How to Screenshot on Mac Computer

May 4, 2020 • Devin Partida


Transitioning from PC to Mac includes a bit of a learning curve. One of the differences new Apple users are sure to notice is the lack of a Print Screen button. Without a dedicated button, users may not know how to screenshot on Mac.

The process isn’t immediately evident. Macs come with several different options for capturing varying amounts of the screen, too. To clear things up for the 17% of computer users who use macOS, here’s how to screenshot on Mac.

Keyboard Shortcuts

The easiest way to screenshot on Mac is with keyboard shortcuts. The newest versions of macOS offer several different options for this purpose, each working a little differently. Here are the two most versatile choices and how to use them.

Capturing the Whole Screen

To capture the entire screen, press the “Shift,” “Command” and “3” keys simultaneously. After the system takes a screenshot, a thumbnail should appear in the corner of the display. Users can click that preview to edit and save the image they just took.

If a thumbnail doesn’t appear, the screenshot will appear on the desktop once saved.

Capturing a Portion of the Screen

If users don’t want to capture the whole screen, they can press Shift-Command-4. After pressing these buttons, the user’s cursor will turn into a crosshair icon. Dragging the crosshair will select the area of the screen users wish to screenshot.

Holding the Space bar allows users to move the selected area to a different part of the display. When they want to take a screenshot, users can release the mouse button or trackpad. 

Screenshot Apps

Keyboard shortcuts are the most straightforward way to screenshot on Mac. The built-in screenshotting service may not offer all the features users want, though. For more features and control, users can use third-party Safari screenshot apps.

There are plenty of apps available, but here are three of the best.


Skitch offers a variety of tools for capturing Mac screens. It can capture the entire screen or a selected portion, with or without a timer. Skitch also features several editing tools and the option to save in eight different file formats. If you need to share your image with someone, the annotate tool makes sharing notes a snap.

To screenshot with Skitch, first, open the app. When the app is running, users just have to click and hold the icon in the Dock. A menu will appear offering Skitch’s various screenshot functions.


Monosnap can capture both still images and videos of user’s screens. Like Skitch, it offers plenty of editing tools, and it also features the ability to share screenshots on social media. With a paid upgrade, it can also integrate with programs like Dropbox.

After opening Monosnap, its icon will appear in the status bar. Clicking this icon will reveal a drop-down menu with the different capture options. Users can also view uploads and preferences from here.


CleanShot isn’t free like Skitch and Monosnap, but it has some handy and unique features. With CleanShot, users can hide icons and blur areas within the screenshot. It can also capture videos and features customizable keyboard shortcuts.

CleanShot works a lot like Monosnap and Skitch. Once users click on its icon, they’ll find a list of screenshotting options. This app may not be free, but it offers arguably the most professional-looking screenshots.

How to Screenshot on Mac with Ease

Users can look at screenshot guides on Apple support for more information about macOS keyboard shortcuts. Third-party apps offer their own support guides as well. No matter what option users go with, taking and saving screenshots on Mac is a hassle-free process.