How to Take a Screenshot on a MacBook – Step by Step Guide

How to Take a Screenshot on a MacBook

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Taking a screenshot is a very convenient way to help guide someone through a new app, report support team and show them the problem, capture important messages, take photos while using video calling apps like Skype, and do other tasks. For a Windows computer, there is a dedicated Print Screen key available to take screenshots. Unfortunately, Apple computers and laptops don’t have a straight forward Print Screen Key. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t take a screenshot from your MacBook. There are few keyboard commands and apps available that will allow you to take a screenshot on the Mac computer. These commands are quick and easy to learn. Read the article to know the details.

How to Take a Screenshot on a MacBook

Taking a screenshot on a Mac computer is very easy and there are various ways available to take different kinds of screenshots on a MacBook or other Mac computer. Let’s check them out!

Method 1 – Capture the Entire Screen

Press the Command + Shift + 3 keys simultaneously until you hear a brief camera sound to take an instant screenshot of your Mac computer. It will take a picture of your whole screen at that moment. Then press the Command + Shift + 3 + Control keys simultaneously to save the image on the clipboard. You can find the screenshot as a PNG file on the desktop with the name: screenshot time/date.

Method 2 – Capture a Selected Area

First, press the Command + Shift + 4 keys simultaneously. You will see the pointer of your mouse turned into a crosshair. Now click and drag your mouse to select the region you want to capture. Once you select the area, let go of the mouse button and the image will save automatically to your desktop. You can press the Esc key to start over without taking the photo.

Method 3 – Capture a Screenshot of a Single Window

First, hold the Command + Shift + 4 keys simultaneously until the mouse pointer becomes a crosshair. Then press the Spacebar and the pointer will change into a camera icon. Now hover the camera icon over any window and it will highlight in blue. Now click on the window that you want to capture and the image will automatically save to your desktop. With this method, you not only take a screenshot but also can capture the desktop, the menu bar, the Dock, or even an open menu. The screenshot saves as a PNG file. But if you want to save the screenshot in another format then press and hold the Alt key to save the image manually. After selecting the area, if you don’t want to save the screenshot then press the Esc button to cancel and start over again.

Method 4 – Take a Screenshot in Preview

First, go to the application folder of your Mac computer and then launch the Preview app. Now click on the File menu from the top of the Preview app and then from the available options click on the Screenshot. Here you will find three options:

  • From Selection: it will turn the cursor into a reticle. Click and drag across the rectangular area that you wish to capture.
  • From Window: This option will turn your cursor into a camera icon. Highlight the Window that you want to capture and click.
  • From Entire Screen: If you select this option, it will start a countdown. Now arrange your screen how you want it to capture and wait for the timer to run down.

Once you capture the screenshot, it will immediately open up as an untitled Preview image window. Again click on the file menu and then select the Save button to save the screenshot on your Mac computer.

Method 5 – Use the On-screen Marquee

If you are computer is running MacOS Mojave or later then you can load an on-screen marquee to capture a screenshot. First, press the Command + Shift + 5 keys simultaneously to choose the target shot from three available options:

  • Full Screen
  • A specific window
  • A defined portion

Then save the screenshot on the desktop or other location on your Mac computer. You can press the Command + Shift + 5 + Control keys simultaneously to save the screenshot to the clipboard.

Final Thoughts

I hope you have found the above information helpful and learned how to take a screenshot on a Mac computer. Let us know if you have any queries about this topic in the comment section. I will be happy to help you.

Thomas C. Bell

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