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How to Take a Screenshot on Your Mac: 4 Ways to Capture Your Screen

The majority of Apple’s vintage Macs are now available in M1 and M2 varieties, but the screenshotting process remains the same.

There are three basic ways to take a screenshot with keyboard shortcuts on any modern Mac, and a fourth way if you have a MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar. Apple’s MacOS software also gives you a number of ways to save, delete, or open the screenshot so you can make notes on it.
These tips also work for the newest Macs. Apple just updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro with a new M2 chip, and a similar MacBook Air with a much more extensive redesign is coming soon.

Method 1: CMD-Shift-3

With this keyboard shortcut, you can take a picture of your whole screen.

Method 2: CMD-Shift-4

Use this key combination to turn your cursor into a crosshair that you can drag to select a part of the screen to capture. To take the shot, let go of the mouse button or trackpad.
After you hit Cmd+Shift+4, you can do a number of other things:
When you press and release the spacebar, the crosshair turns into a little camera icon that you can move over any open window. Click on the window you want to take a picture of to do so. This way of taking a screenshot gives the window a white border and a bit of a drop shadow.

After dragging to select an area, but before letting go of the mouse button or trackpad, press and hold the spacebar: This keeps the shape and size of the selection area the same, but you can move it around on the screen. If your initial selection area is off by a few pixels, you can move it by holding down the spacebar and letting go of the mouse button before taking a screenshot.

Hold down the Shift key after dragging to select an area but before letting go of the mouse button or trackpad. This locks in each side of the selection area made with the crosshairs except the bottom edge, so you can move your mouse up or down to position the bottom edge.

Release the Shift key and hit it again without letting go of the mouse button to move the right edge of your selection area. If you hold down the mouse button or touchpad and press the Shift key, you can switch between moving the bottom edge and the right edge.

Method 3: CMD-Shift-5

In 2018, the keyboard shortcut Cmd-Shift-5 was added to MacOS Mojave. It brings up a small panel at the bottom of your screen with options for screen capture. There are three buttons that let you take a screenshot of the whole screen, a window, or a part of the screen.

Also, the two buttons for video recording let you record the whole screen or just a part of it. You can close the screenshot panel with the X button on the left, or you can just hit the Escape key.
On the right is a button called Options. Select one of the following locations to save your screenshot: the Desktop, Documents, Clipboard, Mail, Messages, Preview, or Other Location. Set a 5-or 10-second delay so you can line up things that might disappear when you use your screenshot tool.

By default, the option to Show Floating Thumbnail is turned on. This puts a small preview thumbnail of the screenshot you just took in the lower-right corner of your screen, similar to how iOS takes screenshots. On your Mac, you can turn off this preview thumbnail, which you can’t do on your iPhone. Lastly, you can choose whether or not to show your mouse pointer in a screenshot or video.

If the screenshot panel is in the way, you can grab its left edge and move it to a different place on your screen.

Bonus for MacBooks with a Touch Bar: Cmd-Shift-6

If you have an older 15- or 16-inch MacBook Pro or a 13-inch MacBook Pro, which is the last model with the Touch Bar, you can also take a screenshot of what’s on the Touch Bar. Press Cmd-Shift-6 to snap a lengthy Touch Bar screenshot.

Simple to explain

If you use the Floating Thumbnail, you can quickly get to the Markup tools you need to add notes to your screenshot. You can swipe away the Floating Thumbnail or simply let it go, and it will be saved in the same location as your previous screenshot. If you click on the Floating Thumbnail, it will open in a preview window called Markup View (not Preview), which has all the tools you get in Preview.

Right-clicking on the Floating Thumbnail lets you:

Save the screenshot to your desktop, the Documents folder, or the clipboard. Use Mail, Messages, Preview, or Photos to open them. Show in Finder DeleteOpen it in the Markup preview window mentioned above. Close (and save)Mac users who have been taking screenshots for a long time may be slow to use the Cmd-Shift-5 shortcut, but I use it more and more because I can annotate screenshots without having to open Preview and quickly delete screenshots that I know I messed up. The 5-second and 10-second delay options are also helpful and liked.



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