Productivity Tools

How to Take a Screenshot on a Mac

mac screenshot

Screenshots are a great way to quickly share information with others. They are especially vital for businesses that need to visually communicate with clients or collaborate with co-workers. As such, it is important to know how to take a screenshot regardless of the computer system you use. We’ve already discussed 4 simple ways to take a screenshot, but how do you take a screenshot on a Mac? Read on to learn how to take a screenshot on a Mac using either built-in hotkeys or outside apps.

Mac Screenshot Shortcuts

hands typing on a Mac computer with a tablet to the side

The easiest way to take a screenshot on Mac is through Mac’s keyboard shortcuts. Unlike Windows, there is no key for print screen on Mac keyboards. However, as shown above, taking a screenshot on a Mac is as easy as pressing shift + ⌘ command + 3. It takes a picture of your entire screen on Mac, then saves it to your local drive as a .png file. If you have macOS Mojave or later, your screenshot will be saved to the Screenshot app. 

You can also take a Mac partial screenshot by pressing shift + ⌘ command + 4. Move the crosshairs on your screen to determine the area that you wish to capture. Your screenshot will then be saved to your local drive or Screenshot app as described above.

If you have the Screenshot app (automatically installed on MacOS Mojave or later), you can also take screenshots and screen recordings directly from the app. You can open the app from keyboard by pressing shift + ⌘ command + 5. You can choose between capturing your entire screen, a window, or a portion of the screen. After taking your screenshot, you can annotate it with the MarkUp tool. You can add text, drawings, shapes, and a highlighter, or manipulate your image by cropping or rotating it.

Where Do Screenshots Go on Mac?

When you take a screenshot MacBook or iMac screenshot, it is automatically saved to your desktop. You can also copy a Mac screenshot to clipboard by pressing and holding the Control key while you take the screenshot. From there, you can send the screenshot through email or to your iCloud drive.

If you use the Screenshot app, you can specify a different location on your MacOS device to save your screenshot. Other options include Documents, Mail, Messages, QuickTime Player, or another location of your choice. Your screenshot will be saved as the title “Screen Shot” followed by the date and time that you took it. You can rename the screenshot whenever you want by finding its location on your device and clicking on File>Rename.

Top Mac Screenshot Applications

If you need more tools for editing, storing, and sharing screenshots, you should consider downloading a screenshot app for Mac. There are several screenshot apps available for Mac users that provide enhanced markup tools, online storage, and integrations with other apps for easy sharing. Let’s go over a few of the best for both free and paid screenshot apps with which you can capture a screenshot on Mac.

Free Apps

lightshot and skitch logos

The best free screenshot apps for Mac are Lightshot and Skitch. After downloading Lightshot on Mac, you can open it by clicking ⇧⌘ 9 on your keyboard. Then, you screenshot part of your screen on Mac. After taking your screenshot, you can use markup tools to edit it, save it to your local drive, or upload it on Lightshot’s cloud server. Do be warned, however, that anyone can see screenshots that you upload. Lightshot can save files in .png, .bmp, or .jpg format. It is available for download on the Mac app store.

Skitch is an Evernote product that lets you take screenshots on MacOS, iPad, and iOS. Skitch’s simple interface makes it easy to quickly take custom screenshots, edit them, and then drag and drop them into emails or messaging apps. You can access advanced features if you also subscribe to an Evernote premium account, such as cloud storage, PDF markups, and integrations with a handful of work productivity apps. You can save Skitch images in .png, .gif, .tiff, .jpg, and .bmp formats. 

Paid Apps

Overall, free screenshot apps are a good choice if you need an app with a few more features than Mac’s native app. However, if you want access to enterprise-level features such as unlimited cloud sharing, secure storage, and high-level integrations with the best work apps. If you want to look at an overview of the cost and features of the best screenshot tools, you can check out our price calculator. Here, we’re going to talk about our recommendation for the highest-rated, lowest-cost screenshot app on the market: Droplr.

droplr logo

Droplr’s motto is “get work done faster”, and it lives up to the tagline. Droplr lets you capture your full screen, a selected area, an application window, or an entire page. The second you capture your image, Droplr generates a short link that can be used to access the image file. All you have to do is paste this link into the communication platform of your choice.

Your screenshots are all automatically saved in the Droplr cloud, so they don’t take up any space on your desktop unless you download them. You can also share Droplr screenshots directly into apps like Slack, Discord, and Microsoft Teams. All screenshots preview in these apps, so your co-workers won’t even have to leave the platform to view your image. Other Droplr plugins include ones with Photoshop and Sketch, so if Droplr’s markup tools don’t suffice for your needs, you can always upload your Droplr images to highly-rated photo editing software. 

Droplr also includes enterprise-level security features such as SSO, SSL/TLS data transfer, GDPR, and privacy options on your files that let you secure them with password and/ or email protection. Droplr’s screenshot and screen recorder app begins at just $6/month. For more information, check out our pricing page or contact us online. 

What’s the best way to take a screenshot on Mac?

camera icon

If you need to quickly take an image of your screen, then Mac’s built-in keyboard shortcuts are your best bet. However, if you need more advanced editing and sharing tools, then you should consider downloading a screenshot app. Of these, Lightshot and Skitch are our recommendations for free apps, while Droplr is the best and most affordable paid app on the market. Now that you know how to take a screenshot on Mac in several ways, you can determine which app works best for you. 

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