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Three ways to print screen on a Mac

For folks on the Mac side of things, they understand (at least, they should) that the ways to print screen on a Mac are altogether different from that of PC.

And for someone who’s just making the switch from PC to Mac, it’s necessary to note the change. Unlike on PCs, there isn’t a Print screen key lying around anywhere on a Mac, and the methods of taking screenshots aren’t as easy as hitting one key on the keyboard.

But they’re straight-forward nonetheless, and the output comes out better than on PCs. In this post, we will be showing some of the most common ways to print screen on a Mac.

Method #1: Capturing the entire screen area

You can capture the entire screen area using two sub-methods. You can save the capture to the clipboard or directly to your desktop.

To capture and save the entire screen area unto the clipboard, just press the Command + Control + Shift + 3 key combination.

If you want to capture and save unto your desktop, the Command + Shift + 3 would do.

Method #2: Capturing a selected area of the screen

You can also take a screenshot of a selected area of the screen; could be a menu bar, an application window, or some other parts of the computer, using of the two methods: saving it directly to your Mac’s memory, or to the clipboard where you’ll be reaching for it later on.

To save the screenshot to the clipboard, just press the key combination Command + Control + Shift + 4 all at once. If you have done it right, you should see the cursor change to the plus sign, with the pixel coordinates showing on the right side of the screen.

You just click and drag a box around the section you wish to snap, and release the mouse when you’re done. The screenshot is saved automatically on the clipboard, and you can paste it in other applications where they’re supported.
print screen on a Mac
If you want to save on to the desktop directly, use the key combinations Command + Shift + 4, the cursor changes just as mentioned earlier, and the screen shot would be saved in PNG by default (you can change it to other image extensions)

Method #3: Capturing a particular Application Window

If you’re specifically looking to capture an app window, there are ways you can do it: you either save it on the clipboard or on the desktop directly.

To save a screenshot of an app window to the clipboard, you use the same key combination used in Method #2 (make sure you’re pressing the keys at the same time).

If you want the screenshot to go straight to the desktop, you omit the Control key while simultaneously pressing the three other keys. The screenshot gets saved as PNG.

Saving your Screenshots in other extensions

By default, Screenshots that are saved directly on the Mac would be saved in PNG.

While it is the more recommendable file format, sometimes you need an extension that would compress your screenshots into a smaller file size.

To change from PNG too, say, JPG, you’ll have to head on over to Applications and then Utilities, finally Terminal (or even faster, just search out Terminal using the search feature on Mac)

Open up the Terminal, and then write the following command: defaults write type jpg.

Don’t miss

If you’ve got an administrative password, you’d be required to input it. once done, the change from the default PNG to JPG would be effective after the next system restart.

Print Screen on Mac FAQs

How do I do a screenshot on my Mac?

Aforelisted are the ways you can perform a screenshot on your Mac.

Is there a Print Screen on Mac?

No, there isn’t. You are required to press a minimum of three keys simultaneously in order to take a screenshot.

Where do Print screens go on Mac?

If you’ve taken a screenshot, it either goes into the clipboard or the desktop directly depending on the inclusion or omission of the key Control.

How do you screen print on a Macbook Air?

Pretty much the same way you’d do for other Mac systems, just follow the aforementioned methods.

Can you take a screenshot on a MacBook?

Yes, you can. The post above explains how to take a screenshot on a MacBook.

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Michelle Paulsen

Michelle, a former author for renowned tech publications TechCrunch and The Verge, has established herself as a prominent figure in technology journalism. With her deep industry knowledge and experience, she excels at breaking down complex tech topics into engaging, reader-friendly articles. Known for her sharp analysis and compelling storytelling, Michelle has a proven track record of enlightening readers about the latest tech trends and innovations.

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