How to Take Screenshots Mac in All Possible Ways

If you have recently arrived in the Mac world you will have encountered a quite significant difference with Windows, and it is the way to make screenshots. In macOS the way to capture your screen is quite different from what we have on a PC, since there is no “ImprPant” key that we press and an image of the screen is saved in our clipboard. In macOS in our view it is much simpler and more versatile since we have a wide range of functions to make screenshots or even record our screen through keyboard commands.



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How we can take ‘screenshots’ in macOS

All possible ways to make screenshots in macOS are summarized by pressing Shift-Command (⌘) -5 . By using this combination of keys we can see how a toolbar appears showing us all the possibilities we have and which we will summarize below.

Capture the entire Mac screen

If we want to take a screenshot of the entire Mac screen, we must simply use the keyboard combination Shift-Command (⌘) -3, and the screen capture will automatically be saved on the desktop or the default location in addition to showing a thumbnail in the lower right corner that we will talk about later.

Capturas pantalla macOS

You can also make the capture through the toolbar that we have after pressing Shift-Command (⌘) -5. Simply click on the icon indicated in the previous image and automatically our pointer will be transformed into a camera that when you click on a screen will capture.

Capture only a selected part of the screen

If we want to make a screenshot of only part of the screen, we must press the Shift-Command (⌘) -4 keys . The cursor will become a crosshead that will allow us to make the selection we want from our screen by clicking and dragging as we please.

If we are wrong when selecting an area of the screen we can press the space bar to move the selected area, the Shift key to modify the area horizontally or vertically and the Option key modifies the center area outwards.

Capture a specific window

If we do not want to make a screenshot of the entire screen of our Mac we can also capture a specific window like that of our browser or another application. Simply press Shift-Command (⌘) -4 and keep the space bar pressed to move the cursor to a camera that we can place on the screen we want to capture and press to capture. If you don’t like the window shadow that is generated, you can press and hold the Option key when clicking.

In addition to being able to capture an application window, you can also perform the same process to capture a menu or dialog box. Simply by hovering over it, it will be highlighted indicating that it is possible to capture it.

The Touch Bar can also be captured

If we want to capture the Touch Bar of the new MacBook Pro, we simply have to press the key combination Shift-Command (⌘) -6. The file will be automatically saved on your desktop or in the default location.

Use a timer when taking screenshots

In macOS we have the option to take screenshots using a timer of 5 or 10 seconds. To be able to use it we can go to the Utilities capture and open the “Screenshots” application or press Shift-Command (⌘) -5. In the toolbar that will come out we click on “Options” and select 10 or 5 seconds, depending on how long we want it to take to make the screenshot.

capturas de pantalla macOS

As you can see, in this same menu we can also select whether or not we want the mouse pointer to appear , something useful if we want to point out some element of the image. We can also quickly select where we want the capture to be saved: desktop, downloads, mail …

Edit the screenshot quickly

When we make a screenshot you will have noticed if you are in macOS Mojave that a thumbnail appears in the lower right corner . By clicking on this we will have in our hand the possibility of making a quick edition with annotations. Once we have finished editing it, we can quickly share it through our messaging services or in Mail.

captura de pantalla macOS

If we do not make any type of edition or slide the thumbnail to the right it will be saved automatically although if we open it and click on the trashcan at the top we can delete it as in the iPhone.

Customize your screenshots

When we make a screenshot, the result file has a default name that is not too fancy, or a file format that we can modify as we detail below is also imposed.

Customize the name of your screenshots

If we do not want the word “screenshot” to appear in the file we obtain, we can use the following steps to modify it to our liking:

  1. Open terminal
  2. Enter the command defaults write com.apple.screencapture name “Name” replacing what is inside the quotes with the name we want to give our captures.
  3. Enter the killall SystemUIServer command

We can also delete the date and time in the file name by following the steps below:

  1. Open Terminal
  2. Enter the command defaults write com.apple.screencapture “include-date” 0
  3. Enter the killall SystemUIServer command

To go back we will simply have to repeat the same steps but modify the “0” with a “1”.

Customize the capture format

By default, the capture file will be saved in PNG format, but if we want them to be saved in another format, we will simply have to open Terminal and enter the specific command for the format we want. Here are the different commands for each format:

  • JPEG: defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg; killall SystemUIServer
  • PDF: defaults write com.apple.screencapture type PDF; killall SystemUIServer
  • PNG: defaults write com.apple.screencapture type png; killall SystemUIServer
  • TIFF: defaults write com.apple.screencapture type tiff; killall SystemUIServer
  • GIF: defaults write com.apple.screencapture type gif; killall SystemUIServer

Change save location

If we want to change the location where our screenshots are saved by default, we simply have to open Terminal and follow the following steps:

  1. Enter the command defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~ / Documents / New Folder
  2. Execute the killall SystemUIServer command

If we vary in the first command “Documents” and “New Folder” you can customize where we want the files to be saved.

Getting used to this system is quite simple, although we understand that in the transition between Windows and Mac you can feel something lost with routine functions, we hope to have made clear with these steps how to use screenshots in macOS and of course, discover new customization commands , something that is not very common in the Apple ecosystem.