Take a Screenshot on a Mac Computer

How to take a screenshot on a Mac and capture a window or part of the screen.

Looking for command shortcuts to take screenshots on a Mac computer for use in posts on this website I found these to use.

Capture Complete Screen

The key combination used to take a screen shot on an Apple Mac computer is:

Command (⌘) + <SHIFT> + 3

By default the screenshot is automatically saved to the desktop.

This is similar to using Print Screen on a Windows or Linux computer.

Capture a Window

To capture a single window

Press Command (⌘) + <SHIFT> + 4

The mouse cursor changes to a crosshairs with numeric location. Its actual location isn’t relevant at present.

To select the window for the screenshot capture click on the Space bar to change the cursor to a camera. The window under the camera will be dulled, like the background of a lightbox. Move the cursor over the window to be selected and click on the mouse to complete the selection.

The screenshot of the window is saved to the desktop.

Capture Part of the Screen

A refinement on selecting a window and then cropping for the desired part is to capture a part of the screen. this may be across parts of windows, or a section of a window.

To begin the selection press Command (⌘) + <SHIFT> + 4

To select the area click on the start point. Keep the mouse key depressed, whilst dragging the selection box to cover the desired area to be captured.

If you wish to move the top left corner of the selection box press the <SPACE BAR> whilst moving the mouse.

Take care, releasing the mouse key will cancel the selection process, saving a copy of the selected area.

Changing the Saved directory

By default the captured images are saved to the desktop.

Changing where Mac saves screenshots is actioned via the terminal command.