How can I take a screenshot on a Mac?

macOSAppdrawn Team | Published 7th March 2023
We detail the different methods you can use to take a screenshot on a mac...

OK so there are multiple ways you can take a screenshot on a Mac, depending on what version you have. Admittedly there are methods that require less keys to be pressed all at once but this trick works on ANY and ALL contemporary Macs! It is the premium screenshot shortcut that incorporates the best combination of screenshot features all in one go.

All you need to do is:

  • Hold down ‘Command’ + ‘Control’ + ‘Shift’ (at the same time) and then type the number 4.
  • Let go of all those keys and your cursor will change to a crosshair. 
  • Drag the crosshair to capture the area you want to be in the screenshot.

A copy of your screenshot will automatically be saved straight to your clipboard, allowing you to paste it wherever you want, be it straight into an email, instant message or into the 'Preview' app. 

Taking a screenshot using the Screenshot App

On occasions you might want to create a screenshot with a bit more to it. Maybe you want to incorporate video, in order to demonstrate a more complicated process. The Screenshot App is great for this however, it is not available on all Macs. It requires version 11.6 or later or Big Sur to run.

  • Open the Screenshot App. You can use the shortcut Shift + Command + 5 to do this.
  • Display the tools.
  • Select the corresponding tool for what you want to capture or record in your screenshot.
  • Capture the entire screen
  • Capture a window
  • Capture a portion of the screen
  • Record the entire screen
  • Record a portion of the screen

If you want to capture or record a portion of the screen, once you select the tool, drag the frame to the position required and adjust its size by dragging the edges.

There are a few additional non-essential settings you can opt in for before taking your screenshot.

  • You can set a time delay to allow you move your cursor and capture it in a certain position.
  • You can specify where your file should be saved.
  • You can select the ‘Show Floating Thumbnail’ option. It makes working with a completed shot or recording more easily. After completing a screenshot the Show Floating Thumbnail will float in the bottom-right corner of your screen for a few seconds, giving you enough time to drag it into a document, mark it up or share it before it gets saved.

  • To take your screenshot: or begin your screen recording:
  • Entire screen or portion: Click Capture.
  • Window: Move and click the cursor in the desired window.
  • Recordings: Hit Record. To stop recording, click the Stop Recording button which can be found in the menu bar.

If you selected the Show Floating Thumbnail option, when the thumbnail appears in the bottom right corner of your screen you can: 

  • Swipe right to immediately save the file and remove the thumbnail from your screen
  • Drag the thumbnail straight into a document or email you are working on.

How can I share a screenshot easily?

The act of sharing is so easy today. The funny meme, the refreshing and nuanced article, your location, are nearly always accompanied with a neat ‘share’ button. Click this and you are normally 2-3 simple clicks away from it being in the hands of your intended recipient. 

How does it work for sharing screenshots? Well it is actually a lot more simple than you may think. You may or may not know this but in most circumstances you can copy and paste an image, screenshot or even a file straight into a chat conversation. You don't need to save or locate the file first!

  • Click the thumbnail to open up a window where you can annotate or edit your screenshot

Annotating Your Screenshot in Preview

In Preview you can annotate your screenshot with helpful arrows, circles, boxes and text in order to communicate to your colleagues more effectively what it is you require from them.

Once you have taken a screenshot:

  • Open Preview
  • Press paste
  • Click on the Toolbox icon to reveal the Mark Up ToolBar
  • Click on the desired tool to highlight, draw and write accompanying text
Appdrawn Team | Updated 17th August 2023

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