg or .tiff formats if preferred. You can even save your Mac screenshots as PDF files rather than image files. Simply enter the commands below, adding your desired extension to the end and replacing the jpg text in the line below with : tiff, pdf or png
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg
We hope you find this article and handy tips on how to take a screenshot on your mac helpful, if you have any tips or comments, please leave a comment below.
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