Take screenshots on Mac like a pro with these tips and tricks

Taking screenshots on a Mac is super easy thanks to the awesome screenshot utility that comes pre-installed. The add-on comes with more features than what you find or see at first sight.

Freeing up these extra options will let you take your screenshots in a more customizable way. These are pretty simple tweaks to apply to the utility that captures the type of screenshot you want on your Mac.

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Full screen screenshot

This is the easiest way and you will use it when you want to capture the entire screen of your Mac. All icons and other elements on your desktop will be captured and saved to your screenshot.

Mac keyboard with 3, shift and command keys highlighted

To take a full screen screenshot, just tap Command + Shift + 3 simultaneously on your Mac keyboard. The screenshot will be taken and saved on your desktop.

Take a screenshot of a selected window

Sometimes you may just want to capture a certain part or window of an application on your screen. While you can always take a full-sized screenshot and crop it to get the results you want, there’s a better way to do it in Mac.

Mac keyboard with 4, shift and command keys highlighted

While you have the application window that you want to capture open on your screen, tap Command + Shift + 4 key combination, press Spacebarand click the application window to capture.

Take a screenshot of a selected area

There will be times when you want to take a screenshot of a specific area (not a specific window) of your screen. It is different from capturing the entire screen or a specific application window.

You can do that with a keystroke on your Mac. While on any screen, tap Command + Shift + 4 at the same time, drag the marker and select the area you want to capture and release the marker. Your screenshot has been taken.

Take screenshots from time to time

Sometimes you will encounter this problem. You want to take a screenshot but then your screen also requires you to use the keyboard and mouse at the same time. If you use the keyboard to take a screenshot, you cannot use it with the requesting application.

However, there is a workaround. Mac has the ability to take screenshots over time thanks to built-in Grab practicality.

Get in the search bar, the icon below

Launch Grab apps from Launchpad on your Mac.

Capture -> Timer screen from Grab window” class=”wp-image-7325″  /></figure>
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<p>Click <strong>Take over</strong> Next menu is <strong>Timer screen</strong> at top.</p>
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Timer dialog

A dialog box will appear telling you that it will take a screenshot after ten seconds have passed. Click Start timer button to start timer

After ten seconds have passed, it will automatically take your full screen screenshot and save it to your desktop.

Remove drop shadow from screenshot

If you’ve noticed, the app window screenshots you took on your Mac have shadows. While these make your screenshots look eye-catching, sometimes you may not want them included in your images.

Shadows are shown below the AppCleaner window

Removing drop shadows from your Mac screenshots is pretty easy and can be done using a command in the Terminal app.

Launch End app on your Mac.

Type the following command into the Terminal window and press enter.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true ; killall SystemUIServer
Terminal window with command: defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool true;  killall SystemUIServer

From now on, any screenshots you take will not have a shadow added to them.

If you want to bring the shadows back, just run the following command in the Terminal app on your Mac.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool false ; killall SystemUIServer
Terminal window with command: defaults write com.apple.screencapture disable-shadow -bool false;  killall SystemUIServer

The drop shadow should now be back on your Mac.

Show the cursor in your screenshot

Most of the screenshots you find on the Internet usually don’t have a mouse pointer. However, if you want to indicate certain things in your screenshots, you may want to include them.

The default capture utility on your Mac does not include a pointer. However, you can use the built-in Grab app to get the job done.

Open Grab apps from Launchpad on your Mac.

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<p>When the app opens, click <strong>Grab</strong> at the top and select <strong>Interests</strong>.</p>
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Pointer Type Options

You will now see many different types of pointers that you can use in your screenshot. Choose the one you like and exit the control panel.

Shooting -> Selected selection menu” class=”wp-image-7332″  /></figure>
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<p>Now use <strong>Take over</strong> in the app to take your screenshot.</p>
<p>Your captured screenshot will now have your selected cursor type included in it.</p>
<h2><span class=Take a screenshot of the login screen

The built-in screenshot utility is even capable of taking screenshots of your login screen.

Mac login screen

When you’re on your Mac’s login screen, just tap Command + Shift + 3
keystroke and it will capture and save your current screen on your desktop. You can then log back into your account to see the screenshot.

Take a screenshot of your touch bar

You can also take a screenshot of the Mac Touch Bar so you can show your audience what it looks like.

Mac keyboard with 6, shift and command buttons highlighted

To do that, just press Command + Shift + 6 keystrokes on your Mac keyboard. Screenshot of Touch Bar will be taken and saved on your device.

Change default screenshot file name

You may notice that your screenshot is saved with the default name of “Screenshots” on your Mac. However, you have the option to change the name if you want.

Launch End app on your Mac and run the following command in it. Guaranteed replacement NAME with the new name you want for your screenshot.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture name "NAME"; killall SystemUIServer
Terminal with command: default name com.apple.screencapture "NAME";  killall SystemUIServer

Your future screenshots will use the name you selected as their filename.

Get rid of timestamp from screenshot

Your Mac adds the date and time when you took the screenshot to the filename. If this makes the image name too long for you and you want a simpler name, you can leave out this information.

Open End
app on your Mac and execute the following command.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture "include-date" 0; killall SystemUIServer
Terminal with command: default write com.apple.screencapture "include date" Number 0;  killall SystemUIServer

It will remove the timestamp from your screenshot filename. If you want them back, run the same command instead 0 with first in Terminal and it will undo the changes you made.

Change the save location for your screenshots

By default, all your screenshots are saved on your desktop. It also means your screen will become cluttered if you take a lot of screenshots and you don’t organize them in the right folders.

However, you can change the default screenshot saving folder so that the screenshot is saved in the folder you selected.

Run the following command in Terminal instead PATH with the path of the folder where you want to save your screenshot.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~PATH; killall SystemUIServer
Terminal with command: default write location com.apple.screencapture ~ PATH;  killall SystemUIServer

You can always restore the default save directory by running the following command:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~/Desktop; killall SystemUIServer

Change screenshot format

PNG is the default file format for your screenshots. However, if you need your screenshot in a different format, you can change the default screenshot format from Terminal.

Use the following command in Terminal to do so. Replace jpg with the image format you want for your screenshot. Some of the formats you can use are JPG, GIF, PDF, PNG, and TIFF.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg;killall SystemUIServer
Terminal with command: default write com.apple.screencapture type jpg;  killall SystemUIServer

You can switch back to the default file format using the same command.

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