How to Print Screen on a Mac (Take a Screen Shot)

Most computers running the Microsoft Windows Operating System have a convenient Print Screen button (or Prnt Scrn) on their keyboards by default that allows the user to capture a screenshot of the entire screen; however, that’s not the same for Macintosh Operating Systems, though Mac OS X computers provide several options to print the screen, including taking a screenshot (similar to the Print Screen option on Windows computers), capturing a selected portion of the screen, and capturing the screen of a selected application window.

how to screenshot on a mac

This page details how to easily do a Print Screen or take different types of Screenshots on a Mac computer using the generic Mac keyboard setup.

How to Print Screen on a Mac (Screen Shot)

The instructions below detail how to take a complete screenshot on a Mac (like the image above).

1. Press the Command button or Apple key ⌘ + Shift + 3 at the same time

print screen on a mac

2. You will now find a screen capture on your Mac desktop labeled “Picture_” or “Screen Shot” followed by the date and time.

How to capture a selected portion of the screen on a Mac

The instructions below detail how to capture a selected portion of the screen on a Mac.

  1. Press the Command button or Apple key ⌘ + Shift + 4 at the same time
  2. The cursor will change to +
  3. Drag a box around the selection of the screen you wish to capture and release the mouse
  4. You will now find a screen capture on your Mac desktop labeled “Picture_” or “Screen Shot” followed by the date and time.

How to screen capture an application window on a Mac

The instructions below detail how to take a screen capture of a selected application window on a Mac. This will only capture the selected window.

  1. Press the Command button or Apple key ⌘ + Shift + 4 at the same time
  2. The cursor will change to +
  3. Press the Spacebar
  4. The cursor will now change into a camera. Simply click the application window you wish to be captured.
  5. You will now find a screen capture of the application window on your Mac desktop labeled “Picture_” or “Screen Shot” followed by the date and time.

Sean Doyle

Sean Doyle is an experienced tech author with experience in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, and more. He has written for numerous online publications.