How to Screenshot on MacBook Like a Pro

📸 Capturing Your Screen: A Beginner’s Guide

Hello DAPPS Lovers! If you are a proud owner of a MacBook, you have made a wise investment. Even though it can take a little while to get used to all of Apple’s unique features, once you get the hang of it, you’ll never want to go back.

One feature that is particularly useful is the ability to take screenshots. Whether you need to save a shopping cart, capture an important presentation slide, or record a funny meme, capturing your screen is a valuable tool. In this article, we will explore all the different ways you can take a screenshot on your MacBook, as well as some helpful tips and tricks to take your screen-capturing skills to the next level.

👉 How to Take a Full Screen Screenshot on MacBook

The full screen screenshot is the most basic way to capture your screen. It is pretty straightforward:

  1. Press Command + Shift + 3
  2. You’ll see a thumbnail of the screenshot in the corner of your screen
  3. If you click on the thumbnail, you can edit the screenshot, save it, or delete it

It isn’t rocket science, but it’s essential to start with the fundamentals.

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👉 How to Take a Screenshot of a Selected Area on MacBook

If you only need to capture a portion of your screen, you can use this method:

  1. Press Command + Shift + 4
  2. Your cursor will turn into a crosshair
  3. Select the area you want to screenshot
  4. You’ll see a thumbnail of the screenshot in the corner of your screen
  5. Click on the thumbnail to edit, save, or delete your screenshot

This way, you can capture a specific section of your screen to send to someone or to use for your reference.

👉 How to Take a Screenshot of a Specific Window on MacBook

If you only need to capture a specific window (for instance, if you’re taking a screenshot of a specific application), you can use the following method:

  1. Press Command + Shift + 4
  2. Press the Spacebar to switch to the camera
  3. You’ll notice that the cursor has now become a camera icon
  4. Select the window you want to capture
  5. You’ll see a thumbnail of the screenshot in the corner of your screen
  6. Click on the thumbnail to edit, save, or delete your screenshot

This method comes in handy when you need to capture a particular application, window, or dialogue box.

👉 How to Take a Screenshot of the Touch Bar on MacBook Pro

If you have a MacBook Pro, you can take screenshots of the Touch Bar. Although the Touch Bar varies from application to application, you can take full advantage of it for different apps. Here’s how:

  1. Press Command + Shift + 6
  2. You’ll see a thumbnail of the screenshot in the corner of your screen
  3. Click on the thumbnail to edit, save, or delete your screenshot

This method only works for the latest MacBook Pro models.

👉 Tips and Tricks for Screenshotting on MacBook

1. Use Preview for quick edits

The Preview application comes pre-installed on all MacBooks. It’s a handy tool to make quick adjustments to your screenshot, crop or blur certain sections, and add text or shapes to the image. When you click on the thumbnail of your screenshot, select “Open with Preview,” and it opens immediately.

2. Use Terminal for advanced users

If you’re comfortable with Terminal, you can use this utility to change your screenshot’s default format, save the screenshot in a specific directory, or take a screenshot of just one of your built-in displays. For example, if you want to save your screenshot in JPEG format instead of PNG, use this command in Terminal:

defaults write type JPG

3. Apply keyboard shortcuts in setting menu

You can alter the default keyboard shortcuts by going to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Screen Shots and clicking on the shortcuts that you want to change. You can even add your own custom shortcuts to make your workflow more efficient.

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4. Organize your screenshots

Make it a practice to periodically sort and organize your screenshots. Regularly shifting the files out of your Downloads folder and into categories for work, personal files, schoolwork, or pictures is a good way to reduce clutter and simplify finding old screenshots.

🎓 Strengths and Weaknesses of Screenshotting on MacBook


Easy Accessibility: Using the default keyboard shortcuts to take screenshots is effortless and accessible. You won’t require any third-party software to get the job done.

Quality of the image: Apple’s Retina display ensures that the screenshots you capture are of high quality. Every pixel of the image remains sharp, making it easy to read small text.

Quick Editing: If you follow the tips mentioned earlier in the article, you can edit and adjust your screenshots quickly before sharing them with others. Preview’s basic markup tools are excellent for performing simple edits.


Limitations during Power off: If your MacBook battery dies, you cannot take a screenshot until you’ve recharged and restarted the device. This feature is because the ports needed to connect the MacBook to external playback devices, such as projectors or external displays, only work when the device is switched on.

Inability to edit text:

Unless you have third-party markup tools installed on your device, you can’t edit or add text to your screenshots. Built-in options do not include adding text or larger text sizes, making it difficult to highlight critical messages or add annotations before sharing the screenshot.

Cannot handle continuous video recording: Although iPhone and iPad devices support screen recording, MacBook only allows screen recording in individual screenshots, which is not ideal if you need to capture a lengthy video or extended gameplay.

📜 Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the default keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots on MacBook?

The default keyboard shortcuts are:

  • Command + Shift + 3 for full screen
  • Command + Shift + 4 to select an area, or
  • Command + Shift + 4 + Space bar for a specific window.

2. How do I change the default folder that my screenshots are saved in?

You can use Terminal to change the default save folder for your screenshots. Then, type in the following command: defaults write location [new default path]

3. Can I take a screenshot of a continuous video on MacBook?

No, the MacBook only allows the taking of screenshots which is suitable for capturing images or pause in animations, rather than recording continuous videos.

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4. Can I edit my screenshots after I’ve taken them?

Yes! You can open your screenshots in Preview and use the available tools to edit them before sharing.

5. Can I assign custom keyboard shortcuts for taking screenshots?

Sure! You can even make your custom shortcuts. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Screen Shots, and click on the shortcuts you’d like to change.

6. How do I annotate text to my screenshots?

You can use third-party programs like Skitch or Lightshot to add annotations to your screenshots.

7. How do I organize my screenshots on MacBook?

You can create folders on your desktop or an alternative folder to organize your screenshots. Maintain your screenshots’ cleanliness, which will help you more efficiently search for old screenshots.

👨‍💻 Why You Should Take Screenshots Like a Pro

Whether you’re a student, freelancer, or business executive, being skilled in taking and using screenshots is an invaluable asset. Sometimes, capturing the moment is the most effective way to communicate an idea – or you could say, a picture paints a thousand words. These tips, tricks, and shortcuts will unleash your MacBook’s full screenshotting capacity, making you a master of the craft.

💻 Table: Screenshotting on MacBook Cheatsheet

Screenshot Type Keyboard Shortcut
Full Screen Command + Shift + 3
Selected Area Command + Shift + 4
Specific Window Command + Shift + 4 + Space bar
Touch Bar Screenshot (Macbook Pro only) Command + Shift + 6

👋 Conclusion

Well, that’s it for our comprehensive guide on screenshotting on MacBook. It isn’t difficult, but it’s essential to know the various methods and shortcuts for capturing your screen. By doing so, you ensure that your work is more productive and efficient. We hope that this guide will help you with your screenshotting needs, and don’t forget to practice regularly to enhance your skills.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!

⚠️ Disclaimer

The article’s information is based on our ever-changing knowledge of the specific topic, which can be out of date or incomplete over time. The content of this article can be considered reliable, but it should not be relied upon solely to make personal, medical, legal and financial decisions.

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