Did you know that there are more than 150 basic built-in keyboard shortcuts you can use on Macs? That’s on top of all other keystroke combinations you can use for Safari or Spotlight! You can even customize, add, modify, or remove shortcuts as you please. You’d want to master some of the niftiest shortcuts, as they can save you up to 64 hours in a year. Besides, they’re very convenient, helping you reduce your reliance on an external mouse. Some of the most time-saving shortcuts you’d want to memorize are those that let you take a screenshot. We’re talking plural here, as there are at least six ways on how to take a screenshot on Macs. Ready to nail down these Mac tricks for taking screengrabs and even video recordings? Then let’s dive right into it!
Screenshot of the Entire Screen
Pressing the ⌘ (Command) + ⇧ (Shift) + 3 buttons allows you to take a screenshot of your entire Mac screen. The screenshot should show everything your desktop displays at the moment of capture. If you have the volume turned on, you should hear a shutter-like click after hitting these buttons.
By default, screenshots get saved on the Mac desktop. We’ll tell you later how to change the default save folder, but for now, let’s say you have it on default. In this case, it can get tedious if you need to copy and paste the screenshot, as you’d need to open the screenshot file.
To save time, press the ^ (Control) + ⌘ + ⇧ + 3 buttons when you take a screenshot of the entire screen. This will only copy the screenshot you’ve taken on your Mac clipboard. You can then press the ⌘ + V buttons to paste the screenshot on another word or photo processing app. Note that the ^ + ⌘ + ⇧ + 3 keyboard shortcut won’t create an actual save file of the screenshot. The Clipboard copy also refreshes every time you take a new screenshot or copy a different text or photo.
If you hit the ⌘ + ⇧ + 4 buttons on your Mac, your cursor will transform into a crosshair. Tapping the trackpad will allow you to drag the crosshair across the area you want to take a screenshot. Once you’ve chosen the area you want to capture, release the trackpad to record the selection. Hit the ^ + ⌘ + ⇧ + 4 buttons if you only want to copy the custom screenshot to your clipboard. You can then directly paste the image somewhere else.
Screenshot of a Specific Window
If you want a specific window screenshot on a Mac, press the ⌘ + Shift + 4 + Space buttons. Instead of a crosshair, your cursor should turn into a camera icon. The selected window will also become grayed-out. You can then tap your trackpad once or hit enter to take a screenshot of that specified window selection. To simply copy the screenshot to the clipboard, press the ^ + ⌘ + ⇧ + 4 + Space buttons.
Take a Screenshot or Video Recording With Screenshot Utility
The Screenshot Utility is Apple’s version of the Window’s Snipping Tool. Hitting the ⌘ + Shift + 5 buttons on your Mac should launch the Screenshot Utility tool. You’ll see the tool just right above the Dock (if you have the Dock positioned at the bottom of your screen). You’ll see five different icons on the Mac Screenshot Utility. The first is for the entire screen capture, the second is for a selected window, and the third is for a specific area. The fourth and fifth icons are those for taking a video recording of what’s going on with your Mac.
Video Recording of the Entire Screen
The fourth icon on the Screenshot Utility is the “Record Entire Screen” option. Choose this if you want to grab a video recording (with sound) of everything that’s happening on your Mac. Hit the “Record” button on the tool or press “Enter” to go into record mode. While your Mac is in this mode, you should see the record icon (black circle with a white square) on the Menu bar. The Menu bar is the topmost part of your screen. Clicking the record icon will stop the video recording.
Video Recording of Custom Selection
The fifth icon on the Screenshot Utility is for the “Record Selected Portion” option. This is pretty much like the Custom Screenshot, except that it records videos and not just images. Choose this if you want a video screenshot of a targeted area of your desktop. Once you hit “Record” or press the “Enter” key, the same record icon should pop up on your Menu bar. Clicking that will again stop and save the video screengrab.
Changing the Default Save Folder for Screenshots
If you take many screengrabs, it’s best to create a folder specifically for these saved files. This way, you can avoid getting your desktop packed with screenshot photos and videos. You can then change the default screenshot save location to this new folder. To do this, create the new folder (or subfolder) in your desired location. Then, launch your Screenshot Utility tool. Click the “Options” button and then select “Other Location.” This should open a new window wherein you can choose the new save-to location of your screenshots. Highlight that folder and then click on “Choose.” Your Mac should save all new screengrabbed photos and videos to this location.
Make Screengrabbing a Breeze With These Keyboard Shortcuts
There you have it, all the nifty ways you can take a screenshot on your Mac computer. Just remember to add the Control button to your shortcuts if you only want a Clipboard copy of a screengrab. However, if you need actual files, you should create a new folder to set as the default save-to location. This way, you can keep your desktop pristine and organized. Looking for more Mac tips or other techy tricks like this? Feel free to stay on our site to check out the rest of our how-to guides and blog posts then!