How to Take Screenshot in MacBook: A Comprehensive Guide

Taking screenshots is an essential skill for anyone using a computer. Whether you want to capture an important piece of information, save a memorable moment from a video call, or create a tutorial, knowing how to take a screenshot efficiently is crucial. If you're a MacBook user, you have multiple options at your disposal. This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of how to take screenshot in macbook covering various methods and tips for optimising your screenshot-taking process.

Why Take Screenshots?

Before diving into the technicalities, let's briefly discuss why screenshots are valuable:

  1. Documentation: Screenshots help document information for future reference.
  2. Troubleshooting: Sharing screenshots with support teams can help diagnose issues faster.
  3. Sharing: Easily share what you're seeing on your screen with others.
  4. Tutorials: Create step-by-step guides or instructional content.
  5. Creativity: Capture and share creative ideas, designs, and more.

Methods for Taking Screenshots on a MacBook

MacBooks offer several built-in methods for taking screenshots. Each method serves a different purpose, allowing you to capture the entire screen, a specific window, or a selected portion of the screen.

1. Taking a Screenshot of the Entire Screen

To capture the entire screen:

  1. Press Shift + Command (⌘) + 3.
  2. The screenshot will be taken and saved to your desktop by default.

2. Capturing a Selected Portion of the Screen

If you want to know how to take screenshot in macbook to capture a specific area of your screen:

  1. Press Shift + Command (⌘) + 4.
  2. Your cursor will change to a crosshair.
  3. Click and drag to select the area you want to capture.
  4. Release the mouse button to take the screenshot.
  5. The screenshot will be saved to your desktop.

3. Capturing a Specific Window

To capture a specific window on your screen:

  1. Press Shift + Command (⌘) + 4.
  2. Press the Spacebar. Your cursor will change to a camera icon.
  3. Move the camera icon over the window you want to capture. The window will be highlighted.
  4. Click to take the screenshot.
  5. The screenshot will be saved to your desktop.

4. Taking a Screenshot with the Touch Bar (For MacBook Pro with Touch Bar)

If you have a MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar, you can customise the Control Strip to include a screenshot button:

  1. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard.
  2. Click on the Customize Control Strip button.
  3. Drag the Screenshot button to the Touch Bar.

Once the screenshot button is added to the Touch Bar:

  1. Tap the Screenshot button on the Touch Bar.
  2. Select whether you want to capture the entire screen, a selected portion, or a specific window.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the screenshot.

5. Using the Screenshot App

So, how to take screenshot in macbook? MacOS Mojave and later versions include a built-in Screenshot app that provides additional options:

  1. Press Shift + Command (⌘) + 5.
  2. A toolbar will appear at the bottom of the screen with options to capture the entire screen, a selected window, or a portion of the screen.
  3. Select your desired option and follow the instructions to take the screenshot.

Customising Your Screenshot Settings

MacOS offers several customization options for screenshots, allowing you to change where screenshots are saved, add a timer, and more.

Changing the Default Save Location

By default, screenshots are saved to the desktop. To change this:

  1. Press Shift + Command (⌘) + 5 to open the Screenshot toolbar.
  2. Click on Options.
  3. Under Save to, select your preferred save location (e.g., Documents, Clipboard, or a custom folder).

Adding a Timer

You can add a delay to your screenshots, giving you time to set up your screen:

  1. Press Shift + Command (⌘) + 5 to open the Screenshot toolbar.
  2. Click on Options.
  3. Under Timer, select 5 Seconds or 10 Seconds.

Showing the Mouse Pointer

If you want to include the mouse pointer in your screenshots:

  1. Press Shift + Command (⌘) + 5 to open the Screenshot toolbar.
  2. Click on Options.
  3. Check the Show Mouse Pointer option.

Editing Screenshots

After taking a screenshot, you might want to edit it before sharing or saving it. MacOS provides built-in tools for quick edits.

Using Markup

The Markup tool allows you to annotate your screenshots with text, shapes, and other elements:

  1. After taking a screenshot, click on the thumbnail that appears in the bottom-right corner of the screen. This will open the screenshot in the Markup window.
  2. Use the tools at the top of the window to add annotations, text, shapes, and more.
  3. Click Done to save your edits.

Using Preview

Preview is a versatile app that comes pre-installed on all MacBooks. It allows for more advanced editing:

  1. Open the screenshot in Preview by double-clicking the file.
  2. Use the tools in the Preview toolbar to edit your screenshot.
  3. Save your changes by selecting File > Save.

Advanced Screenshot Techniques

For users who need more advanced screenshot capabilities, third-party apps and keyboard shortcuts can offer additional features.

Using Third-Party Apps

Several third-party apps offer enhanced screenshot features, such as cloud storage integration, advanced editing tools, and more:

  • Skitch: A popular app for capturing and annotating screenshots.
  • Lightshot: A simple tool that offers quick editing and sharing options.
  • Snagit: A comprehensive screenshot tool with advanced editing features.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Specific Needs

  1. Capture the Touch Bar: If you want to capture the Touch Bar on a MacBook Pro, press Shift + Command (⌘) + 6.
  2. Copy Screenshot to Clipboard: To copy a screenshot directly to the clipboard instead of saving it, press Control along with the screenshot shortcut (e.g., Shift + Command (⌘) + Control + 3).

Tips for Efficient Screenshot Management

Taking screenshots is just the beginning. Managing and organizing them efficiently can save you time and effort.

Organizing Screenshots

  1. Create Folders: Regularly move screenshots from your desktop to categorized folders (e.g., Work, Personal, Tutorials).
  2. Use Descriptive Names: Rename screenshots with descriptive names to make them easier to find later.

Automating Screenshot Management

  1. Automator: Use the Automator app to create workflows that automatically move or rename screenshots.
  2. Hazel: A third-party app that can automatically organize your files based on rules you set.


Taking screenshots on a MacBook is a straightforward process, thanks to the multiple built-in methods and tools provided by macOS. Whether you need to capture the entire screen, a specific window, or a selected portion, MacBook offers various options to suit your needs. By knowing how to take screenshot in macbook with different methods and tools available, you can become more efficient and effective in capturing and managing screenshots on your MacBook. Whether for work, personal use, or creative projects, knowing how to take and manage screenshots is an invaluable skill that enhances your productivity and communication.

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