Screenshots can be a useful way of capturing information, recording errors or creating images to share with friends or work colleagues. macOS allows you not only to take shots of the whole screen but also smaller portions or individual windows. We show you the commands you need for this useful tool. 

How do I take a full screenshot on my Mac?

If you want to capture a quick snapshot of everything you can see on your screen, there’s a combination of keys you’ll need to use. Hold down the Shift key then add the Command (cmd) and number 3 keys. When these are pressed together you’ll hear the sound of a camera shutter and the screenshot should appear on your desktop.

How to take a screenshot on a Mac

How do I take a screenshot of just part of the screen?

Sometimes you won’t want the whole of your desktop to be in the shot, as the information you’re after is only in one part of the display. In these instances, you can use a different command for capturing just a portion of the screen.

How to take a screenshot on Mac  

Hold down the Shift key + Command (cmd) + the number 4. You’ll see a crosshair appear on the screen, replacing the normal mouse/trackpad pointer. Press and hold the crosshair where you want the portion to begin, then keep pressing down as you drag the cursor to outline all of the area you want. Finally, stop pressing the mouse button/trackpad and the screenshot will automatically trigger and be deposited on your desktop.

How to take a screenshot on Mac

How do I take a screenshot of a window on my desktop?

The last option open to macOS users is to capture a solitary window open on your desktop. To do this, make sure the window panel is selected (just click on it) then press and hold Shift + Command (cmd) + the number 4 + the Space bar.

How to take a screenshot on a Mac

You’ll see that the pointer changes into a camera icon, showing that it’s primed to take the shot. If you’ve selected the wrong item or part of the screen, press the Esc (Escape) key and your Mac will cancel the shot. If everything is ok though, just click on the highlighted window and a screenshot will be captured and sent to your desktop.

How to take a screenshot on a Mac

For more ways to get the most out of your Mac, read Best Mac tips, tricks and timesavers.