How to Take Screenshots on a Macbook

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Internet is a place of amazing things. Sometimes, when we surf the internet, we can easily encounter something funny, or strange that we want to share with others. One of the fastest ways is taking the screenshots from what we see. In today’s how-to series, I will show you how to take a screenshot on a Macbook with 4 different ways

The Shortcuts

Before learning about how to take screenshots with Mac, we first need to know some basic buttons we will be using. The first one is the Command button. The second one is the Shift button. And the last one is one of the number 3,4,5 or 6 button. The most two important buttons are Command and Shift button.

First case: The screenshot of the entire screen

To capture your entire screen, press and hold down Shift + Command + 3. Remember to press and hold them. Don’t release them. If you are using multiple monitors, this will take the screenshots of all your monitors.

Whenever you take the screenshot, there will be a small preview in the bottom-right corner of your screen (or your main screen if you have multiple monitors). This let you edit the screenshot if you want. I will mention more about this information later at the end of this How-To.

Second case: Taking the screenshot of a specific section or window

There are so many times that you will not want to take the screenshot of the whole screen. For instance, you want to take the screenshot of the title of the website, or just a part of the chat. In order to capture a specific part of your screen, press Shift + Command + 4. This will turn your mouse into a crosshair. Then, you will be able to click this crosshair and drag across any section / area you want to take the screenshot. When you let go of the mouse (or the trackpad), you will capture the selection space. Also, if you want to cancel the process, you can press the ESC key.\

This method is pretty unique. There are also some additional options for you to play around with it.

  • Capture a specific window of the screen: you will perform the Shift + Command + 4. However, after seeing the crosshair, you will press the spacebar. Now. this action will turn your crosshair into a camera cursor. The camera cursor will come with some blue area. This area indicated which screen it will capture. You can move this camera around to capture the specific window of the screen. You can see the whole screen turns blue in the image below. With this option, you can easily capture the small windows that you usually struggle capture.
  • Lock the shape and size of the capture section. This is another interesting option from Apple. After performing the Shift + Command +4 and dragging out, you will see a grey area. This grey area indicating the section that you will capture. Now, instead of press the space bar like you do above, you can press and hold the space bar. This will lock in the size of the area that you want to capture. You can drag this grey box anywhere on your screen without being worried about the inconsistent in size. Then, whenever you are ready, you will release the space bar to do the capture. You can also press ESC button to cancel.
  • Adjust either width / height of the capture section: sometimes, you need to have a precise screenshot with exact captured section. This will require lots of skills with the mouse, or especially with the track pad. Fortunately, there is an easier way to do it. We will perform the magic with Shift + Command + 4 again. Then you will start dragging the cross hair as usual. However, when you get the desired width of the box and you want to adjust THE HEIGHT only, you will press and hold the SHIFT button. This will lock the width of the grey area for you. As long as you hold the shift button, you can adjust the height of the grey area. If you release the Shift button, it will become normal crosshair with grey area. You can do exactly the same thing to adjust the width when you have the desired height as well.

Third case: taking the screenshot with Menu Options

  • This case will show a small Menu Option for you. As you can see in the screenshot above, this is the dynamic way of capture the desired area. With this option, you don’t have to press and hold any button. To make this one show up, you will simply press the Command + Shift + 5. There are 7 functions here:
    • The first one will take the screenshot of the entire screen ( similar to the first case)
    • The second one will take the screenshot of the selected window (similar to the second case with the camera)
    • The third one will capture the selected section (similar to the second case).
    • The forth option will let you record the whole screen
    • The fifth option is pretty similar to the previous option. However, this one will let you record a selection area only.
    • The sixth button is an option. This will let you change many different settings. You can change where you want to save the screenshots. You can also set the timer to take the screenshot. For the timer, it can be either 0, 5 or 10 seconds. Last but not least, it is preferred configuration. You can select option to show or hide the floating panel. You can also show / hide the mouse pointer. At last but not least, you can allow / disallow the system to remember the previous selected area.
    • Depends on the action, you might or might not see the capture button.
  • Floating Thumbnail:  there is one option called Show Floating Thumbnail. By default, this option will be on. When this option is enabled, you will see a preview thumbnail at the bottom right of the screen. This will let you see what you just captured. The system will not save this screenshot until the thumbnail disappears. This will take few seconds for it to disappear though. If you want it to disappear, you can use your mouse and swipe right. If you click on this preview, you can perform multiple actions with this screenshot. You can edit it, crop it, add texts to it, or even share it via Apple Id. In the below image, you can see all the available actions with this Floating Thumbnail edit


Forth case: The screenshot of the touch bar

The magic touch for this option is Command + Shift + 6. This is a pretty odd option. This option is only available for any Mac that has the Touch bar. When you do this action, you will capture the current state of your touch bar. It is a bit funny since the touch bar is not a part of the screen but you can still take the screenshot of it. As usual, if you have Thumbnail preview, you can see an image of your touch bar on the bottom right of the screen. This touch bar is pretty dynamic. The state of the touch bar depends on what application you currently have. If it is Spotify, for instance, you will see all the options for adjusting, changing the music,.


That is all the four steps you can do to take the screenshots on your Mac. I hope you will enjoy this tutorial and see you next time.

We are influencers and brand affiliates.  This post contains affiliate links, most which go to Amazon and are Geo-Affiliate links to nearest Amazon store.