How To

How to take a screenshot on Mac OS X

Zuzanna Blaszkiewicz


Windows PCs have a PrintScreen key that makes it really simple to take screenshots. Mac OS X can take screenshots too, and although it’s not as easy as simply pressing one button, it is as easy as pressing three buttons.

Take a screenshot of your entire screen

To take a screenshot of your entire screen, hold down the Command + Shift + 3 keys.

How to take a screenshot on Mac OS X

Mac Screenshot

Just like that, the screenshot will be saved to your desktop, labelled with the date and time.

Screenshots on Desktop

Take a screenshot of part of you screen

With Mac OS X, you also have the option to take a screenshot of only parts of your screen.

To do so, simply hold down the Command + Shift + 4 keys. Your cursor will turn into a target that’ll let you select an area of the screen that you want to capture.

Partial screenshot

Take a screenshot of a single window

You can take it one step further: if you want to take a screenshot of a single window, simply hit Command + Shift + 4 + space bar and hover your mouse over the individual window you want to take a screenshot of. The window will be highlighted in blue. Click to take the screenshot.

Screenshot window

Screenshot WindowThe result is a screenshot of a single window.

Third-party options

If you want to get a bit more advanced, there are programs like Jing and ScreenShot Plus, a widget for Mac, that offer more advanced features for taking screenshots and editing the images, but for quick and simple screenshots, this is the best method.

If you’re still trying to figure out how to use your Mac, check out our article on how to improve the battery life of OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

Original article published on July 5, 2010.

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