No Doubt Capturing a screenshot is a simple way to share whatever it is you’re seeing on the screen.
If it’s an error, you can snap a picture and send it to tech support. If it’s a message on social media, you can capture the moment and share the image with your friends and followers.
Screenshot tools for Mac have always been easy to use, yet somewhat rudimentary. You could capture just about anything if you knew the right keyboard shortcuts, but you had to know what you were doing first. Since the release of Mojave, macOS now has a built-in screenshot tool—similar to what you might find in Windows—that allows you to take screen grabs with the click of a button. Here’s how to capture what’s on your screen.
If you want to open the screenshot tool, navigate to Launchpad > Other > Screenshot, or use the shortcut Shift+Command+5. You will have the option to take a screenshot of the entire screen, a selected window, or a custom section of the screen.
There are also options to capture recorded video, including the entire screen or a custom section of the screen. An options drop-down menu allows you to choose where to save screenshots, set up a timer, and other settings.
Screenshot Part of the Screen
To capture a specific part of your screen, press Shift+Command+4 and your pointer will change to a cross-hair. Click and drag the cross-hair so that it covers the area you wish to capture. Let go to grab the selected area or press the Esc key to cancel. By holding down Shift, Option, or Space Bar, you can change the shape, size, and position of the selection area before capturing an image. The screenshot will be saved as a .png file on the desktop by default.
Capture a Window or Menu
To take a screenshot of a specific window or menu, press Shift+Command+5 and the pointer will change into a camera icon. Move the camera over the a window to highlight it, then click to save the image as a .png file on your desktop. You can also switch back and forth between capturing a custom selection and grabbing a specific menu by hitting the space bar.
Change Where Your Mac Screenshots Are Saved
By default, screenshots are saved to your desktop, but you can change that. Open the screenshot tool with Shift+Command+5, or by going to Launchpad > Other > Screenshot > Options. Under the menu section Save to, you can select a new default location, like Documents, Clipboard, Mail, Messages, or Preview. Or click Other Location to choose a specific folder.
Instead of saving screenshots directly to your computer, you can instead send them to the clipboard by adding the Control key to any shortcut command. For instance, use Shift+Command+Control+3 to capture the entire screen, or Shift+Command+Control+4 to take a screenshot of a portion of the screen. You can then paste the screenshot anywhere you like.
Change Image Format
By default, screenshots on Mac are saved as .png files, but those can get pretty big, especially if you have a large Retina display monitor. You can switch to .jpg format with a small amount of coding. Go to Launchpad > Other > Terminal and type the following inside the new window:
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg
Enter your password if asked, then restart the computer. Future screenshots should save in the preferred format you specified. You can always change it back by typing the above command with PNG at the end instead.