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How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac? Easy Tips and Tricks


How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac (3)

New on the Mac and not yet familiar with all shortcuts? Want to know how to take a screenshot on a mac? Screenshots are made quickly on the Mac, for screenshots, macOS knows several useful shortcuts.

Of course, the Mac operating system macOS also provides functions for taking pictures of the screen content, you do not have to use your digital camera or place the screen of your Mac on the copier.

MacOS, until version 10.11 called OS X, knows several ways to capture the screen content. All shortcuts presented here apply equally to all operating system versions from OS X to version 10.11 El Capitan and macOS from version 10.12 Sierra, unless otherwise stated.

Following are the steps how to take a screenshot on a mac:


Use these shortcuts how to take a screenshot on a mac :

How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac

  • With Cmd-Shift-3 youcreate a screenshot of the entire screen content on the Mac
  • Use Cmd-Shift-4 to takea screenshot of a selected area
  • Use Cmd-Shift-4 followed by the space bar totake a picture of the selected window

New from macOS High Sierra are the following features: screenshot with timer and for the owners of a Mac with Touch bar a screenshot of the Touch Bar with timer. In addition, the keyboard shortcuts for the “normal” screenshots have changed a bit:

  • With Cmd-Shift-3create a screenshot of the entire screen content on the Mac under High Sierra.
  • Use Cmd-Shift-4 tocreate an image of the selected area.
  • Use Cmd-Shift-5 to takea screenshot of the activated window.
  • Alt-Cmd-3 will take10 seconds to capture the screen, but only within the Screen Shot program.
  • With Alt-Cmd-6 you alsocreate a photo of the Touch Bar with a delay – this also applies to the mentioned utility.

The old keyboard shortcuts for the screen shots using the Shift key also work with macOS High Sierra. The users do not have to relearn, but continue to use the usual combinations.


Screenshots on the Mac: Take a full picture of the screen

The simplest screenshot on the Mac is created using the shortcut Cmd-Shift-3 – while the entire visible at the moment of pressing a button screen is photographed.


Take a picture on the Mac

If you only want to have a specific area in the screenshot, press Cmd-Shift-4 , The mouse pointer or cursor now becomes a crosshair next to which two numbers stand, the coordinates of the point on the screen with the mouse.

This counts macOS Sierra from the top left, the upper number stands for the number of the column, the lower number for the number of the row. If you click with the mouse and draw a rectangle over the interesting screen content, you can see how the numbers change.

So you can take a pixel-precise photograph of a particular section, if you want to create an image with 800 pixels wide and 600 pixels high.


Take a picture of the window on the Mac

If you press Cmd-Shift-4 and then the spacebar, the cursor becomes a camera icon. Now you can take a picture of a particular window that does not even have to be in the foreground. All you have to do is drag the camera icon onto the window in question with the mouse.

This marks OS X blue, a click on the mouse triggers the screenshot. By the way: If you have chosen an incorrect key combination, tap once on the escape key, the selection will be deleted, but no photo will be taken.


Save screenshots on the Mac to the clipboard

The screenshots are saved as pictures in PNG format on the desktop, each named as “screenshot [date] at [time] .png Over time, more and more files are accumulating, which does not serve the clarity or the performance of the system, too If the contents of the file symbols are difficult to grasp, macOS will not write the screenshot in a file with the default name, if you also hold down the ctrl key, then it will end up in the clipboard.

If you now switch to a graphic or text program, you can insert the image from the clipboard into it. For example, several screenshots can be collected in one document or named right from the start. Of course, the clipboard only ever takes a screenshot.


How to take a screenshot on a mac,  Utility screenshot

These shortcuts are so handy that hardly anyone uses the “screenshot” utility included with macOS. Not only can this capture the entire screen, a selected section or a specific window, it also offers a self-timer. Once activated, it displays a running stopwatch for ten seconds and then takes a picture of the entire screen.


Magic context menu

You do not need to leave Apple’s programs that you can use to create text and add images to take a screenshot. From Pages, Mail, Notes, and Text Edit, the Screen Shot utility does the job using the context menu.

If you press the secondary or right-click (ctrl-click), you will get a context menu displayed, in the mentioned text programs is the penultimate entry “photo of selection from screen”.

If you select this, you can then select a screen area with the mouse, the screenshot made of it immediately lands in the text.


Terminal for custom options

Not everyone finds the standard PNG format suitable for the screenshots, but it can also be changed. Unfortunately macOS does not provide a system setting for it, you have to make do with the terminal. Tip one in this

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg; killAll SystemUIServer

macOS then creates screenshots in JPEG format. The second command ends the service responsible for the screen shots, but it restarts automatically.

Even in JPEG format, photographed windows have a drop shadow that you do not always want. In graphics programs can indeed retouch, but you do not have to throw the shadow so first. Again, the terminal helps with and with

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool TRUE; killAll SystemUIServer

If you want to photograph the shadow again later, you simply replace TRUE with the argument -bool with FALSE.

The way to the terminal you can save yourself, if you want to take pictures with and sometimes without shadow windows, the following trick helps: After selecting the window with cmd-Shift-4 and the spacebar, you hold down the Alt key on mouse click. So no drop shadow comes in the photo.

The screenshots do not have to land on the desk either, maybe you create your own directory in your user folder, let’s call it “screenshots” and put it in our Documents folder. Let’s type in the terminal ([username] stands for the short form of your own user):

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location /Users/[Benutzername]/Documents/Screenshots; killAll SystemUIServer

then all screenshots will end up in the defined folder. If it is again the desktop that takes our screenshots, we replace in the above command “screenshots” by “desktop”.


Other tools for creating screenshots on the Mac

There is also a tool for practically everything that can be set up in the terminal. The free Screenshot Path, for example, allows the configuration of storage location and format, the meanwhile equally free screenshot PSD even puts the screens assembled on the screen into its own level, including the hidden areas.

In Photoshop can then be treated separately. Screenshot PSD knows as well as the utility screenshot the timer. Screenshot PSD ends by the way when you log out or turn off the Mac, so it’s worth putting screenshot PSD in the startup items .

Professional demands as a screenshot tool is enough for Snapz Pro. With every screen shot you have the decision on format, shadow, location, optionally you can also insert a watermark.

In addition, the software names the screenshots for the programs whose windows it has mapped. In addition, Snapz Pro is also able to capture the screen – and thus package actions on the screen in a video. However, the tool has not been developed for years.


How to take a screenshot on a mac with Firefox

Most screenshots are taken from websites, so the Mozilla organization takes this into account and integrates a convenient and helpful tool into their Firefox browser. This is called via the context menu on “take screenshot”.

Strictly speaking, you do not record the entire screen, but the content shown in the Firefox window – without a frame. There are several useful options: drag the cursor to create a specific section of a website, while the Firefox tool already recognizes page elements, so that it is sufficient to just click on an image or a column in the window.

Two buttons on the top right give you the option of photographing the visible area, or packing the entire webpage into a picture – very nice!

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