Looking for an easy way to take screenshots, screenshots, or even screen recordings in Mac OS X? There are several handy keyboard shortcuts and built-in OS X tools that make it easier than ever to take screenshots on your Mac.
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Screenshots are basically an image of the entire screen or the entire desktop. Screenshots work by taking a snapshot of everything as it is, with active windows open and everything else. For example, if you have Safari and iTunes open, but iTunes is active, and Safari is minimized, the screenshot will take a screenshot of your Mac OS X desktop as you see it.
Full screenshot to file – COMMAND + SHIFT +3 while holding each button pressed.
Alternatively, if you use COMMAND + CONTROL + SHIFT, 3 at the same time, Mac OS X will take a screenshot and copy it to the clipboard rather than save it to the desktop.
Screen shots and excerpts
Screenshots and snippets are similar to screenshots in that they take a photo of active windows / desktop. However, they are also different as they allow you to specify a specific area or part of the screen. Screenshots and Screenshots are basically the Mac OS X equivalent of the Sniping Tool for Windows users.
– / Screen Snippet – COMMAND + SHIFT + 4
Press the keyboard shortcut and drag to select the portion of the screen to capture. Alternatively, if you use COMMAND + CONTROL + SHIFT + 4 at the same time, Mac OS X will copy the snippet to the clipboard rather than save it as an image on the desktop.
Additional shortcuts for Mac OS X screenshots:
COMMAND + SHIFT + 4 + SPACEBAR PRESS WINDOW
This takes a screenshot of the individual window and saves it to the desktop. Note that you only need to hold CMD, SHIFT and 4 at the same time, but then you can release the keys and press the spacebar separately. Then you can click any window to take a screenshot. The cursor will also turn into a camera icon when you press the spacebar.
COMMAND + CONTROL + SHIFT + 4 + SPACEBAR, PRESS WINDOW
Takes a screenshot of an individual window and copies it to the clipboard.
Screen shot with cursor
If you want to take a screenshot in OS X with a cursor, you must use the preview. By default, none of the hotkeys allow grabbing the cursor. Open “Preview” and click “File – Take Screenshot – Full Screen”.
A countdown dialog will appear and after a few seconds the entire screen will be captured along with the current cursor. Some websites talk about using the Grab utility, but with this tool, you have to select the cursor you want to grab, whereas the Preview will grab what is at the moment.
A screenshot of the Touch Bar
If you have a Mac with the new Touch Bar, you can easily take a screenshot using the following keyboard shortcut:
SHIFT + COMMAND + 6
The screenshot will be automatically saved to your desktop as a PNG file.
In some cases, you may need to record the screen rather than capturing still frames with a snapshot. For example, screen recordings are very popular for video tutorials. In Mac OS X, screen recording is actually pretty straightforward. No software download required.
- Go to Finder Applications QuickTime Player.
- Double-click the QuickTime Player icon to launch QuickTime Player.
- With QuickTime active, choose File New Screen Recording.
- Press the red record button on the screen recorder. You can also click the drop-down arrow and select a microphone if you want the audio to be recorded. You can also capture mouse clicks in a recording.
- Read the general guidelines and click anywhere on the screen to record full screen mode. If you want to record only part of the screen, click and drag your mouse over the area.
- Go to stop recording , click the stop recording icon “on the menu bar. OR press COMMAND + CONTROL + ESC.
These are pretty much all the ways to take a screenshot in OS X without using third-party software. If you need more advanced editing features, etc., I would suggest Snagit for Mac. Enjoy!